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Insider art

Verne insider art smThe Verne: Traces of art left behind by the prisoners can be found all around the Verne. The head I discovered earlier was one such; numerous framed pictures hang on the dining rooms walls (more often than not a nature scene); one sleeping cubicle is graced by one-metre high typography (it took me quite a while to decipher it…Chelsea). For me one of the most poignant remnants of this insider art hovers around a shelf in a communal area, the shapes like frames with their content extracted, the colours unexpectedly soft. These intrigue me, partly because of their ambiguity but also, unlike the framed canvasses that are self contained, this line of abstract squares speak of departure, of the leaving of their creators. This is a work-in-progress, just that here the progress is in reverse. Will this wall be painted over, the underlying patterns there to be discovered by some future archaeologist, to be interrogated for what they might say about life in the Verne when it was a HMP?

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