Reworked Assignment 5

Publication evaluation and preparing for assessment.

  1. How have you resolved your major publication? Justify your particular choices relating to its publication.

The resolution of the body of work “One Year” 

““Ian’s remarkable letters, written over a period of one year, show how unremarkably normal prison life can be, and how strongly he felt a sense of time and place.” (Preamble to the book One Year designed for the exhibition.)

The feedforward I had from the OCA assessment stated: “the three elements that you have included, the photographs, plant samples and letters do not quite gel together as a completely resolved piece of work. We were left looking for clues as to how these things connect, perhaps something in the letters or an element within an image.”   

The assessors based their conclusions on 30 A3 prints and a Blurb book containing images of each of the 35 pages of Ian’s 9 letters, interspersed seemingly randomly with images of leaves and places in decommissioned prison buildings.

In Part 1 of Sustaining Your Practice we are asked to have our work reviewed by professionals in the industry.  Accounts of the eight reviews of my work are registered under the BoW Development section of my blog.   The resolution of my project is based largely on the feedback from these reviews, and a deeper analysis of the contents of Ian’s letters.

The resultant publication was a mixed media, multi sensory exhibition held in a former Victorian holding cells complex in Plymouth over two weeks in July 2019.

Guiding its curation was a statement by curator supremo Hans Ulrich Obrist that: “ an exhibition is not an illustration. … it does not, ideally, represent the thing it purports to be ‘about’ …  Exhibitions, I believe, can and should go beyond simple illustration or representation. They can produce reality themselves.” (Obrist 2014 p168).

The exhibitions which have influenced my practice are:Anna Boghiguian – Cardiff Artes Mundi 8 2018, and her 2019 retrospective at Tate St IvesEdmund Clark  “In Place of Hate” 2018, Anni Albers at Tate Modern and Noémie Goudal’s ‘Soulèvements’ 2018.   

  1. The letters:

An analysis of Ian’s letters, the vital core of this project, revealed three binaries contained within the paradox that ‘the prison wall that separates connects’.  To create a new reality with these  would, arguably, effect a resolution of my project: 

            (a)  call and response–  my letters to Ian and his replies

            (b)  inside-outside inherent in the methodology of the project –   Michel Foucault’s ‘heterotopia’ – prison as a world-within-a-world 

            (c)  time and place – basis of Ian’s prison experience.

Figure 1: A Venn diagram of the interrelationship of the binaries involved in the publication. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

To allow the letters to gel with the rest of the work, I decided to present them in three ways: 

  • in a book; 
  • as a recording, playing from one of the cells and to be heard by visitors in the rest of the space; 
  • printed on tiles, interspersed with the diptychs.

Call and response:

  • Ian’s letters always began with a reference to my letter to him. 
  • I therefore selected some of my letters and Ian’s responses to them and put them in the new handmade book to replace the Blurb book.

Inside-outside:

  • My letters came from the outside and concerned the outside while referencing the inside I could not see; Ian’s were from the inside and concerned the inside, while referencing the outside he saw indistinctly.  
  • I resolved this by making diptychs which had a constant layout: outside references on the left and inside references on the right, simultaneously linked and separated by a space.  
Figure 2: An example of a diptych. © Anna Goodchild 2019
  • a botanical image taken at different times in the year referenced the outside; images I made in decommissioned, Victorian prisons, or of Ian’s hands, referenced the inside.
  • The new book was informed by the 16 resulting diptychs, 12 of which were in the exhibition.  
  • the book layout follows a set, rhythmical pattern: 

                    diptych/s, 

                    letter from me, 

                    full-bleed landscape diptych which contains Ian’s reply. 

Figure 3: My first card to Ian in the new book.© Anna Goodchild 2019.
Figure 4:  Ian’s first letter to me sewn in the spine of the full-bleed, landscape orientated, prison image diptych. © Anna Goodchild 2019.
Figure 5:  Ian’s letter, sewn in the spine and partially opened. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Time and place:

  • Referenced in all the letters – mine and Ian’s.
  • Markers of time: the dates; the seasons; religious festivals; the weather; timing of family and pastoral visits; the sentence spent and still to be spent; celebrations missed on the outside.
  • Markers of place: the cells; prison practices; the flu epidemic which happened in prison but not outside it; food; régime; conditions in the prison; questions about what is going on outside / inside; the different courses Ian undertook in tiling, maths, religious studies and accounting; the different jobs he had which he would not have done had he not been there; my activities.                                                                      
  • The botanicals:
  • My cards to Ian always had images I had taken of what Ian would have been familiar with in and around his hometown.
  • Ian’s responses contained references to nature, the seasons or the climate. 
  • The leaves in my Blurb book focused on the Handkerchief tree because of its symbolism of surrender and because the leaf-like petals (bracts), once dried, could not be distinguished from the leaves, just as prisoners do not look any different from non-prisoners.  As this analogy seemed too remote and ineffective, I changed my approach:
  • I photographed plant life outside Dartmoor prison which 

became the image of a plant / leaf in the diptychs.  The prison image referenced a learning activity mentioned in a letter written at the same time of the year as the plant / leaf was growing. That way, I could link the outside to the inside, the letter to the plant life, and time (of year) to place.

  • Following a study event in London in July 2018, I discovered that I could produce a dye which represented what plant and mineral elements were available in a specific place, at a specific time. I therefore decided to collect mineral and plant material that I could find outside the prison during the middle month of every season. 
Figure 6:  Photographed outside the Dartmoor prison entrance to show how nature itself was changing over time, these botanicals were then used to make a seasonal dye. © Anna Goodchild 2019.
  • This practice being more general than the specific plant specimens identified in the diptychs, required a more general presentation. I decided to make images of the dye paintings I had produced from the botanicals.
Figure7 These are photographs of some of the dye paintings for each season.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Having been told by a prisons solicitor that they reminded her of the faeces which some prisoners smeared over their walls which Ian never mentioned in his letters, I decided to modify how I presented this idea of a place in time.  

Figure 8:  These are the Field Maple leaf prints used as the book title and on the drapes hanging in the exhibition space.© Anna Goodchild 2019.
 Figure 9:  I used the Field Maple leaf which grows on two trees flanking the entrance to Dartmoor prison as a template to lay over the dye paintings in Photoshop and so produce an image of the dye paintings in the shape of a maple leaf.(C) Anna Goodchild 2019.
  • I used the four seasons’ maple leaf prints instead of using text for the title of the book, One Year
 Figure 10: Book cover where an image in a window replaces text for the title. © Anna Goodchild 2019.
Figure 11: The maple leaf motifs on the drapes hanging at regular intervals so that people had a feeling of walking through time. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

                         

3. The images:

Not being a prisoner or employed by the prison service, I could not go inside HM Prison Dartmoor to photograph those specific spaces referred to in Ian’s letters.  The images are, therefore, of the unseen.

I went to decommissioned Victorian prisons which were open to a paying public in South West England: Bodmin, Shepton Mallet, Gloucester and Shrewsbury.

There not being any workshops open in these prisons, I went to the ones in LandWorks – a charity where prisoners on day release go to learn horticultural, pottery and woodworking skills – where I photographed the elements for my quilt.

At Stephen Burke’s observation that Ian, the person, was missing from the images (See Third Review), and not wanting to photograph Ian’s face to protect his privacy, I photographed his hands.  Having seen ‘Armed Force, 2010’, a study by Alex Von Gelder of Louise Bourgeois’ hands, I found them as expressive of character as faces can be:                                                                                                      

Figure 12:  By including Ian’s hands in the work, I could bring in that human element which is a strong sub-text in my work but never directly referenced in an image. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

The final publication brought all these elements together in this way:

Twelve A3+ diptychs, representing the inside-outside, call and response binaries reflecting time and place were hung on the walls outside the cells.  Five ceramic tiles, each with a page of Ian’s letters referencing his learning and tiling courses, were interspersed between these.

Figure 13 : The ceramic tiles gave the visitors another way to access the contents of the letters. © Ulrike Hennesen 2019.

A friend who had made several books helped me make mine: 

          Figure 14: The book on a lectern in a protected corner of the space. 
         © Anna Goodchild 2019.

This book contains principally16 diptychs, 6 of which are full-bleed and in landscape orientation.  Six of my letters are each immediately followed by full-bleed diptychs, in the middle of which Ian’s replies are stitched.  The replies are camouflaged in the spine of the book, making the reader look to find them. 

The film Doing Time is shown in one of the two cells.  It concerns inside-outside (physical and emotional) metaphors: an apple tree in each season forms a leitmotif over which time-related elements are interspersed. (See the third film)

                         Figure 15:  The first cell showing the film ‘Doing Time’ in 
                         which I collaborated with OCA music student
Deborah Johnson. © Anna Goodchild 2019.
Figure 16:The second cell, a reflective space, has a metal bed on which is the cyanotype quilt referencing the horticultural aspects of prisoner rehabilitation and Anna Atkins’ historical botanical cyanotypes.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

The square cells of the quilt, echoing prison cells, have plant life at different stages of development.  On the wall on the left are 2 Leporellos of the facsimiles I made of the 140 cards Ian received while inside; on the right wall are descriptions of the elements in the cell(Appendix 4); a crucifix Ian made in his tiling class; a bedside table on which are prison-issue toiletries and the Bible; a table with the reflections book; an MP3 player above the door playing recordings of Ian’s letters read by Kevin Parr.

Figure 17  : The reflections cell showing the position of the speaker. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

                 

Figure 18:Between the two cells is a vitrine with the dyes, images of the seasonal botanicals used to make the dyes, and minerals used.  Above the vitrine is an image of the area outside the entrance to HM Prison Dartmoor where I found the Field Maple leaves and the dye material. © Anna Goodchild 2019 (Left.) © Ulrike Hennesen 2019 (Right).

Opposite the Winter drape is an image of a Dandelion on the granite prison wall, echoing the lace of the drape and the subtitle of the project ‘Transcending prison walls’.  The different seasonal drapes run the full length of the exhibition space reminding the visitors that they are walking through time while they can hear Ian’s letter recordings.

Figure 19: The Dandelion transcending the granite prison wall.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

              

Near the entrance to the exhibition are the artist statement, the press release, the game cards and the table with drawing materials for the children visiting.   

B.  Evaluate your efforts to engage an audience with your major project and related themes.

To engage an audience I:

  • spoke about my project at OCA SW meetings & to fellow photographers.
  • wrote and asked about it on the student forums 
  • in February, May and June I sent invitations to 200 people: students, tutors, industry professionals, gallerists and those linked to the prison service.
  • displayed posters and left flyers around the venue and at the university, art college, all the galleries and art suppliers in the city.
  • Made a speech at the opening event (Appendix 3)
  • sent press releases to the BBC in Plymouth & the Plymouth Herald.
  • advertised on Facebook (Appendix 1) and Twitter.
  • responded to a call by the music department of OCA to collaborate on a personal project: Deborah Johnson wrote music for my film.
  • made a card game which involved the visitors actively with the images .
Figure 20:  Front and back of a typical card given to the visitors so they could join in the game to match the extract to an element in one of the diptychs. © Anna Goodchild  2019.
  • engaged with LandWorks to auction the quilt

Outcomes:

  • 54 people came to the opening event aged 17 – 95 years.
  • 50 people wrote in the reflections book.
Figure 21:  A visitor writing her reflection in the cell. © Anna Goodchild 2019.
  • 1 child made a drawing.
Figure 22:  A child drawing her response to what she had seen. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

            

  • 168 visitors came to the exhibition and over 200 watched a video I made of it on Facebook.
  • 4 people were repeat visitors and 6 had come via recommendations by friends.
  • One visitor, a painter who came back 3 times, asked me if I would like to collaborate with her on her MA in 2020.
  • 11 OCA students visited the exhibition.
Figure 23: Two OCA students chatting.  © Ulrike Hennesen 2019.

             

  • Many visitors commented positively on the music collaboration and an 18month-old child stood mesmerized by it and watched the 6 minute video 3 times and then came back the second week and ran straight to the film room.
Figure 24:  18 month-old Dexter transfixed by the music and the horses on ‘Doing Time’
© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Evaluation:

  • What went well: 

              email invitation strategy.

                 the visitors engaged very positively with all aspects 

                   Facebook advertising and feedback.

                  The music collaboration engaged viewers aged 18 

                  months to 95 years.                  

                  The venue, Victorian holding cells, was perfect.

                  It was terrific to be asked to collaborate on an MA project.

                  The card game was a lot of fun.

  • What could have been better: 

                  I should have repeated my approaches to the press.

                  I should have given the flyers to people rather than leaving 

                  them in strategic places.

C. Reflect on the feedback you documented throughout the publication of the work and describe how you might either develop and / or promote the work further.

Feedback came in the form of written reflections in the books; a drawing; conversations; observations; blogposts ( Reviews below); emails and Facebook responses (Appendices 8, 9, 10).

Positive feedback:

  • Excellent visitor interaction – physical and reflective – with the material.
  Figure 25:  Visitors interacted with the material aspect of the exhibition.   © Ulrike Hennesen 2019
  • A Guild Hall blog: ‘ This exhibition is meticulously crafted and intricately layered, giving visitors the opportunity to reflect on their own unintended preconceptions of prisoners through images, film, sound and poetry; all displayed in our Historic Cells which in Anna’s own words “couldn’t have been a better space to show the work”’;
  • At the opening event, one of the guests, a former gallery owner in Penzance, asked if the exhibition was going anywhere else because she felt that the work needed to be seen by a wider audience.  As I replied there was no such plan, one of the guests, an artist, made suggestions of spaces which would welcome it. 
  • Visitors enjoyed the fun element of the card game. 
  • Great reviews on student blogs and Facebook.
  • Many visitors, old and young, closed the cell door while they were in it and reflected on how small and claustrophobic the space is.  
  • It also made many visitors reflect on the loss of their freedom they take for granted.
  • Amid the many comments about the ‘thought-provoking’ aspects, were comments like “It’s very peaceful in here” and “It’s strange – you just don’t know this goes on in prisons.”
  • A quilter was very excited and curious about the cyanotypes and wanted references on the process & its exponents.
  • At the New Music Collective Collaboration performanceson 20thJuly in London, music student Deborah Johnson and I performed my poem One Year  (Appendix 5) set to music composed by Deborah.   The response was encouraging – people asked where else the exhibition was showing.
  •  I was commissioned by OCA Edge-zine to contribute to the next issue on Time.  Deborah and I contributed another collaboration giving zine their first music item.  Making  3 collaborative projects.
  • The charity LandWorks is auctioning my quilt at their autumn outreach and will get matched funding for the amount they raise from it.

What could have gone better:

  • my video making and bookbinding skills. 
  • I should have checked the humidity of the space beforehand.
Figure 26 : Two days after having put up the free-standing prints with bulldog clips attached to twine from the picture rail, I saw they had all warped in the very humid space. I therefore had to put wooden batons across the tops and bottoms to straighten them. ©  Anna Goodchild 2019

Plans to take the work forward:

  • Submit Time to Edge-zine.  
  • Attend the quilt auction. 
  • Prepare for HM Prison Channings Wood exhibition of One Year.
  • Visitor-artist Richard Sunderland, in relating the curation to the instructions-based one-minute sculptures of Erwin Wurm, asked a very pertinent question: “How would you curate this exhibition if it was not in a prison context? What instructions would you leave for someone else to curate it?” Excellent questions to take forward. 

Judging by the feedback, there is no doubt that the venue, echoing Ian’s world historically and architecturally, was pivotal in creating Obrist’s conceptual ‘new reality’. 

Derrida’s comment on what photography does, closely relates to this project:   

“Photography always bears witness by interrogating us: What is an act of witnessing?  Who bears witness to what, for whom, before whom?    The witness is always singular, irreplaceable, unique.”   (Derrida 2010 p.xxiv) 

Ian’s unique witnessing, photographed here in a multiplicity of ways, and his written reflection, makes us ask the same questions of the exhibition.  

Each visitor, including Ian, became the exhibition’s ‘singular, irreplaceable, unique witness’ by creating images of her / his own:

  • Sue: “it has  …overturned my narrow stereotyped view of those individuals who are unable to fit into the expected roles of our society.”(Appendix 2)
  • Jenny: “Strange how the juxtaposition of non-human nature – the buds and twigs and leaves – with the human constructs – particularly the aerial view of the prison, like a section through a robot eyeball – humanises the place and its inmates.”  (Appendix 2)
  • Anne B, “Ian’s words as I sit and write this add an extra dimension and bring the project alive, as does the film as it emphasises the passage of time.”
  • Kevin: “An amazing space filled with poignant reflection”
  • Pete: “Thought provoking and engaging … I realise that I had forgotten everything else running through my head whilst here!”
  • Richard K: “I was aware of the passage of time … we all, maybe in our older years mark the passage of the months with the expectation of the next phase; from bare branches to the first sign of blossom, the first leaf, the first birds and so on.  In enclosed surroundings prisoners are deprived of these markers.  That would be a major deprivation…. But the passing of time, the counting off the days, the months is a sadness.  It is a day closer to release but a day closer to the end of life.”
  • Tess:  “I love being able to go wherever I like, whenever I like.  The thought of being cooped up in this tiny space would drive me crazy, but maybe in time this space would become a small bit of sanctuary from the rest of the prison world?”(Appendix 2)
  • Jen: “Very encouraging to hear a positive attitude towards prison and the rehabilitation work on offer.”(Appendix 2)
  • Richard (Appendix 6) refers to the exhibition as a ‘time-capsule’; 
  • Carmen “The mixed-media approach … makes for such an engaging viewer experience and it all hangs together, reinforcing so well the separation / connection / time elements of your study.” (Appendix 2)
  • Ian: “The audio of the letters being played in an actual cell similar to where they were written was particularly poignant.” (Appendix 7)
Figure 27: Ian’s reflection in the book. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Presenting the letters in three different ways arguably ensured that their unique contents would be noted.   Curating One Year in former Victorian prison cells allowed all the elements to coalesce into that Obrist reality, a ‘time capsule’, enabling the visitors to be part of that separation which unites the inside with the outside.

Figure 28: Venn diagram, housed in the perimeter of HMP Dartmoor, depicts the project resolution. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

          

Overall word count:                                                             4375

Headings, subheadings, citations and figure descriptions: 2351

Total word count:                                                                2024.

Preparing for assessment

What to send:

Box 1: The maquette as it formed a pivotal role in how I saw the spaces available 

            and therefore how I curated those spaces.

Box 2: Photography box: 

The tiles set in A3+ polystyrene sheets.

The drapes

Two reflections books

Two Leporellos

One Year book

            A3+ clam shell box containing:

                        14 A3+ BoW diptychs

                        5 mini ring binders containing: 

                              (a) developments of cyanotypes; 

                              (b) artist’s statement & other exhibition interpretations; game card; 

                                   souvenir card; opening event photos and Polaroids; 

                              (c) Publicity materials; 

                              (d) assignments and tutor reports; 

                                Photo grids of the vitrine and the quilt.

                        Black A4 box with transcripts of Ian’s letters.

Bibliography:

Clark, E 2018. In Place of Hate. IKON.

Cregg, M 2015. Midlands. Martin Cregg (Self published)

Derrida,J 2010. Copy, archive,signature: a conversation on photography. Stanford.

Obrist, H U 2014. Ways of curating. Penguin Books.

Exhibition catalogue:

Castello di Rivoli. 2017. Anna Boghiguian. SKIRA.

Websites:

https://www.xavierhufkens.com/artists/erwin-wurm

Article:

Click to access foucault1.pdf

Reviews:

https://devonportguildhall.org/2019/07/02/transcending-prison-walls/

https://hazel281660.blogspot.com/2019/07/anna-goodchilds-exhibition-one-year.html

Appendices:

  1. Viewings of the film of the exhibition:

2. Some of the 50 reflections in the books:

3. Exhibition speech.

4. The Cell / Reflection room:

5. Collaboration notes:

https://annasyp.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/reflections-on-the-new-music-collective-collaboration-experiment/

6. Transcript of Richard’s reflection:

“They filtered through what seemed a solid interface ..” (quotation from the poem “One Year”)

“They filtered” is many layered, transparent, translucent and sometimes, opaque, for me like a painting.

I am not consciously seeing through the format of just one rather there are multiple formats that transform and question my perception not just of the real but also of the surreal, the symbolism and sense of time.  An exhibition or a time capsule and a history of served time. Congrats Anna”

7. Transcript of Ian’s reflection:

Having been involved from a quite early stage in the process of this piece of work, or rather, several pieces to make a whole, it has been exciting to see how things have evolved over time. Anna has shared ideas at all times with me and I was pleased to lend several things to add to the authenticity of the prison experience. The setting for the exhibition was very apt, giving some idea of the restrictiveness of the cells in their size. I had no preconceptions as to how the exhibition would be although I had been told about the space and seen a model of the area I didn’t quite grasp how things would work. The actual exhibition was well presented and used the space very well. The audio of the letters being played in an actual cell similar to where they were written was particularly poignant. The temperature reflected how it was during summer at Dartmoor again being of similar building material. It has been a great experience working with Anna on this project and would have pulled out if I felt I was being exploited or misrepresented. Well done Anna.

8. Review on FaceBook:

Tim Wayne

Friend · University College Falmouth

2 Jul ·  · Anna Goodchild introducing her fabulous, thought provoking exhibition in Devonport Guildhall last night. She is there for a fortnight – do go if you can.

9. Reviews on FB:

10. Email reviews:

11. Artist’s statement:

12. Press release:

Illustrations:

Page 2        Figure 1: A Venn diagram of the interrelationship of the binaries involved in the resultant publication. © Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 3        Figure 2: An example of a diptych. © Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 4        Figure 3: the book: My first card to Ian.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 4        Figure 4:  Ian’s first letter to me sewn in the spine of the full-bleed, landscape orientated, prison image diptych. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 5        Figure 5:  Ian’s letter, sewn in the spine and partially opened. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 6        Figure 6:  Photographed outside the Dartmoor prison entrance to show how nature itself was changing over time, these botanicals were then used to make a seasonal dye. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 6        Figure 7:These are photographs of the dye paintings for each season.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 7        Figure 8:  These are the Field Maple leaf prints used as the book title and on the drapes hanging in the exhibition space.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 7        Figure 9:  I used the Field Maple leaf which grows on two trees flanking the

entrance to Dartmoor prison as a template to lay over the dye paintings in Photoshop and so produce an image of the paintings in the shape of a maple leaf.(C) Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 8        Figure 10: Book cover where an image in a window replaces text for the title. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 8        Figure 11: The maple leaf motifs on the drapes hanging at regular intervals so that people had a feeling of walking through time. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 9       Figure 12: By including Ian’s hands in the work, I could bring in that human element which is a strong sub-text in my work but never directly referenced in an image.© Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 10      Figure 13: The ceramic tiles gave the visitors another way to access the contents of the letters.

© Ulrike Hennesen 2019.

Page 10     Figure 14: The book on a lectern in protected corner of the space. © Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 11      Figure 15:  The cell showing the film ‘Doing Time’ in which I collaborated with OCA music student Deborah  © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 12      Figure 16: The second cell, a reflective space, has a metal bed on which is the cyanotype quilt referencing the horticultural aspects of prisoner rehabilitation and Anna Atkins’ historical botanical cyanotypes.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 13      Figure 17. The reflections cell.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 13      Figure 18: Between the two cells is a vitrine with the dyes, images of the seasonal botanicals used to make the dyes, and minerals used.  Above the vitrine is an image of the area outside the entrance to HM Prison Dartmoor where I found the Field Maple leaves and the dye material. © Anna Goodchild 2019 (Left.) © Ulrike Hennesen 2019 (Right).

Page 14      Figure 19:  The Dandelion transcending the granite prison wall.© Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 15      Figure 20: Front and back of a typical card given to the visitors so they could join in the game to match the extract to an element in one of the diptychs. © Anna Goodchild  2011.

Page 15      Figure 21:  A visitor writing her reflection in the cell. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 16      Figure 22: A child drawing her response to what she had seen. © Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 16     Figure 23: Two OCA students chatting. © Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 17      Figure 24: 18 month-old Dexter transfixed by the music and the horses of ‘Doing Time’.© Anna Goodchild 2019.

Page 19     Figure 25:  Visitors interacted with the material aspect of the exhibition. © Ulrike Hennesen 2019

Page 19      Figure 26:  Two days after having put up the free-standing prints with bulldog clips attached to 

                    twine from the picture rail, I saw they had all warped in the very humid space. I therefore had to

                    put wooden batons across the tops and bottoms to straighten them. © Anna Goodchild 2019

Page 21     Figure 27: Ian’s reflection in the book. © Anna Goodchild 2019.  

Page 22      Figure 28: Venn diagram depicting the project resolution. © Anna Goodchild 2019

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Publication evaluation and preparing for assessment.

A.  How have you resolved your major publication? Justify your particular choices relating to its publication.

Introduction:

The publication was a mixed media, multi sensory exhibition held in a former Victorian holding cells complex in Plymouth over two weeks in July 2019.

Guiding its curation was a statement by curator supremo Hans Ulrich Obrist that:“ an exhibition is not an illustration. … it does not, ideally, represent the thing it purports to be ‘about’ …  Exhibitions, I believe, can and should go beyond simple illustration or representation. They can produce reality themselves.” (Obrist p168).

With these ideals in mind and with inspirational exhibitions by Anna Boghiguian (Cardiff Artes Mundi 8 2018),and her retrospective at Tate St Ives, Edmund Clark (Birmingham “In Place of Hate” 2018) and Noémie Goudal’s ‘Soulèvements’ (2018) fresh in my mind, I embraced the space I had with its serendipitous historical links but some limitations, and spread my wings.

The resolution of the body of work “One Year” 

The feedforward I had from the OCA assessment stated: “the three elements that you have included, the photographs, plant samples and letters do not quite gel together as a completely resolved piece of work. We were left looking for cluesas to how these things connect, perhaps something in the letters or an element within an image.”   The assessors had one book with images of all of Ian’s letters plus random images of leaves and prisons on which to base that judgement.  

The review I had from LensCulture of my ‘Fault Lines’ work echoed the OCA assessors’ comments: ”I feel there is some cohesion on different levels within this work  … I can find the aesthetic and conceptual lines that are drawing the work together. However, I feel the key to a submission like this… is that you can’t lose the jurors anywhere in the process of looking at your work. In other words, they can’t get too confused…”

Consequently, I had to be more coherent in my expression and more cohesive in my presentation.  

On reflection, there were three binaries at play in my project: the ‘call and response’ between Ian and me, the Foucauldian ‘world within a world’ heterotopic inside and outside, and ‘place and time’, a constant in Ian’s letters. 

The ‘call and response’ and the ‘inside-outside’ concepts are resolved in my book which was part of the exhibition.    All the exhibition images are in the book and are interspersed with my letters to Ian, followed by Ian’s replies which are camouflaged in the full-bleed diptychs.  The inside-outside heterotopia is present in the duality of the diptychs, with the gap between them representing the separating yet linking prison wall. 

Figure 1

The insert design is inspired by the book “Midlands” by Martin Cregg which I bought at PhotoIreland in 2018.  I did not want the integrity of the diptychs to be compromised so they had to be on a facing A4 page, 

Figure 2

while in the inserts pages, the spine could break the landscape orientation to encase the reply from the inside, from the heart of an element contained in the letters.

My letter to Ian:

Figure 3

Ian’s reply is camouflaged in the next page – a full-bleed diptych:

Figure 4

Ian’s ‘letter from the ‘inside’ partially opened up:

Figure 5

The ‘inside’ prison photographs had to be of the unseen because I was neither a prisoner nor an employee of the prison service and so could not go into Ian’s world.   The ‘outside’ plant material was taken from outside HM Prison Dartmoor or from Ian’s hometown, in the middle month of every season and processed, in natural light, back at base.  

At the FORMAT reviews of my work in February 2019,I agreed with the comments made by 2 of the reviewers that the book I had was “too corporate: the glossy, white pages, cover and the pagination reflected a corporate publication rather than a personal reflection on a prisoner’s year’s experience in a Victorian prison.”  A cloth cover was suggested and matte paper.  There were no vanity publishers which met my needs and I could not afford a commercial publisher so I went solo.  I wanted a landscape orientation in A4 format so I needed a matte paper 60cm wide, coated on both sides to give a spine that did not interfere with the integrity of the diptychs. 

When I asked Stephen Burke of GRAIN to review my work, he said that there were no images of Ian in the mix.  That was mainly because I had only considered face portraits to identify Ian.  On reflection, I remembered seeing Alex Von Gelder’s photographs of Louise Bourgeois’ hands, ‘Armed Force, 2010’, which I found as expressive of character as faces can be:

Figure 6

By including Ian’s hands in the work, I could bring in that human element which is a strong sub-text in my work but never directly referenced.

Figure 7

In her feedback to my assignment 4, tutor Gerry Ryan states:

“Essentially the remarkable letters, which are incredibly evocative of how weirdly normal prison life is and of the weird sense of time as it is felt on a sentence, are the central point.”

In order for these letters to gel with the rest of the work, I decided to have them presented in three ways:  in a book (see above); as a recording, playing from one of the cells and to be heard by visitors in the rest of the space; printed on tiles and interspersed with the diptychs.  

Visitors could read pages from the letters on tiles which were interspersed with the diptychs, and secured with magnets to the trunking.

Five pages of the letters were printed on ceramic tiles because Ian excelled in several tiling courses while inside.  

The recordings idea occurred after visitors had suggested it at the OCA SW exhibition in 2017 when I had originally presented my diptychs with text, 

Figure 8

reinforced when I had found the exhibition space and I realised I could put the speaker above the cell door: 

Figure 9

This epitomised the world-within-a-world idea because it was a recording of life in a Victorian prison in 2016, played in a Victorian prison to an ‘outside’ audience in 2019.  

I made the most of the trunking which restricted the use of the wall space, by resting the tiles on it, and held them in place with magnets.    The restricted wall space meant that I could print my images at A3+ size and they would not be dwarfed.  The armchair and sofas restricted the floor space but they also helped people who wanted to spend more time looking, reflecting and listening.  

Figure 10

The plant material

In July 2018, I attended the ‘Art and Environment’ study days with OCA tutors Dan Robinson and Melissa Thompson in London, where one of the activities was to make dyes with the material available at the South London Botanical Institute.  I realised that the dyes represented what was growing at that time of the year and in that place and, therefore, that I could resolve the problem of how to represent a place in time, crucial in Ian’s letters. 

Figure 11

These are photographs of the dye paintings for each season:

Figure 12

These are the Field Maple leaf prints used as the book title and on the drapes hanging in the exhibition space:

Figure 13

At a study day in St Ives recently, one of the other students, a solicitor in the prison service, said that the ‘blobs’ reminded her of the faeces which some prisoners spread over their walls.  Realising that this was not appropriate to my project principally because Ian had never referred to this in his letters, I made the maple leaf images. I then had these printed on 4 banners which I would hang down the length of the exhibition space to mark the passage of time that visitors could walk through.

The lace on the drapes echoed the ‘grey gossamer granite’ of the poem.  The first drape was put opposite the image of the dandelion growing on the HM Prison Dartmoor wall.  Here the subtitle of the project ‘Transcending prison walls’ is referenced too. 

Figure 14

Before making the dyes, I photographed the botanicals used:

Figure 15
Figure 16

I used this material in two ways: (a) the diptychs were arranged around the space in chronological order, starting with those which had images of plants collected in winter because that is when I started writing to Ian, and finishing in Autumn because that was when he was released.

Figure 17

(b)  In the home-made vitrine, I included the dried plant material, images of the seasonal plants and dyes made from them, as well as crushed minerals found in the area. Directly above the vitrine, I put my image of the space from which I had gathered the botanicals and minerals, immediately outside the entrance to HM Prison Dartmoor.   The image is what Ian would have seen on his release late in November 2016.  I put an explanation of the vitrine and dyes beside the vitrine (Appendix 1)

Figure 18

The link between the cyanotype prints in the ‘cells’ on the quilt and the importance of gardening as a therapeutic practice in UK prisons was explained on a notice inside the cell. (Appendix 2) There is also a link with Anna Atkins’ plant cyanotypes.

The quilt in situ:

Figure 19

Detail of the quilt:

Figure 20

Another example of the inside-outside binary in the exhibition was the production of two leporellos of the facsimiles I had made of the 140 cards Ian had received in prison.   Using magnets, I put them above the desk as I imagined Ian would have arranged them.

Figure 21

The second cell in the space, again with a surface above the cell door on which to put a projector, gave me an opportunity to play with video and try out a compilation inspired by a video at the Helen Sear conference in 2018.  It plays with visual metaphors of inside and outside. 

Figure 22

B.  Evaluate your efforts to engage an audience with your major project and related themes.

The people I wanted to engage with were those, like me, who had fixed ideas about prisoners, and prisons and what goes on in them, with prejudices and impressions informed by the media, colouring how we see incarceration.  The location was ideal but out of the way, and the people who came ‘blind’ were locals or visitors interested in history. 

I sent out the invitations to the opening event in February, May and mid-June, and posted on Facebook as and when I thought appropriate.  The outcome was that 54 visitors arrived which meant that sending out repeated invitations worked.  

In the two weeks 168 visitors came and 200 + watched the video of the exhibition on Facebook.

Figure 23

 My press release went out in early June and then on the first Thursday of the exhibition, but I could not gauge the responses.  The gallery published my press release and had the poster and the flyer on their website with the poster on their main notice board and inside doors from early June. On the second day, the gallery manager wrote a blog on the work. (Guild Hall Blog review)  

Two weeks before the event, I put flyers through the doors of all the houses near the venue and at various strategic places in the city.  Those who came after the opening event were visitors to the listed building, 4 had heard of the exhibition by word of mouth or, on two occasions, had picked up a flyer at the university, six were repeat attenders, which was very encouraging. 

I put a ‘reflections book’ in the quilt cell, and drawing materials on a table for children to draw or write

Figure 24

For the last 2 days, I had to make a second reflections book, as the first one was full.

Figure 25

The conversations were mostly positive with only one exception.  At the opening night, a former solicitor in the prison service, commented that she thought I had made Ian a hero.  Mortified, I approached Ian and a visitor who was a magistrate and asked them if they thought that.  Both emphatically said ‘no’ so I was reassured that the welcoming address (Appendix 3) had not misled people. 

Figure 26: the magistrate’s reflection.

C.  Reflect on the feedback you documented throughout the publication of the work and describe how you might either develop and / or promote the work further.

As the following show, the feedback, which came in many forms, was largely positive with one dissenting voice. I agree with Carmen who implied that I need to improve my video making and bookbinding skills. Viewer interaction with the material was most encouraging.

Forms of feedback:

  • forty-nine reflections in the books; 
  • comments on Facebook posts; 
  • a blog on the Guild Hall website which stated: ‘ This exhibition is meticulously crafted and intricately layered, giving visitors the opportunity to reflect on their own unintended preconceptions of prisoners through images, film, sound and poetry; all displayed in our Historic Cells which in Anna’s own words “couldn’t have been a better space to show the work”’;
  • emails and cards sent to me after the event by those who did not get a chance to write in the books; 
  • conversations and spoken comments; 
  • observations on how the visitors were interacting with the material when told that they could touch the images – some did, tentatively.
  • At the opening event, one of the guests who is a former gallery owner in Penzance, asked if the exhibition was going anywhere else because she felt that the work needed to be seen by a wider audience.  As I replied there was no such plan at the time, one of the guests, an artist, made several suggestions of spaces locally which would be suitable.  She came back several times over the two weeks, and asked if I wanted to collaborate with her on her MA project.  I shall investigate these options after my work has been assessed.
Figure 27
  • Many visitors, old and young, actually closed the cell door while they were in it and reflected on how small and claustrophobic the space is.  
  • It also made many visitors reflect on the loss of their freedom, which they take for granted.
Figure 28
  • In this reflection, Carmen identifies that I need to improve my video making and my bookbinding.
  • Amid the many comments about the ‘thought-provoking’ aspects, were comments like “It’s very peaceful in here” and “It’s strange – you just don’t know this goes on in prisons.”
Figure 29
  • An 18 month old boy, Dexter, watched the video 3 times one week then came back the next week and went straight to the video cell to listen to the music and watch the horses! 
  • One 11 year old drew her version of the outside of HM Prison Dartmoor while her parents looked around the exhibition.
  • A quilter was very excited and curious about the cyanotypes and wanted references on how she could find out more about the process and exponents of it.
  • At the New Music Collective Collaboration performances on 20thJuly in London, music student Deborah Johnson and I performed my One Yearpoem (Appendix 4) set to music composed by Deborah.   The response there was most encouraging with people asking where else the exhibition was showing.
  •  I was commissioned by two editors of the OCA Edge-zine to contribute to the next issue which has Time as its theme.  Deborah and I worked out we could both contribute another collaboration which will give the zine their first music item. 
  •  LandWorks in Dartington are auctioning my quilt at their autumn outreach.  They will get matched funding for the amount they raise from it.

Conclusion

The different ways in which the letters, the primary source for the project, were presented in this exhibition, have arguably meshed into one the many strands of the binaries which made up its narrative.  The exhibition brought reactions from viewers of 18 months to 95 years old, some of whom noted my shortcomings.  

I believe too that the venue, echoing Ian’s world historically and architecturally, worked its magic in helping to create this new reality. 

Derrida’s comment on what photography does, closely relates to this project:   “Photography always bears witness by interrogating us: What is an act of witnessing?  Who bears witness to what, for whom, before whom?    The witness is always singular, irreplaceable, unique.”   (Derrida p.xxiv) 

Ian’s unique witnessing, here photographed in a multiplicity of ways, makes us ask the same questions of the exhibition.  The viewers become its singular, irreplaceable, unique witness, creating images of their own:

  • Sue: “it has  …overturned my narrow stereotyped view of those individuals who are unable to fit into the expected roles of our society.”
  • Jenny: “Strange how the juxtaposition of non-human nature – the buds and twigs and leaves – with the human constructs – particularly the aerial view of the prison, like a section through a robot eyeball – humanises the place and its inmates.”  This struck me because prisoners are so often portrayed as a sub-human species in the media. 
  • Anne B, sitting in the cell, hearing the recording of the letters: “Ian’s words as I sit and write this add an extra dimension and bring the project alive, as does the film as it emphasises the passage of time.”
  • Kevin: “An amazing space filled with poignant reflection”
  • Pete: “Thought provoking and engaging … I realise that I had forgotten everything else running through my head whilst here!”
  • Richard K: “I was aware of the passage of time … we all, maybe in our older years mark the passage of the months with the expectation of the next phase; from bare branches to the first sign of blossom, the first leaf, the first birds and so on.  In enclosed surroundings prisoners are deprived of these markers.  That would be a major deprivation…. But the passing of time, the counting off the days, the months is a sadness.  It is a day closer to release but a day closer to the end of life.”
  • Tess:  “I love being able to go wherever I like, whenever I like.  The thought of being cooped up in this tiny space would drive me crazy, but maybe in time this space would become a small bit of sanctuary from the rest of the prison world?”
  • Jen: “Very encouraging to hear a positive attitude towards prison and the rehabilitation work on offer.”
Figure 30

When Richard (Appendix 5) refers to the exhibition as a ‘time-capsule’, and Carmen writes “The mixed-media approach … makes for such an engaging viewer experience and it all hangs together, reinforcing so well the separation / connection / time elements of your study.”, it could be argued that the body of work has cohesion and coherence.

Word count 3034 of which 740 are quotations

Final word count: 2294

Bibliography:

Clark, E. 2018. In Place of Hate. IKON.

Cregg, M. 2015. Midlands. Martin Cregg (Self published)

Derrida,J. 2010. Copy, archive, signature: a conversation on photography. Stanford.

Obrist, H.U. 2014. Ways of curating. Penguin Books.

Exhibition catalogue:

Castello di Rivoli. 2017. Anna Boghiguian. SKIRA.

Article:

Click to access foucault1.pdf

Reviews:

https://hazel281660.blogspot.com/2019/07/anna-goodchilds-exhibition-one-year.html

A review by Paddy Howe on the OCA SW Facebook page.:

Paddy Howe’s review on OCA SW Facebook page:

With reference to Anna’s degree show, I would add that it was really well attended and crowded with, of course, a delicious selection of food with tea and coffee. Anna gave a welcoming speech and the curating was cleverly organised, one cell containing her video showing variations of time passing while ordinary life continued but was, however, interrupted for some at times, illustrated by inserted slow motion clips, and with atmospheric sound provided in collaboration with an OCA music student. We were each given a small card with an image of some aspect of the show and our task was to locate the original. Anna had produced a book that illustrated her project beautifully and her quilt, put together in collaboration with a textiles student, was displayed on a bed in a cell, in which her prison contact, Ian, was heard reading one of his letters to her with a voiceover read by Kevin Parr. The Bible that had sustained his faith throughout his imprisonment was on a bedside locker. The individual panels on the quilt had been produced by cyanotype from images of leaves used throughout the project to condense an essence of space and time and symbolising to me the frailty and brevity of life. Outside the cell, a case contained pigments that Anna had made from natural resources and used to print leaves on pieces of netting hanging in the room. I found these hangings disturbing as they interfered with my progress and interaction with other people, just as prison would have done for Ian. The venue was disturbingly apt for this as the building housed the holding cells for prisoners awaiting trial. These were horrifyingly medieval tiny dark, domed spaces without windows. Altogether the atmosphere of the place symbolised the claustrophobic world of prisoners, Ian in particular, and his letters explained a side of prison not generally well-known, addressing the positive aspects as well as the negative and made me rethink where my ignorance in other walks of life could house biases and prejudices. The overall complexity and variety that Anna had used succeeded in making the installation experience both personal and challenging. In Anna’s words, the project has ‘a life of its own.’ I know what she means as afterwards, I was left feeling as though I had been invited to hold a beautiful and gentle creature, only to discover that it had a sting in its tail and probably no antidote. For me, even though I have witnessed the individual aspects over the time, the effect of the final combination and presentation had a profound impact on my approach to life and art. I think Anna is to be congratulated on her extensive research and work, resulting in such a clearly encapsulated, engaging and challenging experience for the viewer.

Devonport Guild Hall Blog:

Appendix 1:

One Year

Doing Time

The film ‘Doing Time’ is an experiment in using visual metaphors to depict the rhythms, cycles and tempos of life inside and outside prison over a period of time.  

My collaboration with OCA music student, Deborah Johnson, came about partly from a call by the OCA Music department to visual arts students to collaborate with music students in a ‘performance project’, and partly from a desire on my part to have a music dimension to One Yearbecause of the rhythms and cycles implicit in the title.  Deborah and I will be performing a musical version of my poem in London on 20thJuly 2019.

Anna Goodchild

The botanicals vitrine

The grids show photographs of the plants, seeds and parts of plants collected and used in making the dyes stored here in the pots. I collected the plant and soil material in the middle month of each season from outside HM Prison Dartmoor, took it home, boiled it in water, salt and vinegar and made dye paintings with it. Using computer software, I then used a Field Maple leaf as a stencil template and made an image of the dye through the template – one for each season – representing a place in and over time.   The banners carry the images of the seasonal dyes made in a calendar year and are placed at regular intervals as visitors proceed through the exhibition.

Anna Goodchild

Appendix 2: 

The Cell / Reflection Room.

There is no intention here of depicting a typical prison cell.   Instead, this cell creates a space in which the implicit elements of this project can be represented.  It is also a space in which, like prisoners in their cells, visitors to the exhibition can reflect on their experiences.   

Elements in the cell:

1.          The LandWorks quilt:  Viewers will guess that prisoners are not issued quilts in prison :))  There is a charity ‘Fine Cell Work’ which“makes beautiful handmade products in British prisons. Teaching prisoners high-quality needlework boosts their self-worth, instils self-discipline, fosters hope and encourages them to lead independent, crime-free lives.”  They make quilts, for example,which they sell through their shop in London.  
Gardening in prisons is a therapeutic practice which also extends the skills sets of prisoners. 
The Dartington charity ‘LandWorks’ provides  ‘a supported route back into employment and community for those in prison or at risk of going to prison.’     In 2018, I was kindly allowed into LandWorks after working hours to make images of the plants grown there and of other skills which are encouraged there.                                                                                                                           The cyanotype images seen on the quilt were taken at LandWorks.  This quilt will be auctioned after the exhibition with all the money raised going to LandWorks to support their valuable enterprise.   
2.          The crucifix is a piece Ian created in his tiling classes.
3.          The Bible was given to Ian in HM Prison Exeter where he was held on remand.
4.          The toiletries on the little table are HM Prison Dartmoor issues.  
5.          The concertina books hold facsimiles of the 140 cards Ian received from friends and family during his year in jail.
6.          The booklet with a leaf cover is one in which visitors to the exhibition are invited to write their thoughts on what they have seen and heard.
7.          The recorded readings of Ian’s letters were very kindly done by Kevin Parr, husband of fellow OCA student Sue Parr. 
Anna Goodchild

Appendix 3:  

Welcoming address for the opening event of my degree exhibition.

Welcome ladies and gentlemen from the UK and Europe!

I am delighted to see so many friends here this evening who have come from Plymouth, Torquay, Paignton, Newton Abbot, Tavistock, Penzance, Falmouth, Bristol, Wellington, Bath, Gloucester, South Wales, Ireland and Germany.  I hope you will be touched in some way by what you see and hear.

The curatorial inspiration for this exhibition comes from curator supremo Hans Ulrich Obrist who, in 2014 stated:  “ an exhibition is not an illustration. … it does not, ideally, represent the thing it purports to be ‘about’ …  Exhibitions, I believe, can and should go beyond simple illustration or representation.  They can produce reality themselves.” (p168)

I agree, in part, with Obrist:  I believe that my exhibition captures the findings of my research but I also believe that it has a life of its own, that it is a thing in itself.  I hope that it invites the viewer to question the use not only of this space but also the juxtaposition of the inside with the outside, and the space in between.  I hope that it invites the viewers to engage with this reality in some way. 

The seed of this project was planted in my brain in August 2006 when I went to visit a member of our congregation in Exeter jail. While I was talking to Andrew in the chaplain’s office, I saw people walking on the landings in jeans and T shirts.  I asked the chaplain who they were and he replied that they were prisoners.  Shocked, I realized that I had come face-to-face with my prejudices. What did I expect prisoners to look like, to behave like, to wear?  Imagine my confusion at seeing, when I was out in the sunshine on the streets of Exeter, that everyone else was wearing jeans and T shirts too.

Fast-forward ten years, and another member of our congregation of Methodists, a friend and local preacher, Ian, is in Dartmoor prison. What is the church doing to us??? In between the two incidents, there is an increase in media coverage of the crime, riots, the black hole that is the UK prison system, and a new accepted genre of photography, ‘prison photography’ emerges. 

Indeed, one of the main obstacles in my progress towards developing my own individual body of work was that my subconscious was being ambushed constantly by media coverage of the darkness that is the UK penal system.

I started writing to Ian – that first letter was a very difficult letter to write – so it was ultra-brief – you’ll read it in the book – but Ian wrote back a long, newsy letter, describing what I thought was quite a banal existence, and the correspondence continued until his release late in November 2016.

When I read over those letters written during that one year of his prison sentence, I was aware that the image of prison they depicted was totally different from the prison photography fed to us day in, day out.  It coincided with my coming to the end of my college level 2 work so I read the letters once again and thought – nobody else has these letters, why don’t I do my major level 3 project on them? And so I asked Ian if I could use extracts from them, and Ian agreed – mercifully!

The images you see in this exhibition, spring from the themes that came out of Ian’s letters that you will hear read, superbly well by Kevin Parr, the husband of one of our college students: all the courses he did and passed, with distinction, his work in the kitchens, the chapel services and “choir” (Ian puts this in inverted commas!), the visits from his family, the weather, his awareness of the seasons that are passing while he is inside, his awareness also that, while he is inside, the world outside must be changing too but he doesn’t know how it is doing that.

In this exhibition, you can see and hear how I have interpreted and presented those ‘inside ‘ experiences.  There are two photographers I admire whose work and attitudes towards prisoners have influenced my project.  Edmund Clark spent 3 years as an artist in residence at HM Prison Grendon which is a therapeutic prison, and produced a multi-media exhibition titled “In place of hate”, while in her work “Us and Them”, Jennifer Wicks subverted the mugshot and made and presented portraits of inmates and staff in HM Prison Barlinnie in Glasgow.  She posed everybody in the same way: eyes closed and head tilted to the side.  The way Clark and Wicks see inmates as human beings reminds me of how I saw those people in jeans and T shirts in Exeter – should we make the distinction of ‘Them and Us”?  Yes, some of them have committed heinous crimes and they need to come to terms with what they have done, but we can all say “There but for the grace of God go I”, can’t we?  

Others who have influenced how this exhibition is put together are 1930s textile artist Anni Albers and, more recently, the multi media work of Anna Boghiguian in Cardiff for the Artes Mundi 8 exhibition and in St Ives, Cornwall.

My fellow photographers from Paignton and the college, and I went into decommissioned prisons that had been opened to the public. Of course, in order to draw in the crowds, the  company running the tours  wanted to propagate that same ideology of prisoners as a sub-human species, living in sub-human conditions  – after all, we all know what a prisoner looks like, don’t we?  Do we?  We know how badly they all behave all the time, don’t we?  Do we?   If I tell you that there are at least three ex-offenders at this exhibition tonight will you immediately interact differently with those around you whom you do not know?

I remember being in the servery of Shepton Mallet prison where the guide was telling us that prisoners are given a menu sheet from which they could choose one of 5 menus for the next day’s dinner.  One lady in our group was incandescent with fury “Why should they be given a choice?  Why can’t they just eat what they are given?  I had to when I was a little girl!”

What is different in this work from that produced by other artists is that it focuses on the concept of separation which unites a world within a world and the space in between.  

This is my first ever solo exhibition and I feel very privileged to have the means and opportunity to show my work.   Of course, without the technical know-how of my husband Steve, a lot of this would not have happened and I would be a jabbering wreck of a person stranded on an island of despair.   

I was thrilled when fellow student, Sarah told me last July about this space opening up as an exhibition space!  What a find!  I would like to thank Ruby Barter of the Devonport Guild Hall for her co-operation in making this exhibition possible. 

I collaborated with a musician for the first time ever and loved working with Deborah whom I met for the first time this evening.  Our collaboration is to continue on the 20thJuly in London as we are performing my poem with music composed by Deborah.  We are really looking forward to that. 

Of course if Ian had not been the person that he is, none of this would have been possible.  His trust in me was terrifying and his generosity of spirit humbling.

I would be very grateful indeed if, in the little book in the first cell, you could write your reflections on what you see and hear.

Unlike other exhibitions, here please feel free to touch the images – this is because I feel that a haptic interaction with an image is a sign that you have been drawn to it &, in my estimation, that makes it a successful image.

If you have any questions you can either ask now or find me later.

QU: from former Penzance gallery owner Diana Wayne: Are there any plans for this exhibition to go to other galleries?

Me: No, nobody has approached me yet, but we still have 2 weeks here.

DW: Because it needs to be seen by a far wider audience.

On FB: 

Tim Wayne

Friend · University College Falmouth

2 Jul ·  · Anna Goodchild introducing her fabulous, thought provoking exhibition in Devonport Guildhall last night. She is there for a fortnight – do go if you can.

Appendix 4: Collaboration performance link to blog: https://annasyp.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/reflections-on-the-new-music-collective-collaboration-experiment/

Appendix 5: Transcript of Richard’s reflection:

“They filtered through what seemed a solid interface ..” (quotation from the poem “One Year”)

“They filtered” is many layered, transparent, translucent and sometimes, opaque, for me like a painting.

I am not consciously seeing through the format of just one rather there are multiple formats that transform and question my perception not just of the real but also of the surreal, the symbolism and sense of time.  An exhibition or a time capsule and a history of served time. Congrats Anna”

Submissions for formal assessment:

  • 15 images including 13 diptychs
  • 2 images of the exhibition maquette
  • Exhibition card
  • Exhibition game card
  • Exhibition poster, flyer and invitation.
  • 1 book
  • 2 leporellos
  • 2 ring binders of work and resources
  • 2 note / sketch books
  • Assignments?
  • Tutor reports?
  • Artist’s statement
  • Exhibition Interpretations for the cells and the vitrine.
  • 4 printed drapes