Jani Williams


I enjoy looking at everyday subjects in simple, abstract, minimalist ways. I think that at a surface level at least my images are about happy memories, holidays and escapism.

When I see images of windows and doors like those I am showing here, that are so unlike British architecture, my mind rapidly runs towards positive thoughts about sunshine, travel and different cultures. I have no formal training in photography so I respond quite personally to subjects that fascinate me.

I don’t usually theorise about why I take pictures but that changed after the death of my Dad. He had suffered from long-term illnesses and often had spells in hospital. His illness left him struggling to breathe; so much of his life was spent indoors looking out through his front window at the world passing by. Every new person walking past, every flock of starlings, every car that parked outside his house became a story for him to tell visitors.  Strangers walking by would never have known about my Dad, his life and his struggles.

On a pre-booked trip to Portugal, not long after his death, I was a complete mess emotionally. I wandered around the old streets trying to take my mind off extremely low thoughts. Although the rich colours, intricate textures and wonderful patterns fascinated me, my mind now went beyond the frames, beyond the closed doors and sun-bleached shutters and I started wondering about the lives of those within, what were their lives like? Were others sitting there like Dad, just looking out? In one way it would have been interesting to actually meet the inhabitants, but in another way the unknown allowed me to create my own narratives about those within.

The concentration on the project helped me to deal with my pain and I felt that there was now a reason for me being there. I sensed Dad about me as I was working. In a way the project evolved to become about him and the situation he often found himself in. I realised that every wonderful exterior was just a stone mask for the lives within