The prison project

Virgoe, April (2016) The prison project. [Artefact]

Abstract

The output is a series of artefacts comprising small scale smoke stencil drawings, produced specifically for a cell in the disused Dean Road Prison in Scarborough. Research process: The drawings are informed by a previous visit to the Barracks at Berwick-upon-Tweed, in which drawings and messages were stencilled onto the ceilings by soldiers. The drawings are made by holding a flame beneath the stencil, leaving a sooty deposit. This method became part of a working practice for a series of drawings which were included in the Scarborough Prison Project. Research insights: The drawings responded to the nature of the architectural spaces of the prison whilst imagining spaces of transition and escape. The use of smoke suggests an impermanence and provisionality, and the marking of time. The work was presented as part of a group exhibition of site responsive drawing projects in the cells of the Victorian prison. Dissemination: The drawings were disseminated as part of the ‘Scarborough Prison Drawing Project’ at Dean Road Prison, Scarborough, 12-14 February 2016. The work was also disseminated through an accompanying exhibition catalogue: The project was sponsored by Arts Council England, Coastival and Scarborough Borough Council.

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