Book Review: Stephen Willats, Vision and Reality

Municipal Dreams

Stephen Willats, Vision and Reality (Uniformbooks, 2016)

Stephen Willats has been one of the most interesting and innovative artists in Britain for many decades.  To those who see the significance of art as existing beyond the academy and to those of us, in particular, with an interest in social housing, he is one of our most important artists.  Uniformbooks, are to be congratulated, therefore, for publishing this new book as a permanent record of his many community-based artworks on council estates up and down the country.


As Willats states in the introduction to this book, ‘it is the audience of a work of art which gives it meaning’ but, rather than hope for a public better-educated in the language and mores of the art world, he was clear that it was the ‘wall-mounted, object-based tendency of art galleries’ which had come to seem ‘archaic’.  To Willats:

a work of art…

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