Inside Reading Gaol Amanda McGregor Asks Who else is imprisoned unfairly?
As the hand that creates, then wipes the tears from the strong, we question the nature of suffering. The architecture of space that is in the human consciousness, which allows for isolation and emotional neglect needs a more defined understanding of it's infrastructure. We are historically at a point of considered presence in which the need to look at plight, pain, neglect and cruelty from a position of creating trust and dependability is very strong. We as humans cannot bear the screams; the distress of women, children and men caught in the battles of authorities. The lust for power and the need to undermined and belittle others to remain in control of countries, wealth and comfort are becoming more and more obvious as our communication systems and the power of the word allows for an emergence of the dynamics that hold prisoner to the persons trapped into dynamics of these intelligent systems.
However, those who have truly suffered are the only ones that have experienced what it is to stare at infinite darkness and know they are so out the reach of compassion and the hand that saves, that the sense of isolation in this instance, causes another more haunting impact to the nature of pain. The horror of being trapped without a soul understanding or communicating through the pain of suffering, creates a spiritual need for sovereignty, as this is all that is left. The hope that the universe is not only conscious but that there are activities of resistance behind the scenes to release, to fight and to allow freedom in consciousness to emerge.
During the late fifties and through the sixties, a few laws were changed in the United Kingdom, in an effort to right some of the wrongs of the past, the prison system was also revised. However are we really conscious of those whom unfairly suffer? The nature of the impact on taking authority over persons to disable and disempower when suffering, pain and the true nature of being human is not fully understood.
Reading Gaol, attempts to shine a light on a few of those cases, the writing begins to share the unthinkable, the desperate, yet the genius of a completely focused awareness and clarity that transpires in these moments of being imprisoned by the system and the laws that act to diminish those that live a life not understood.
Ai Weiwei, relates to his experiences of being detained, handcuffed to the chair, how he sees his freedom coming, yet the guards prisoners of their own consciousness, acting for a higher power. He describes himself like a pea in a crevice or down a mining shaft with the knowledge that no one will save him.
Oscar Wilde, imprisoned for his affair with the Lord Alfred Douglas, brings a focus on the complications of an unforgiving society with narrow-minded belief systems and controls that bring true suffering to the innocent, but the exhibition doesn’t extend itself beyond this. Oscar Wilde himself does, through raising awareness to the cruelty of children in prisons, the mentally ill, his writings come further to light in 2016, this seems a long time for the emergence of such an important conscious objection. Oscar Wilde's freedom from prison came through feeding a child. Through the way we relate to our own inner child; perhaps silenced, marginalised, put to the side. Enables us to rescue ourselves as adults, this gesture or act Oscar Wilde took, is far bigger and stronger a key into freedom, we must love the children, the care of our children and our inner child can set us free, as a nation and as a globe.
Who else is imprisoned unfairly? There were more, not just the children and the mentally ill, there were the witches, there were the survivors of war.
Who else is a prisoner to the governing systems of a society through law, medicine, education, who has very little understanding of human nature, or who feels threatened by those that extend beyond the roles of an ordered society, those who fit out of the box? The temptation here is to marginalise and destroy.
The contemporary artists showing at Reading HM Prison, have expressed from a position of fitting into the box, fitting into the cell like the architecture of the inspiring and mesmerising experience of the prison. The artists choose subjects raised only in circumstance, very fitting but the exhibition was a little predictable, even Nan Goldin uses the space to put photographs on a ‘boy’, maybe the boy is homosexual? Maybe the problems of carrying the H.I.V. virus still have many implications to a society that pushes pain and suffering away, to a place of abject suffering, maybe we all think ‘this won't happen to me’? Maybe suffering is an abject experience to all.
However, we all know that if you are that ordered person who lives in the boundaries of the system, you stand a great deal more chance of living freely and happily. If you are however someone imprisoned by a nation whom cannot accept you or you are trapped by your own consciousness, one should ask, why does not the architecture of creativity, the word, life, stretch to feed my hand?The need to normalise, or to torture and disable people that are already in pain instead of help them to grow, expand, find fulfillment, purpose and prosperity have to address. Do you support the inspiration of those out of your comfort zone? Do you transcend your limits to use empathy to set others free? Are you of ‘understanding’ and therefore one of the trusted few who lay pathways out of suffering. Be present and still, to feel and see, then know where the trust finds it’s implied place of rest.
The need to normalise, or to torture and disable people that are already in pain instead of help them to grow, expand, find fulfillment, purpose and prosperity have to address. Do you support the inspiration of those out of your comfort zone? Do you transcend your limits to use empathy to set others free? Are you of ‘understanding’ and therefore one of the trusted few who lay pathways out of suffering. Be present and still, to feel and see, then know where the trust finds it’s implied place of rest.
The exhibition at Reading HM Prison is very important but there is so much left to say, to create with, to find discussion, to bring awareness to, it is like looking at the top of the mountain from base camp and knowing very few will have the stamina to make the journey, yet as a global society we have to find a way to make the journey understand the impact of pain and suffering to the innocent and to those that need help.
Words/ Photo By Amanda McGregor author of A Life of Bliss See more Here