Still Life: Killing Time



Taken over the course of more than a year of exclusive access, this work applies large format still life photography to the context of a unique prison community, E Wing at Kingston Prison in Portsmouth. For eight years this was Britain’s only wing dedicated to holding elderly lifers: murderers, rapists, paedophiles and other violent criminals aged from their late 50s to over 80 years old.

Still Life: Killing Time, is not simply a reportage about a particular prison. Elements of metaphor, abstraction and documentary explore the experience of long term incarceration and the passage of time, and touch on how ageing and physical decline affect the prison environment. The claustrophobia of these close up, deliberate and regular compositions reflects both the nature of the place and the experience of working in E Wing.

The recurring motifs – bars, squares, boxes, grids – show the segmentation and ordering of time and space that is fundamental to prison life, while the details of the inmates’ possessions, notice-boards, walls, tables and bedsides suggest their state of mind and how they adapt to long term incarceration and getting old in an institution.

Edmund Clark has built a reputation for combining strong ideas with an ability to work in sensitive situations and with people on the margins of society. His work combines still life, portrait and landscape to explore the relationship between environment, memory and the passage of time. 

ISBN: 978-1-904587-53-8
Hardback, 72 pages
43 photos, 310 x 247mm