Stephen Willats

Open System - Multiple Clothing, 1991

‘I consider clothing as an important area of strategy in art, as a territory of expression that takes the artist right into the realm of reality that is very much a parameter to people’s experience of society. So the works I have developed as clothing are made to be worn, though there is a clear difference for the wearer with the clothes they might normally wear, so that the act of wearing my clothes differentiates the experience from normality in the surrounding world. My intention is that in wearing one of these clothes you yourself become an integral manifestation of the work, and your internalization of the meaning of the work is through that act of wearing it, and subsequently what happens to you as a result. The works alter your interpersonal relationship with the other people you come into contact with, and alter their relationship with you…..

The full omni-directional possibilities of language are left open to the wearer in this design. A grid pattern allows any identity, message or feeling to be stated by the arrangement of individual letter panels into vertical and horizontal combinations of words.'

Multiple Clothing, Designs 1965 – 1999, Stephen Willats, Walther König, Cologne, 2000

Stephen Willats: Open System - Multiple Clothing

Open System, 1991. 52cm x 64cm. Pencil, ink, poster paint, Letraset text on paper.

Stephen Willats: Open System - Multiple Clothing, Multiple Clothing Event, ICA, London 1993

Multiple Clothing Event, ICA, London 1993