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UAL Research Online

The Home Office collection of art from prisons, secure hospitals and young offenders institutions

Kane, Alan and Deller, Jeremy (2006) The Home Office collection of art from prisons, secure hospitals and young offenders institutions. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Kane, Alan and Deller, Jeremy

I was commissioned, together with Jeremy Deller, to produce a work for the new Head Quarters of the Home Office by the Government Art Collection. Rather than produce a ‘conventional’ artwork by two recognized artists we initiated a permanent collection of art from their ‘clients’ - the prisoners and patients of secure hospitals in the UK. Here, a number of works that we selected were purchased, professionally prepared for exhibition and hung throughout the building at key communal locations such as meeting rooms and lobbies.

Our intention for this work was to make a direct human connection - through art - between people at both ends of the penal system. We saw our ‘curatorial artwork’ as employing the prisoners in a social ‘sculpture’ empowering them though the purchase of their paintings and sculpture for a national, public collection and by placing it at the heart of one of the most powerful office environments in the country. When seen as artists, rather than prisoners, in the care of the Government, they are implicitly, and psychologically placed nearer to the top of the system they inhabit.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Alan Kane

Research Interests

Fine art
Socially engaged practices
Cultural interventions

Current Research
Questioning the hierarchies and forms of artistic or cultural production and blurring the distinction between artist and audience have always been central aspects in projects I have undertaken. This is true of both my solo practice and my long-term collaborative practice with Jeremy Deller. I have always held and promoted the position that art exists with or without the professional artist and my practice has been involved as much in framing examples of everyday creativity as in producing art.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 24 January 2006
Funders: Koestler Awards Scheme
Related Exhibitions: ‘Lemon and Milk’, Tortworth visitors centre, HMP Leyhill, October 2003, ‘Insider Art’, ICA, London, July 2007
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Head Quarters of the Home Office, London, UK
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:34
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2010 12:44
Item ID: 1473
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473

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