There are currently many untenanted shops in town centres throughout the UK. This project utilises the windows of those shops and in doing so helps to maintain the vibrancy of public space. Reflection on the nature of public space and its changing use has long been a central theme of my work.
I whited out a shop’s window with emulsion (landlords often do this anyway – you can see it in any high street). I scraped a drawing in to the paint with simple tools, and cleared some bigger areas so that passers-by could partially see in to the shop. I like the idea that the audience encounters the work by chance and responds without necessarily thinking of it as ‘Art’.
Using simple outline drawing, usually on a large scale, to create images is a recurring theme of my work (I have been a mural painter for over twenty years).
At the same time, I created a non-narrative film that is specific to the place, reflecting the environment of the shop, the creation of the work and something of the history of the process of drawing in art. The film was projected on a loop 24 hours a day.
I agreed with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama that a final year composition student would score the film, and that students would record the work, so there was newly created music (also specific to the site) accompanying the piece.
Aim To contribute to maintaining the vitality of public space by using the windows of empty shops.
Artistic vision There are several layers of imagery in this work, visible in different combinations from different viewpoints. The audience is drawn in to look hard at the work, so their involvement is deeper and longer lasting.
2 images of the shop window as seen from the street, showing how the appearance of the window varies as the video loops.
The second version of 'goes around', in Bath, played silently, but passers-by were invited to access the music on their mobile phones, as in this picture (it was played from a radio transmitter inside the shop).