Wednesday, March 05, 2014

'Five - Fremantle Prison' announced as a finalist in the WA State Heritage Awards.

Hardly a criminal mastermind...

There was large hill up behind where I spent my teenage years near a notoriously dangerous intersection. My parents ran a small motel there which sat next to a popular restrooms and petrol station. Bored one day my brother and I crossed one of the roads, climbed up behind a small row of trees and over a few fences to get about half way up the hill.

We thought it a good idea to dislodge a large basketball-sized rock to see how far it would roll down the hill and, much to our excitement, it quickly gathered more and more speed. It smashed through one of the fences, jumped the next before crashing very noisily into the trees.

After we came down, we heard from the horrified local petrol station owner that he, hearing the noise the rock made as it approached, had seen the rock fly out the other side of the trees, bounce once on the normally very busy road before resting in a paddock. It passed about 20 metres to the left of the petrol station.

I guess my main point is that the difference between being 'inside' and 'outside' can be as simple as being lucky or unlucky on any given day. This is not to say that those in Prison are there by bad luck alone but rather that it can be a complex mixture of circumstances. Equally those on the 'outside' might live their privileged lives on the simple basis of being born in the right country to the right parents at the right time.

'Five - Fremantle Prison', Fremantle Prison, August 2012. Image: Christopher Young.

I'm happy to announce that the work I exhibited in Fremantle Prison in 2012 was today announced as a finalist in the Western Australian State Heritage Awards (Outstanding interpretation project that enhances a place).

Self-funded and on exhibition for six months, Five - Fremantle Prison looked at the traces of activity in this iconic location. Normal processes occurred with protagonists eating, sleeping, working and playing. As such, it could be seen as a highly concentrated microcosm of the outside world.

The resulting photographic artworks, research, booklet and selection of objects illustrated the beauty that can be found in the everyday. It offered a new insight into the Prison’s more recent past, giving viewers an opportunity to explore some rarely seen sections of the Prison as well as look at others afresh.

The finalists have been published to the State Heritage Office website and the winners are to be announced at His Majesty's Theatre in early April.

A selection of work from the series is also currently on show at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins (25 Collins St, Melbourne) until April 13.

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