Jenny Wicks:

This is a great article by Pete Brook about Working Spaces Punishing Spaces, the exhibition and the book.

Originally posted on Prison Photography:

RESIDENCY

Body orifice scanner and surveillance camera, HMP Low Moss, 2012

UK photographer and artist, Jenny Wicks – working as an artist in residence at The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) at Glasgow University, the largest centre for criminological research in Scotland – set out a year ago to document spaces of said research. Invariably this meant photographing prisons. She photographed in two working prisons – Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Barlinnie and HMP Shotts. She also shot in a new prison, HMP Low Moss, prior to its opening.

I have posted before about Wick’s portrait project They Are Us And We Are Them also completed during the residency. Here, I’d like to focus on Wick’s prison interior photographs.

Wicks’ research broadly titled Working Spaces, Punishing Spaces: The Meaning and Construction of Place through Criminological Research sought to explore key boundaries: between innocent and guilty, researcher and researched.

“The conceptual frame for the project…

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The residency has now officially ended and I’m really looking forward to the exhibition and PV, it seems like a positive end to a unique experience. I can’t deny that the residency hasn’t affected me, but that is not a bad a thing, learning how to be fully ‘mindful’ is certainly one thing I think I’ve achieved. I hope the work I’ve produced reflects this in some way.

The exhibition is due to open late February at The Briggait Gallery, Wasp Studios, Glasgow. I’m prepping for this now and looking forward to it very much.

I’ve just designed the invite for the private view, which I’ll post on here next week. I’ve also made a wee book which is going to press next week. It’ll be a limited edition of 300. A copy of which will go to all the prisons I’ve worked with, SCCJR (of course) and a few other key people.

Originally posted on Prison Photography:

What’s the difference between us and them? What distinguishes those labelled as criminals from those without the label? The law has it’s definitions; sentences – in the sense of legal scripts and prison terms –  can give us details and legally defined facts, but other factors are at play. What role do images, particularly publicly available images, play? What about portraits? What about mugshots?

UK photographer and artist, Jenny Wicks – working as an artist in residence at The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) at Glasgow University, the largest centre for criminological research in Scotland – spent nine months trying to answer these questions through her photography. And she challenged the mugshot.

Wicks’ research broadly titled Working Spaces, Punishing Spaces: The Meaning and Construction of Place through Criminological Research includes site (prison) visits, audio interviews, documentation, portraiture, a book (in process) and an exhibition (ongoing). I’ll write more about her…

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I spent a day at HMP Barlinnie installing the exhibition and it was quite some feat. I went back this morning to install the video I’d shot and edited and still no matter how many times I go back to the place it always leaves me feeling empty. The residency has been a fantastic opportunity and allowed me access to a hidden world most of us know nothing about or care to know, but one image that will stay with me from this morning is watching prisoners being liberated; plastic bags of belongings in hand, walking out of the big gates at Barlinnie with no-one to meet them. One thing I’m constantly reminded of is that it could be any one of us.

The Barlinnie show is obviously a very private one but I’m more than happy with that for a number of reasons, primarily that it is being shown first to the people who took part. This is important to me.

The exhibition consists of large format images exploring various crime and justice spaces, the portrait series, audio (prisoner narratives and Michel Foucault) and an installation set within the prison library (video). When I spoke to my friend Alex Boyd about my installation idea he said it reminded him of the gallows.

Here’s a sneak preview of The Gallows. The public show is in late February 2013 at The Briggait, Glasgow.

Thank you to Derek McGill and the staff at HMP Barlinnie.

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