Wearing has cited the influence of English fly-on-the-wall documentaries, such as Michael Apted’s 7-up and the 1970s documentary The Family. Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992–3), made shortly after her graduation from Goldsmiths College in 1990, was produced by approaching people on London streets, asking them to write something on a card and then photographing them as they displayed it.
Turner Prize 1997 artists: Gillian Wearing
Gillian Wearing has described her working method as ‘editing life'. By using photography and video to record the confessions of ordinary people, her work explores the disparities between public and private life, between individual and collective experience.