Stephen Willats

Creating My Own Journey, 1999

Six panel work with DVD film. Five panels 116cm x 16.5cm and one panel 118.5cm x 80cm
Photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic paint, laser prints, Letraline on card

This work was made at the same time as Stephen Willats was working on the installation Changing Everything at the South London Gallery. Changing Everything involved local residents from the North Peckham Estate, each recording a journey through the estate on a mosaic in the gallery. These mosaics presented problems around contemporary society to the viewer who could respond. Changing Everything brought the reality of people’s experiences into the culturally separate environment of the art gallery creating an interactive network between the artist, the art museum, audience and context.
Creating My Own Journey reflects a similar intention, on the five tall panels the woman in the work is seen filming a journey, a personal journey, around her home in one of the slab blocks of the estate. In the larger panel she is shown in her home environment and the freedom and scope for individual self expression is contrasted with the institutional signs of the other panels. Items she selected for photographing as illustrating her personal choices are depicted in a diagrammatic, free floating network alongside her statements that describe her feeling that she can choose whatever she wants within her own flat. The work contrasts the relationship between the freedom created in the inner capsule of one’s personal living space, with the inhibiting determinism of the world outside.

Stephen Willats: Creating My Own Journey
Stephen Willats: Creating My Own Journey, Panel One

Panel One

Stephen Willats: Creating My Own Journey, Panels Two - Six

Panels Two - Six