‘Her Bed’ – Installation

This project is part of an ongoing distance learning course with the Open College of the Arts; Practice of painting, this module being part 5 of studio practice. The full acount of the course work can be found here, click the images to visit the blog pages with a full account of each project. The project incarnates as 3 individual installations:

This initial purpose was to demonstrate the space that an inmate would have to live in, the color of the accessories that the women would be familiar with and the items that women might receive under their doors in the way of post, notifications and application forms from the communal areas that could be completed when women were locked in.

This installation is available for diaplay, please contact niki.g@bluesunflower.com or visit the contacts page

Her Bed - Messy Bed

The prison regime would require the women to keep their rooms tidy. They would have had full-length lockers and 3/4 height ‘wardrobes to keep clothing and personal items in. Women would have jobs within the prison and many jobs had identifying fleeces that the women could wear denoting their roles. Although the women would be issued with one of each item, it was common for women to accumulate multiples of some items. Smoking was permitted in the prison until 2015 when women were able to buy disposable vapes instead. Most cells had a small grey safe located beneath the metal beds for medication and other valuable items such as tobacco that were sough-after or tradeable. Each woman would be issued with a grey tracksuit. Apparently, the prison was either very cold at times or baking hot when all the radiators were on! These tracksuits did not have to be worn, women could wear their own clothes, but they were comfortable for the women and warm.

Her Bed - Self Harm

This set-up is aimed at telling a story. Based on the high percentage of women who enter the prison system with mental health problems or who are victims themselves or who suffer from the trauma of being separated from their children.

The blood is dripped from my finger onto a clear perspex sheet so that it could be moved. The reaction to this set-up that I have had so far has mostly been ‘Uurghh’ and people turn away from the image as it is uncomfortable. Not exactly the reflective response I was intending, but a strong response all the same!

Her Bed - Mother and Baby

The Mother and Baby Unit was closed in 2013 and latterly used as a ROTL (Release on Temporary Licence) landing housing women that would leave the prison on day release for work and maintaining family ties. There was still some items left in the creche and I am assured that this octopus is from the D4 landing Creche.

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