One of the most interesting spaces in the Lock Up is the exercise yard in which inmates housed in the cells would walk, sit or stand for a period of time. The space has recently been made weather-proof and a floor added to the original floor beneath so as to allow the space to be used for exhibitions and so forth. I wanted to use it in a video-based perfomance piece based on the idea of history and its relationship to the past; the idea that history is in a sense heaviliy constrained in what it can tell us about the world long gone; it is hemmed in, not free to roam, but follow a prescribed path based on the sources available to us today.
Before working on the piece (which would involve an hour’s walk around the yard), I photographed the walls, all of which have amazing textures redolent of the passage of time: peeling paint, cracked surfaces, palimpsests of paintwork and decay, as well as the inscriptions of prisoners scratched into the walls.
Below are some details from the exercise yard.