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Keys, titles and faces

Verne art headWell, it has been quite a full day today, starting with my ‘keys talk’ (security induction). I am now able to move around the site unlocking and locking doors by myself. (Not such a big deal at the moment, as there are no inmates around, but it allows me to observe at my own pace which I really appreciate.) I have gained a new respect for keys and how to use them: not just a tool to operate a lock, but a cipher as well as a symbol of power. Then I met with the Centre Manager: well, yes, I know, Governor is no longer the correct term since the Verne is no longer a prison, but Centre Manager…I ask you! Couldn’t anyone come up with something more distinguished? The one thing that it does seem to express is the ambivalence that our society feels towards immigration. Governor is a clear, strong, distinctive title that in some way captured the more coherent and consensual sense of what prison was about. Immigration: now that is much more tricky. But whatever the title, it is great to have a Centre Manager with whom you can work productively: I am now looking again at ideas I have for an artwork in the light of his reaction to my initial proposal. And then I came across this papier mâché bust in the window of the old art room: a remnant left from HMP The Verne – clear, strong, distinctive. If you know who this is or who made it then please do get in touch as I would like to include the artist’s name here.


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