Back to the moor

I am back in HMP Dartmoor for another 6 weeks printmaking – this time in the education section. It is still part of the Devon Guild project on the theme of Freedom. Whilst Freedom is a bit of a touchy subject in gaol, nevertheless the men have risen to the challenge with a broad interpretation. They have been doing some writing with writer in residence Jessica Berens and also have had input from Devon Guild education officer Phil de Burlet – who came up with the following quotes :

“Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.” 
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

“It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.” 
― Mark Twain

“Those who expect to be both ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” 
― Jim Morrison

“There is more than one kind of freedom,” said Aunt Lydia. “Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.” 
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

“When we read, we decide when, where, how long, and about what. One of the few places on earth that it is still possible to experience an instant sense of freedom and privacy is anywhere you open up a good book and begin to read.”
― Andrew Clements

“The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.” 
― Elizabeth I Tudor, Letters

“All I wanted was for you to be free from everything. And with that freedom, you often showed me another world, so I wanted you to be even freer. I wanted you to be so free that you would live your life for other people.” 
― Kyung-sook Shin, Please Look After Mom


The men themselves, in their own writing discussed freedom of the press, of speech, from oppression, freedom of sexuality and more – all their ideas couched in their own experiences, not all of them good.

I have been up twice in this second phase – now obviously, in October and each day has been bright and warm when I leave home. On both days Princetown has been completely enveloped in thick foggy white mist – poor visibility, very forbidding. I imagine most of the winter will be like this.

Here are some initial monoprint images of their responses through print ….

bars   hope