On the eve of our second session 25th September 2019, a moments reflection on the start of our 2019 project in HMP Springhill. As has been the case for the last two iterations of the course, there has been a lot of anxiety in the build up to the project: are we going […]Turning a New Leaf — Drawing Connections
The last few months have been a hive of activity, hence the silence! However, one of the projects I have been working on has come to the end of it’s development. I’m sure there will be opportunities for further people to add their prints, but for now it has drawn to a close.
The Mural was commissioned to mark the Institute Of Criminology’s 60th Anniversary since it was established by Professor Radzinowicz in 1959. Following an Artist Residency in HMP Whitemoor last summer where I worked on murals in two areas, the Fens Unit & CSC. I spent 100hours working with the men over 12 weeks and with a small group of them during their therapy break painted tree trunk and branches then invited the wing to create the canopy of leaves with their hand prints. As many of the researchers at the IOC work in Whitemoor, it seemed appropriate to creat a sister mural in a disused area of the building which until now had born a striking resemblance to a segregation exercise yard.
On the Sidgwick site, in front of the IOC are planted a series of Silver Birch trees, so taking that theme I painted the trunks and branches and invited all people present in the building to create the canopy of leaves with their finger prints. As each did so, I took a photo of them from behind and have created the following montage, which captures the development.
The magpies are a feature, although a bird which has always been of significance to me, it is even more relevant as every evening at dusk a “parliament of magpies” congregate on the buildings around the area, before roosting in the trees for the night. I’m sure it speaks to their intelligence that the ‘Thief Of Birdom’ chooses to hang around the Institute Of Criminology. And so, I have painted Two for Joy…
I have had the great honour over the last year, of doing the flowers Fortnightly at the Cottages, Kettle’s Yard, alongside colleagues Sabrina & Nastasha. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, this practice was a great counterbalance to my work in high security prison HMP Whitemoor, with a variety of challenging, yet fascinating individuals.
Creating the Flower Art Works is always a pleasure, but has become increasingly so, since the arrival of Anna’s Flowers: where as before we would go to the market and select the flowers for the arrangements, I now arrive at the Cottages to find what surprises we have in store. Never failed to be impressed with the mystery delights found, its like a floral ‘ready-steady-cook’ …perhaps even, the makings of a new TV series with ‘celebrity’ Florists? Who knows, but here are a few pictures of the recent works:
In the words of St Bede, Happy Eostre!
Join us (participants) Wednesday 30th January 2019, from 2pm at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, Radzinowicz Library for our exhibition event day. You will be able to see the Library’s permanent collection of Koestler Art Works in addition to selected works from the 2018 project.
Hope to see you there, please confirm attendance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org either for the 30th, or to organise a viewing during Lent Term.
Top of the year to you,
Now in its third week, I am pleased with the way this project is progressing.
Each week I walk from the session feeling immeasurably proud of what we have all achieved together. Preparing for the next session, I can only hope it will be as good as the last. Then as the next session approaches, the anxiety starts “how can it possibly be as good…” , and yet, it is as good just in a different way.
I picture something inflating, filling out in sections to realise it’s potential, to become something whole. To realise our capabilities, individually and together, creating something greater than the sum of its parts.
With gratitude to everyone involved so far at every stage of the project, for the support, encouragement and for funding, thanks to #GFTA Arts Council England.
Looking forward to sharing more!
Rebecca Lindum Greene
Convener and coordinator of Drawing Connections