Edmund Clark exhibition "In Place of Hate" at Ikon Gallery
Edmund Clark is an award winning artist with a longstanding interest in incarceration and its effects. His previous subjects include; Guantanamo Bay, the CIA secret prison program and the detention of terrorism suspects in England on control orders.
In Place of Hate is the result of three years he spent at Grendon working with prisoners, prison officers and therapeutic staff. He immersed himself in the routines of the communities and has taken part in the full wing therapy sessions that are a key element of life on each wing of the prison.
Combining photography, video and installation, In Place of Hate explores ideas of visibility, representation, trauma and self-image, addressing how prisoners and the criminal justice system are perceived and discussed by the public, politicians and media in Britain today.
“Why we lock people up, how we do it and where we do it offers a profound insight into our society. This work has been shaped by the men, staff and the intense therapeutic processes and experiences at Grendon; and by the environment of the prison.”
Grendon’s inmates must accept responsibility for their offence. They then exercise a degree of control over the day-to-day running of their lives, making a commitment to intensive group therapy and democratic decision-making, whilst holding each other to account. Through research and evaluation, evidence has demonstrated that Grendon has delivered lower levels of violence and disruption in prison, whilst reducing levels of reoffending after release.
The result is a thoughtful and powerful immersive installation reflecting on how criminality and prisons are seen, or not seen, in contemporary Britain.