Anil Mistry – Goodnight Sweetheart

All we have are the memories of our soon-forgotten selves. Dirtied and bent over, hopefully we will have left something worthwhile. Goodnight Sweetheart by Anil Mistry is worth your while.

In concept it all seems like just a bit of fun, and it is certainly that. After all, it’s just photos of discarded mattresses. Dirty, stained, rolled up or just thrown out, the no longer desired beds look both sad and haunting. Anil’s photography gives them life. Whether it’s due to their juxtaposition with colorful homes or the abutting filth surrounding where they have been left, there is an honesty that feels personal to the images. The photographer gives voice to the forgotten, and has no need to interfere with the scenes.

Goodnight Sweetheart demonstrates how presentation can be everything. It gives thought to what we often view as disgusting. We too frequently ignore what we have castaway, but here the images of our past are laid in front of us. We cannot forget we spend at least one third of our lives on these covered springs or foam rolls, and they deserve some consideration.

Despite all the fun that is being had with the idea of discarded mattresses here, there is a bigger realization of existence that comes with it. We get old, we break down, and we die. Those of us who leave anything, leave some mis-spilled hand putty that we end up spending the rest of our days trying to sculpt into something that was less useful than ourselves. It probably was better left on the stained castaways presented here.


Anil asked his friends to contribute words to these images, and each of their bitter joy or regret gives insight into the aging process. The passages are each unique and brilliant. Many seem meant for amusement, but in the end there is something real about them. They are as disgusted with themselves as they are of the tossed out mattresses.

It is the combination of words and pictures that brings unforseen depth to Goodnight Sweetheart. All is simply presented one after the other – image, words, image, words – and that’s the beauty of it. The layout is simple, the concept is simple, the result is dazzling. It’s like watching good football. Each pass here is well chosen, and the desired goal is obtained.

After reading, Goodnight Sweetheart you may very well never want to have children. But you will also grow a fondness for everything tossed aside, which could very well lead you to adopting a gaggle of orphans.

This is book is worth your while.

All profits from the book’s sale will go to CALM. The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75% of all UK suicides were male. Find out more about CALM



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