Penny Woolcock’s immersive art installation dares us to move towards, as she calls it, “a different audacity, another kind of dreaming”.
Walking through a desolate landscape in which bricks, rubble, fridges, phone boxes and shopping trollies are strewn about, you activate stories – many of which are concerned with living at the sharp end of life in London. Woolcock explains that these are “stories from unexpected sources, things you wouldn’t normally hear about… People tell stories about themselves but this also becomes part of a bigger truth”. This statement unlocks the most urgent aspect of the exhibition: her intent to give a voice to the marginalised.
It has become more crucial than ever to share the stories of those on the fringes of society as a counter narrative to prevailing, often skewed mainstream narratives. This is ultimately what makes Woolcock’s Utopia so timely and important.