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Gillian Wearing

We chose to use Gillian Wearing as the artist for this project because no one in our group was familiar with her work, so we thought it would be interesting to research new work. After researching the artist I found out that Wearing is an English conceptual artist who uses video and photography as her medium. Wearings’ first major exhibition ‘Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say’ consisted of over fifty photographs. Wearing collaborated with members of the public asking them to write down what’s on their mind, then photographed them holding up their statement.

Wearing deliberately chose to photograph a diverse range of people each from different backgrounds, almost as an experiment; questioning stereotypes in order to discover more about people. Many of the signs express intimate, quite personal thoughts. However, others focus on more issues such as politics for example one sign reads ‘Will Britain get through this recession?’ .This series also includes a photograph of a business man in a suit holding up a sign reading ‘I’m desperate’. This image is more shocking as people wouldn’t think a smartly dressed business would admit to something so personal. Many may think he would be too ashamed to reveal such a personal emotion into the public domain.



© Emily Victoria Collier, all rights reserved