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Production of Mental Distress in Prison

Past Time

Researchers from the Department of History, Professor Hilary Marland, Dr Rachel Bennett and Dr Margaret Charleroy, along with Flo Swann (Public Engagement Officer), collaborated with a number of artists to create engaging installations relating to their work Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland 1850-2000.

Past Time

Together with HMP Hewell, arts-based organisation Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation) they created Past Time. This project was aimed at engaging some of the most mentally vulnerable prisoners in an innovative education programme using cookery, drama, and history to explore food in prisons past and present. Warwick Tate Exchange featured a visual display showcasing this work.

I never thought about the possibility of pregnant women going to prison, or someone being born in prison. 

Feedback from a Warwick Tate Exchange visitor

Lock Her Up

Performance company Fuel selected three artists, Rachel Mars, Sabrina Mahfouz and Paula Varjack to respond to historical materials about mental health and women in prison, using sound as their medium. They worked with sound designer Gareth Fry to create three audio pieces which were installed at Warwick Tate Exchange.

Listen to the recording of a panel discussion with some of those invovled in Lock Her Up.

Disorder Contained

Coventry-based theatre company Talking Birds Theatre Company devised Disorder Contained: A Theatrical Examination of Madness, Prison and Solitary Confinement, based on Professor Marland’s research into solitary confinement in the 1800s. Using contemporaneous documents, including prisoners’ memoirs, doctors’ casebooks, and the reflections of prison staff, Disorder Contained combined music, song, wit and compassion to explore the rationale behind this enduring and cruel system. The performance was screened at Warwick Tate Exchange, followed by a panel discussion with some of the people involved in its creation.