Week 27 - 2019

Beauty within the small

Mohamed, from the workshop PLACE at Halden prison 2019

Beauty within the small

Summer is in full swing. Some have gone on holiday, about to enjoy both lazy days, as well as stressful days with friends and family. For others, summer means a lack of activities and a lot of days spent alone. For prison inmates, summer is often a time where their daily activities and places of work close.

In May, Preus Museum collaborated with photographer Tine Enghoff and prison chaplain Kamille Nygård in a workshop held at Halden Prison. They worked with the theme PLACE. How does one experience the place one is confined within, and is there a form of sanctuary within a prison? Questions like these were up for reflection during the workshop week; acting as starting points for when the inmates went to choose their photographic motifs. Halden is a high security prison with limited walking space, hence also limited in its supply of photographic matter. Nevertheless, within that small place the beautiful emerged; strong and telling images from a world unknown to most of us. Like this image of a pink flower, a photo taken so close it’s as if we are absorbed into the flowers mystical nature and tactile qualities: its vulnerable and small threads in contrast with its strong pink colour. Could this flower be a sanctuary?

“It’s a feeling, you feel free.” (Mohamed)

PLACE is part of a bigger project at Preus museum called TIME, PLACE, SPACE. The aim of the project is to give those who normally go about invisible within our society an opportunity to become part of the public by means of photography; to become visible through exhibitions and to become part of the Norwegian cultural inheritance by inclusion into the museums collection.