Gillian Wearing

English (born 1963)
Gillian Wearing The Garden 1997 © GILLIAN WEARING AND THE PARAGON PRESS

Biography

Born 1963
Nationality English
Birth place Birmingham

Gillian Wearing was born in Birmingham. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and Design and Goldsmiths College, London. In 1992 the artist began a series of works in which she approached people in the street, gave them a sheet of paper, asked them to write something on it, and then photographed the individuals holding the message. The photographs probed the gap between a person’s appearance and what they might be thinking, and also what we might think of them. Wearing has made a number of videos based on the theme of confession, taking inspiration from fly-on-the-wall documentaries. In 1997 she won the Turner Prize.

Glossary terms

  • A group of conceptual British artists, mainly born in the 1960s, first gathered together by Damien Hirst in 1988 to take part in an exhibition called ‘Freeze’. The phenomenon is also known as ‘Britart’.
  • Founded in 1984, The Turner Prize is awarded annually to the ‘most outstanding contribution’ to British art that took place in the last year.