In this talk I will explore ideas of visibility, representation, trauma and self-image in developing strategies of visualisation in art practice about criminal justice in English prisons, with particular reference to my work in HMP Grendon and HMP Kingston, and the subsequent exhibitions, catalogues and monographs. 

Established in 1962, HMP Grendon is the only prison in Europe to operate wholly as a therapeutic community. Inmates there must have accepted responsibility for their offence, exercising a degree of control over the day-to-day running of their lives, making a commitment to intensive group therapy, democratic decision-making, and holding accountability to each other. 

The talk will reflect on how prisoners and criminality are ‘seen’ in contemporary society and media discourse and strategies for visualising experiences of incarceration that question these forms of representation. 

Edmund Clark’s work links issues of history, politics and representation through a range of references and forms including photography, video, documents, found images and installation.

A recurring theme is engaging with state censorship to represent unseen experiences, spaces and processes of control in contemporary conflict and other contexts.

Clark has published six books and been exhibited widely including in major solo museum exhibitions at the International Center of Photography Museum, New York, the Imperial War Museum, London, and Zephyr Raum für Fotografie, Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim.

Awards include the Royal Photographic Society Hood Medal for outstanding photography for public service, the British Journal of Photography International Photography Award and, together with Crofton Black, an ICP Infinity Award and the inaugural Rencontres d’Arles Photo-Text Book Award.


This event is co-hosted with the Ruskin School of Art.