“Ian Milliss’ creative practice spans almost five decades, but for much of that time he was ‘the invisible artist’. The reason is that little of his creative output results in an artefact that can be displayed in a gallery or museum, even less bought and sold on the art market. His work engages more deeply and directly in the processes and discourses of life: its social constructs, systems and interactions. While the phrase ‘ahead of his time’ can be a cliché, it is for Ian Milliss an accurate – indeed poignant – descriptor.
“Today, a new generation of arts practitioners born to the facility of the internet are beginning to recognise the power and import of his work, and the wisdom of his method. Most significantly for a world in rapid change, it is an approach that emphasises the need to adapt: to evolve and to recycle the materials we appropriate in the processes of living; to ensure that our culture, our society and, indeed, we ourselves, remain sustainable.” – Alasdair Foster
All heritage properties have a Statement of Significance and as a sometimes heritage consultant I have helped write many. It always struck me how they were always too narrow in focus and colonial in their assumptions. I have attempted to redress this in my Statement of Insignificance for Woodford Academy by placing it in a much wider context.