Turnstile, a project by artist David Wills — — Copyright 2019

Spin Turnstile

Show all


Lucky Link


What is it about photography?

It seems everyone is on edge about photographs these days.

Last night I was waiting for the bus after seeing the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. Behind me I noticed a shop I had walked past a hundred times but never went into. I took out my camera and photographed through the window. In a homogenised world, this shop was a breath of fresh air. It looked like it had not changed since the day the owners moved in.

Out of an adjacent doorway appeared a man who gave me a peculiar glance but kept walking. Moments later he was back asking what I was doing. Somehow he thought that I was casing the joint, taking photos so that I would now how to break in and get me some booty. I responded that I was I found the shop interesting which didn't seem to appease him. I added I was artist which only perplexed him. He seemed happy for the moment and left me in peace.

My bus arrived. I jumped on and pondered the man's interest. Why do people always presume the worst? Why was it thought that I was up to no good? When did taking photos become a crime? I have no answers. On an evening walk in my neighbourhood, I was stopped by police who again suggested I was casing potential houses. I showed them my photos of tar seals which seemed to prove that I was an 'artist'. They did however call into base to check my details. 

Over the past couple of years I taught students who have also reported an increased suspicion from people on the street, in one case calling the police to report what was clearly legal, taking photos in the street.

The above are unedited raw thoughts. I'll make more sense over time as I ponder why it is we've become so fearful of everything and suspicious of everyone, all the while buffing a veneer of trust and transparency.   




The shop in question