confinements within space

During the prison visit I became interested in not only the work but the space, size and structure of the prison itself. in particular the cells. I wanted to look into the confinements within space, and the way in which light works in a room. The sanitary and enclosed structure in one room was exactly identical to the one adjacent to it and also next to it making me think of the mechanical and robotic nature of the prison itself. This is something I aspired to display into my work.


The piece itself consists of two singular elements iron nails and string. I began my piece by hammering in 15 nails that were strategically placed to have the same distance between each one to display an aspect of visual structure and control. I also placed them in a square like structure to mimic the confinement and enclosed nature of a cell. The precision of this process was very time consuming as I felt that my piece would not work without everything as “just so”


Once my nails were all secured and hammered into place they depicted a robust appearance leading on to the decision to use the raw material of string to display the refraction of light that would enter the cells. I began by looping the string around the nails but using a specific order. I started unravelling my string tying it to one of the bottom nails and using the pattern of 1 vertical, 2 horizontal as my movement. I wanted the piece as controlled as I possibly could similar to the nature of the prison where everything is organised and anticipated.


After the basic shape had been created which unintentionally resembled a window I began to recreate a diagram of the refraction of light. I became interested in this process as the cell window was the only connection prisoners would have had with the outside world. I also assumed it would have been a way in which prisoners would have been able to tell the time. I attempted to link this idea to the choice of material. I see string as a organic and raw material with properties of connection which is what I saw the cell window was a connection between outside life, freedom and confinement.


Overall I think my piece conveys connection however doesn’t display the refraction of light effectively. However, I appreciate the “still frame” connotation and the subtlety that it presents. If I was the recreate this piece even though I think the string works well with the harshness of the nails, I would maybe use cotton string as it is gentle and elegant and maybe use positioning to attempt to use the lengths of the string to create an enclosed type environment.




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