‘The Waiting Room’ by Lisa Wigham


In this project a temporary installation occupied Preston Railway Station waiting room – a rare, quiet space in the noise and movement of the city, where pause and thought occur before the onward journey. Set against the backdrop of the drama, theatre and romance of the station’s Victorian architecture, fragments of stories evocative of emotions of travel, or glimpses of the past life of the waiting room were made visible on the windows as dissolving sentences.

This historical site was once a canteen and stopping point for servicemen during World War I and II, and a point of respite while passing through Preston to and from leave or service. Its continuing life along a major North-South route prompts in the imagination fleeting stories and transient states of travel.

Lisa Wigham’s installation employed a quietly playful and poetic use of language to present narratives that prompt reminiscence. The words were collected like ephemera, often while in transit, and a novel, Lost Luggage Revival, inspired by the artist’s journeys between Preston and her hometown of Blackpool, accompanied the work. Through use of short instances of text, an essence or reduction of information is presented as fragments, where narratives can be teased from juxtapositions. These golden texts both fathom and mark existence. They were induced into being and collected in moments that punctuated time and disrupted monotony, allowing for association between image, site and memory.

Image credits:
All photos by Denise Swanson

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