Reworked Assignment 2 following an online tutorial.

Anna Goodchild

Publication Proposal

November, 2018

Synopsis of the project:

Using installation, photography and sound, One Year explores the real life experiences of a prisoner who spent 2016 in HMP Dartmoor.

Central to the work are the letters from Ian, a 50-year-old local preacher who was incarcerated for a crime he had committed in his mid-teens.  When Goodchild looked back over those letters she realized that they painted a picture of  a UK prison that was at variance with what she was seeing and reading in the media.

There are two strands which inform this work and both are derived from the letters, subsequent conversations with Ian, and research:

First, the development of personal skills through therapeutic and rehabilitative practices in UK prisons.

Secondly, a sense of place in time.

Instead of focusing on the violence, drug-abuse and overcrowding in British prisons as depicted in the media, Ian’s letters recount the rehabilitative, reflective and therapeutic self-improvement opportunities offered to inmates during their time in prison.  This was done through work in the kitchens, workshops, classrooms and gardens.  Ian attended chapel services and sang in a ‘choir’ (Ian’s punctuation), and he reviewed a travelling art exhibition on Anne Frank.   Ian also wrote extensively of the importance of the visits of friends and family throughout the year.  As Anna could not go into working prisons, she made the images representing these elements in prisons decommissioned in 2013 and subsequently opened to the public.

For her, the tension between prisoners’ needs and appropriate support cannot be resolved quickly.  The concepts of time and place, therefore, become inseparable from the vulnerability, frailty, repentance and resilience evident in the letters, and have informed the artistic expressions in this project.  Time and place are depicted through photographing leaves and making dyes using plant and mineral material taken from outside HMP Dartmoor in each of the four seasons. Goodchild photographed the resultant prints made using the dyes, and superimposed them over an image covering an aspect of the contents of the letters written in that season.  The recordings of relevant extracts from the letters written in that season emphasise the personal aspect of the work.

The author’s research revealed that there are needlework and quilt making classes in 32 UK prisons organised by a charity Fine Cell.  She has picked  this as an extension to her project and, to bring cohesion to some of its disparate elements,  she is printing 35 cyanotype images she took in LandWorks (See below) to design and make her quilt.

In HMP Dartmoor, opened in 1809, Ian wrote extensively about the local weather and the seasons, evidence of which he could see and feel from his cell.   Since his release he has spoken to Goodchild about the gardening that was done at the prison throughout the year and how much the prisoners enjoyed it.  Her research revealed that in 1983, The Royal Horticultural Society introduced The Windlesham Trophy which is awarded annually to the best prison garden in England and Wales.

Not able to go into working prisons, Anna went to a local charitable organisation, LandWorks, which hosts prisoners on day release to work in their vegetable and flower garden, workshops, pottery studio and chicken run.   She was kindly given permission to photograph the plants and artefacts.   Everything produced there is sold to the public via a shop on site and all profits are fed back into the organisation.

The music she hopes to commission for this project echoes the idea that simply because we do not read about it, does not mean that it does not exist.  The music heard, played and sung in prison chapels all over the country can be a strong therapeutic force.

In recent years photographic artists Jennifer Wicks and Edmund Clark have added their voices to the widening chorus of more and more artists, writers, criminologists and prison governors who realize that the answer to society’s ills is not to build bigger prisons, and fill them, like warehouses, with the worst parts of all of us.

Through a very personal investigation, One Year offers an underrepresented perspective of the work done with, for and by prisoners in the UK.

Project presentation specifications:

It is my intention to present my project through an exhibition.  In May 2018, I secured an exhibition space “The Cells” in the original Guild Hall in Devonport, Plymouth for July 2019.   Three former prison cells from its history housing the local magistrates court form the Cells, and are now used as an exhibition space.

The space, with its obvious connections, makes it an ideal place to hold the exhibition.

I plan to exhibit 12, A3 images attached to the hanging system with bulldog clips.  Four of the images, one for each season, will be covered by an image on an A3 sheet of semi-transparent photo paper of a photograph of a print made by plant and mineral material found outside or in the vicinity of HMP Dartmoor where the author of the letters in my project spent a year.   The viewers are encouraged to lift the tracing paper to see and to touch and feel the images underneath.

Summer images with earphones and MP3player on wall 72dpi DSC01037

© A.Goodchild 2018

Tracing paper lifting 72dpi DSC01043

© A.Goodchild 2018

Exposed leaf and tracing paper 72dpi DSC01042

© A.Goodchild 2018

Two of the 3 cells are available for the exhibition.  Both cells are identical and contiguous.

In one of the cells I plan to exhibit the quilt and all the images related to the process of designing and constructing the quilt.  I plan to auction the quilt at the end of the exhibition and donating the proceeds to LandWorks where I was kindly allowed to photograph all the elements which constitute the quilt.

Z Quilt positive with denim border 6 1500px

© A.Goodchild 2018

The quilt idea has its origins in the research done for the project which showed that an organisation “Fine Cell Work” has been working in prisons in the UK to teach inmates needlework skills which will expand their employment choices on release from prison.  The quilts and other articles made by the prisoners are then sold through the “Fine Cell Work” shop.  In the second cell, I plan to project short videos of images made to express the passage of time.

Next to each of the 12 images which constitute the main body of the work, there is a QR code which, when read by smartphones, will link to a project webpage which will have recordings of readings of those extracts from the letters which are pertinent to the images.   Visitors will either use their own earphones or can ask to borrow some.

I am also hoping to have a piece of music commissioned which reflects the composer’s response to the project.  The idea here too is that there are music workshops for the prisoners and choirs attached to the chaplaincy in prisons which the prisoners can join.  Again, because we the public do not hear about this aspect of prison life does not mean that it does not exist.

Finally, I hope to have a leaf installation either in a vitrine or as a curtain of all the leaves I have photographed over the course of a year for this project to underline the passage of that one year spent in prison.

Exhibition timeline:

November 24th, 2018 : Portfolio review in Bradford.

November:   Test the BoW at the OCA SW exhibition in Bristol (20th- 25th).

December: Make quilt cyanotypes from LandWorks images on white cotton.

January: Start putting the quilt cyanotype squares together.

February: Apply for funding.

February: Collection of plant and mineral material for Winter space in time prints.

March 16 -17: Format reviews:

N.Shipley: 11.30

D.Drake: 12.20

Arianna Rinaldo: 1.45

Ben Harman: 3.40

April 25th: Final material collection for the Spring place in time prints.

April: Start assembling the installation of leaves for the vitrine.

June: early: make the last cyanotype for the quilt & stitch it into the quilt.

June 11th: Final leaf collection for June images and vitrine.

June 26th: Test audio & visual equipment in situ.

June 30th: Set up the exhibition.

July 1st:  Exhibition opening event 6 – 8pm in “The Cells” Devonport, Plymouth.  All the invited guests will have been involved with the project, the prison, the local community, local galleries, news outlets and arts centres, as well as OCA students and tutors interested in the project.  There will be a taste of prison food and tea / coffee with UHT milk instead of canapés and wine.

July 6th: Artist’s talk at “The Cells”.

2019:  July 12th: Exhibition closes.  The quilt may or may not be auctioned here.  there may be a bigger audience at LandWorks at their summer BBQ.

Exhibition budget:

Music commission:                                          £1500

Marketing:                                                             £100

Opening event reception:                                  £50

Image printing:                                                      £50

Bulldog clips: 24 x £10                                          £25

Hiring projector for 2 weeks: (Discounted?)£200

Book: 20 x Self made, 20 page books             £400

Quilt material: Textile                                            £20

Cyanotype  chemicals                                           £30

Total outlay:                                                                             £2375

Time and services in kind:

My stewarding 10days x 6hrs x £20/hr          £1200

My administration 10 days x 6hrs                   £1200

Development of an audio app. free.

Outreach: * Meet the artist where I will talk

about my correspondence with a prisoner

in HMP Dartmoor. 2 hours x £20/hr                  £40

Both these last ‘expenses’ are held in

what used to be a culturally deprived

area of Plymouth.  This exhibition

is making people aware of prison images

not normally in the headlines. (6 hours)         £120

Gallery hire: Free in exchange for outreach

University of Plymouth app development.

Total cost in kind:                                                                 £2360

Audience, Outreach and Legacy of the project.

Throughout the two weeks that the exhibition is open to the public, I shall be present to guide visitors through the displays, should they require it, offer context and technical support to aid the use of the AV equipment to ensure that visitors can fully experience the displays.  I will have a visitors book for people to leave comments about their experiences.

Based on information available at the gallery, I anticipate an audience of about  50 visitors per day giving a total outreach of about 500 visitors for the 2 weeks of the exhibition.

I shall give an artist’s talk on the ramifications of the project for me.  This is important as not only is it a condition for the use of the gallery, but communicating my findings to a public which is constantly fed a one-sided view of prisons and prisoner identity is something which I consider to be a crucial aspect of this project.  The inclusion of many elements in this exhibition attests, in a small way, to the  variety of rehabilitative and therapeutic activities offered to the inmates of prisons in the UK.

Memento cards of my poem diptych will be on display.

The money raised by the auction will go to LandWorks, Dartington to help them with their outreach in the area.

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Assignment 2: First draft

Publication proposal

Remit:

Write and send to your tutor a comprehensive proposal showing in detail how you intend to resolve and deliver or disseminate your major project.  Refer to the brief for Assignment Five for more detail about what is expected of you for the resolution of your major project.

Your proposal should include:

  • a timeline for the development of your project, your marketing strategy and the resolution of your work, including installation if appropriate.
  • a description of your work.  Use the work you did for Contextual Studies to help you position your work in its critical and/or commercial context.  Briefly explain your motivations and how the project fits within your practice more broadly.
  • a budget, detailing the costs associated with the resolution of your project and identifying any payment in kind.
  • a description of how you intend to maximise the presence of your work and engage with your audience, such as your plans for a private view, screening event or artist’s talk.

The whole document should not exceed 2000 words.  If you’d like to explore a more experimental approach to the proposal, send any ideas to your tutor.

Check the work against the assessment criteria listed in the introduction to the course guide.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Proposal

I propose to hold an exhibition which will comprise the following:

  • A physical exhibition in a space called “The Cells” which is in the original Devonport Guild Hall in Plymouth.   It has that name because it has 3 prisoner cells and is adjacent to and in the same building which housed the magistrates court in Devonport.    The space, with its obvious connections, makes it an ideal place to hold the exhibition.  As a ‘white’ body of work, the exhibition seeks to dispel the ubiquitous violent, drugged-up, anarchic view of prisoners invariably portrayed in the mass media.
  • In the space, I plan to exhibit 12, A3 images attached to the hanging system with bulldog clips.  Four of the images, one for each season, will be covered by an image on an A3 sheet of tracing paper of a photograph of a print made by plant and mineral material found outside or in the vicinity of HMP Dartmoor where the author of the letters in my project spent a year.  The idea is that these seasonal images of the prints will give a sense of place over time.  The viewers are encouraged to lift the tracing paper to see and, if necessary, to touch and feel the images underneath.    Viewers can also touch the other free-standing images.  By touching, the viewers become part of the experience: it is hoped that, by no longer being passive but leaving their mark, the viewers will become more involved in this different interactive form of exhibiting different images.  In other words, by doing what is not normally done in exhibitions, it is hoped that One Year is remembered as one which presented prisons and prisoners differently.
Summer images with earphones and MP3player on wall 72dpi DSC01037
Figure 1: This image composition depicts tracing paper with the print image for Summer, over the August image depicting workshop activity and a Handkerchief leaf picked in August.  On the wall next to the composition there is a QR code which will enable those with smartphones to access the recording of the appropriate extracts from Ian’s letters.   © A.Goodchild 2018
Tracing paper lifting 72dpi DSC01043
Figure 2: Figure 2:  The tracing paper is being lifted revealing the image underneath.  © A.Goodchild 2018
Exposed leaf and tracing paper 72dpi DSC01042
Figure 3:  The base images are revealed.   © A.Goodchild 2018
February 9 72dpi
Figure 4: Letter dated 9thFebruary dealing with the fact that Ian is now settled in HMP Dartmoor and will not have to move any more.© A.Goodchild 2018 and Google Earth 2018
September 2 72dpi
Figure 5: Letter dated 2nd September deals with the very changeable weather Ian is experiencing on Dartmoor. © A.Goodchild 2018

The colours of the image on the tracing paper (Figures 1 & 6), being those of the print made of the plant and mineral material found in the vicinity of HMP Dartmoor, are strongly related visually and contextually to the colours on the HMP Dartmoor image (Figures 5 & 7)

A1 remake 3. splodge horizontal 72dpi .jpg
Figure 6: © A.Goodchild 2018
Radio mast September 72dpi DSCF2773.png
Figure 7:© A.Goodchild 2018
  • On the wall next to each image will be a QR code and /or an app reference which will enable those visitors with smart phones to access the recordings of the relevant parts of the letters pertaining to each image.  Those without smartphones will be able to pick up a laminated transcript of the recordings from the entrance.  I would like to investigate developing an app with a student from the University of Plymouth, so that people can use their own phones and earphones.
  • A 10 minute piece of music commissioned by me and composed by an OCA music student as a response to the work will  be accessible via the QR code.    The idea of including another art form in the exhibition was inspired by my recent trip to see PhotoIreland where several of the exhibitions curators had applied to Arts Council Ireland for funding to promote other forms of art.
  • One of the cells in the complex will contain the quilt I will have made by cyanotype prints from the plant photos taken at LandWorks, Dartington, an organisation which uses prisoners on day release, newly released prisoners and those in danger of committing crimes, to grow food and flowers, to develop their skills in pottery, masonry and other pursuits.
  • The other cell will have a looped projection of general images taken of the work being done at LandWorks, Dartington over the course of three seasons.
  • I plan to make 20 books of the work to sell at £20 each and cards at £2 each on sale throughout the exhibition.
  • I propose to do a leaf installation, after the work of Rebecca Louise Law, which will hang in the recessed closed doorway at the end of the corridor because there is a void there at the focal point of the space.  As an ephemeral piece, it will not impede the emergency exit.
  • I am hoping that by having different elements, including an interactive one, the exhibition and its portrayal of a different prison and prisoner perspective, will linger in the minds of those who attend.

Project description:

Set in a Victorian building, One Year is a very human story which highlights isolation, vulnerability, resilience and a determination to ‘keep busy’, an expression used in several of Ian’s letters.  The use of the plant material marks the passage of time and the inescapable change it brings, as well as a sense of place, in and out of prison.

The project is the outcome of a correspondence initiated with a friend and local preacher who was arrested on his fiftieth birthday for a crime he had committed in his mid-teens.  The resulting project documents a year spent in prison in Britain in 2016.

Instead of focusing on the violence, drug abuse and overcrowding in British prisons which dominate our biased documentaries and mediated images, this project explores the accounts of the opportunities prisoners take to improve their skills sets.

During 2016, those life-affirming experiences described in the letters, were also starting to emerge in the work of practising photographic artists like Edmund Clark and Jennifer Wicks.

In an increasing number of prisons, gardening is being considered a form of therapy for the inmates’ wellbeing.  The Royal Horticultural Society, for example, awards the Windlesham Trophy annually to the best prison garden in England and Wales.  As is the case with developing prisoners’ skills sets, you will not see this in the mass media because it is not a sensational topic.

White dominates in this project because the correspondence shows that there is a metaphorical light in prison in the form of opportunities offered to inmates to progress in their life’s journey, and that there is goodness in their being.  More and more writers, artists, criminologists and prison governors realise that the answer to society’s ills is not to build bigger and bigger prisons, and fill them, like warehouses, with all the worst parts of us.

Exhibition budget:

Music and creative writing commissions: £2000

Marketing:                                                          £150

Opening event reception:                                  £50

Image printing:                                                    £50

Bulldog clips: 24 x £10                                        £25

Hiring projector for 2 weeks: (Discounted?)£200

Book: 20 x Self made, 20 page books             £400

Quilt material: Textile                                        £20

Cyanotype  chemicals                                          £30

Total outlay:                                                                             £2925

Time and services in kind:

My stewarding 10days x 6hrs x £20/hr          £1200

My administration 10 days x 6hrs                   £1200

Development of an audio app. free.

Outreach: *  Meet the artist where I will talk

about my correspondence with a prisoner

in HMP Dartmoor. 2 hours x £20/hr                  £40

Both these last ‘expenses’ are held in

what used to be a culturally deprived

area of Plymouth.  This exhibition

is making people aware of prison images

not normally in the headlines. (6 hours)         £120

Gallery hire:   Free in exchange for outreach

University of Plymouth app development.

Total cost in kind:                                                                 £2360

*  A day’s awareness of prison life.

Exhibition timeline:

2019:  July 12th: Exhibition closes with the auction of the quilt.

July 11th: Workshop at “The Cells” on a topic related to prisoner rehabilitation:possibly making a quilt like those made by OCA tutor Michele Whiting, involving the local community.

July 4th: Artist’s talk at “The Cells”.

July 1st:  Exhibition opening event 6 – 8pm in “The Cells” Devonport, Plymouth.  All the invited guests will have been involved with the project, the prison, the local community, local galleries, news outlets and arts centres, as well as OCA students and tutors interested in the project.

June 30th: Set up the exhibition.

June 26th: Test audio & visual equipment in situ.

June 11th: Final leaf collection & complete the plant material installation (after Rebecca  Louise Law)

June: early: make the last cyanotype for the quilt & stitch it into the quilt.

April: Start assembling the installation of leaves.

April 25th: Final material collection for the Spring paste & prints.

March: Hand in Assignment 4

February: Apply for funding: Arts Council England  et al.

January: Start putting the quilt cyanotype squares together.

December: The Photographers’ Gallery: Folio Fridays. TBA

December 10th: Hand in assignment 3

December: Make quilt cyanotypes from LandWorks images on white cotton.

November:   Test the BoW at the OCA SW exhibition in Bristol (20th- 25th).

November: Portfolio reviews: Look out for TPG Dec. date.

October 4th:  Hand in Assignment 2

September: Contact T.Clarke at 1000 Words Magazine for the £45 portfolio review.

”         Contact inthein-between.com for portfolio review $50

(1466 words)

Reflection on the work:

I am not sure how to resolve the body of work for 3 main reasons:

  •  Because I want to realise a conceptual documentary, using the actual prison images is for me too literal.  In a recent talk at her exhibition venue, Helen Sear said her work cannot be seen as documentary because she has edited it all.
  • Because of the conclusion to my CS essay deals with the idea that prisons are filled with all the worst parts of each one of us, my fault line images become significant in what I want to say through the work on prisons.
  • Because the place and time are significant factors in One Year, my prints made of local organic and mineral matter and the leaves become significant benchmarks.

I want to retain the following aspects:

  •  the audio aspect of the work as it is using QR codes / an app referencing my ‘official / professional website which I still need to create.
  • the quilt & the plant material references in it.
  • the use of tracing paper for its ephemeral / brittle qualities reflecting the passage of time.
  • the creation of a piece of commissioned music for the exhibition.