Following on from the well-received Artist Prison Residencies in 2021, curator and artist Luminara Florescu returned to Shepton Mallet Prison with a new exhibition for Somerset Art Weeks 2022. From 1st – 9th October, six artists took over C-Wing in Shepton Mallet Prison in Somerset to create an exhibition of site responsive, immersive artworks. Curator and contributing artist, Luminara Florescu was joined by Louise Hall, Jessica Mallock, Georgina Towler, Tina Salvidge and Dave Webb in working with colour, form, light and sound to bring to life and celebrate the past and present stories of the unique 400 year old building.
The exhibition was part of the Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2022 and inspired by the festival’s theme ‘Sanctuary’. Visitors to C-Wing experienced and interacted with a wide range of artworks including installation, algorithmic art, video, drawing performance, sculpture and a giant board game.
Each artist was allocated a cell on the wing and responded to the building through the methods and themes explored within their own art practice. Luminara Florescu creates participatory installations considering themes of wellbeing while testing and transcending perceived boundaries of art. Louise Hall is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice explores conversations on postcolonial ideas of the Black British experience in the UK. Jessica Mallock uses painting and mark making as a practice of Mindfulness. Georgina Towler creates installations that fragment the visual pane to deconstruct the way light and colour constructs space and creates form. Tina Salvidge’s installations and digital works explore the extraordinary within the ordinary. Dave Webb creates installations exploring life and the human mind through creative coding and digital art.
OUTSIDE IN exhibition attracted over a1000 visitors and aimed to inspire curiosity, intrigue and joy as visitors were immersed in the transformed space of C-Wing.
Artists also ran a number of workshops during the exhibition which visitors participated in.
"Fabulous, creative and inspiring workshops - what a joy!"
"Really interesting installations in such a unique location - really enjoyed it!"
"Wonderful, worth travelling 66 miles - best day ever!"
"Brilliant! So interesting and thought provoking."
"Makes looking at artwork more interesting."
"Released my inner children rolling the dice."
"Really enjoyed the game, very creative."
"Lovely energy from the artists and their work. And such an inspiring curator!"
"Awesome. Hope to see some more (or take part) in the future."
"Amazing! Just stunning work - really enjoyed bringing the family."
"Such a wonderful range of fascinating art work!"
I liked the floor board game by Luminara Florescu. It was really good how we all got to play together when I'm usually told not to touch art but we got to be involved and then added our kind words to the sculpture. Which meant we were part of the art. That was cool. It was nice to meet other people through playing the game - (George aged 9)
I liked breathing room by Georgia Towler, it was a piece I understood and could relate to. I think if I had been in prison I would miss the connection with the sky and ground. The green colours felt like they were brighter in places as the light hit them" (Emma aged 9)