This SYP module and beyond

I finished this module in December 2019 so all that follows was written and analysed before that time.

This is principally my final module for the OCA Photography degree pathway which I started when I retired from teaching languages in 2011.

The results of my Contextual Studies and BoW assessments can be seen here.

The developments from my body of work are also on my website:

Although this blog started its life as the SYP platform, it will also hold some projects and ideas I have developed since graduating in 2020.

Artist’s statement

Using photography, film, poetry and dye painting, One Year explores the real life experiences of a prisoner who spent 2016 in HM Prison Dartmoor.

The body of work plays with truth and fiction in that, not being able to go into working prisons, Anna photographed prison images in recently decommissioned Victorian prisons, similar to HMP Dartmoor, which were open to the public.

The inspiration for this work came from a series of letters from Ian, a 50-year-old local preacher who was incarcerated for a crime he had committed in his mid-teens.

These letters, written from ‘inside’, paint a very different picture of the UK prison system from that which is often portrayed in the media.  They depict experiences of personal development through therapeutic and rehabilitative practices and a particularly acute sense of place and time.   

The organic and mineral material used in this project came from outside HMP Dartmoor.

The work

The subject for this module is carried over from Body of Work and Contextual Studies and is still UK prisons and prisoner identity but the focus is on developing an aspect of the Body of Work and publicising the work in various forms.  Given the many valid reasons for setting up prison gardens, that is the aspect of the work that I thought I would develop .​  My tutor for this module is Helen Warburton.

Anxious to see how the work would hang, I designed a maquette of the exhibition space in The Cells, Plymouth,  which has been booked for the first two weeks in July 2019.  

The Cells – Plymouth gallery.

Both the gallery manager and I were thrilled that I could use the space to display my prison images.  The Cells were part of the magistrates court complex in the Devonport Guild Hall in Plymouth. Today, the magistrates court has been turned into an informal restaurant and the largest of the three cells is used as a meeting space while the other two are part of the gallery.

The maquette: entrance to the gallery space.

Although I have my maquette, it may still change as the module and my ideas develop.

The gallery is split into natural segments which will allow / encourage me to separate the presentation into images (long corridor), projected video clips (left cell) and the LandWorks quilt project (right cell).
The outside of the former Devonport Guildhall which now houses The Cells Gallery.


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