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Artwork of the Month - June 2006


LIFE IN TRANSIT (2005-2006)

Artist: Katy Wilkinson (b.1984)
Medium: Video installation
Status: loaned by the artist
Item No.: -

The Artist and her Work

"I drawn like a cloud, couldn't stop dreaming of roaming"
Basho, Oku no Hoso michi

In this work by Wilkinson, two different forms of media were used, photography and video. This expresses the two different aspects and themes she wishes to communicate.

The different themes in Wilkinson's work contradict one other, creating an interesting dialogue between opposites. The two opposing themes are transience and stability. Wilkinson's work expresses the contradiction of wanting both. The desire to explore what is new and different as well as yearning for a sense of belonging and stability.


Wilkinson travels regularly to and from the Island, and over a 6 month period documented every aeroplane journey she made through photographing clouds from the aeroplane window.

Wilkinson is interested in the idea of 'pathetic fallacy', as discussed by the 19th Century critic John Ruskin, which is the act of transmitting our emotions onto objects and things. In this work the artist has used clouds to symbolise not only transience and movement but also her emotions at the time of the journey.


The video was taken from Wilkinson's bedroom window in Guernsey, which incorporated two other "significant symbolisers" the artist wished to focus on, these being bedrooms (personal space) and windows (a way to extend, and see beyond this confined personal space). This again relates to transience and stability.

The "idealistic skyscape with bright blue skies and fluffy clouds" represents Guernsey, which may be viewed as idyllic but confining. The hypnotic nature of watching the clouds slowly drift passed our eyes, also reflects the contemplative and reflective state the artist often finds herself in on these journeys - she is sharing this with her audience.

Wilkinson's work is full of opposites, which conveys the tensions these opposites and contradictions create in our own lives. The artist points out quite interestingly that what she has described through the movement in the video was taken while she was static, and what is described in the static photographs were taken when she was in transit - once again highlighting how her work deals with opposites and reversals.

Looking at both the photography and video elements of this work, we can see that the "struggle for stability and the seemingly endless pursuit of it," leads us to an unobtainable goal, for in the pursuit of stability we are constantly in transit.