Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Brand new fresh start.
A new page in life; new findings and new inspirations.
New blog to accompany that too!

Here is a link to follow me further:


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

From Chelsea College of Art & Design Archives

From Chelsea College of Art & Design Archives

Byrne, R. (1989) Prisons and punishments of London, London: Grafton.

The immense yellow-brown mass of brick-work is surrounded by a low wall of the same material, above which is sun a multitude of small squarish windows, and series of diminutive roofs of slate, like low retreating foreheads. There is a systematic irregularity about the in-and-out aspect of the building, which gives it the appearance of a gigantic puzzle; and altogether the Milbank prison may be said to be one of the most successful realisations, on a large scale, of the ugly in architecture, being an ungainly combination of the madhouse with the fortress style of building, for it has a series of Martello-like towers, one at each end of its many angles and was originally surrounded by a moat, whist its long lines of embrasure-like windows are bared, after the fashion of Bedlam and St. Luke's. 

  • It was Britain's first National Penitentiary, and a monstrous- monstrously expensive- failure.
  • 1812 the Government bought the land on which Jeremy Bentham had proposed to build his panopticon.
  • Within the octagonal wall were pentagonal blocks, laid out hexagonally. This geometrical complexity enclosed miles of corridor with 'angles every twenty yards, winding staircases, dark passages, immunerable doors and gates...' one prison officer who had worked there for many years still found it impossible to find his way around and 'carried with him always a piece of chalk, with which he "blazed" his path.
  • First prisoners- 40 women.
  • Prison plan was expanded beyond the original plans, with single cells for 1000 prisoners.
  • Style and regime of the prison. Emphasis on values of work and religion.
  • Separation of the prisoners.
  • Changes of governor at 1837. From strict to even more controlled + epidemics of scurvy and cholera= clearing the prison; pardoning the women and sending the men to the hulks.
  • Physical and mental health of inmates was dreadfully neglected.
  • The whole space of the prison has been estimated at about 7 acres.
  • And indication of the scale of the prison can be derived from the fact that the central block of the hexagonical structure stood exactly where the New Conservation Department of the Tate Gallery is situated.
  • Power-Failure-Spectacle.
  • The symmetric, form of the building arose from the needs of the masters to apply control both physically and mentally.
  • Centre of the building is Governor's house.
  • Maze of passages totalling 3 miles in length.
  • Universal optical machine of human groupings.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The southern portion used to be the site for Millbank Penitentiary, a notorious six sided structure that housed prisoners of transportation. They were shipped off to Australia in the 19th century direct from a jetty on Millbank itself. It was a desolate, dark, dank prison, where by all accounts, prisoners not only suffered psychological isolation but also physical deprivation and died from dysentery, cholera and scurvy and many other associated diseases. Those who died were interred in an onsite cemetery. There was also enforced silence and a policy to break the morale and spirit of each prisoner, with the aim of rehabilitation. The prison was so vast and claustrophobic, the wardens themselves could only retrace their journey throughout, by marking the walls with chalk. The prison was subject to subsidence, since the land had not been drained adequately prior to construction. It was surrounded by a moat, the remains of which can still be seen today at the western end of John Islip Street. Eventually it was deemed unsanitary, and in any case Australia did not want any more prisoners to colonise it, and so the role and purpose diminished, and it was eventually closed in the late 19th century. The Australian term POM is rumoured to be based on the acronym from Prisoner of Millbank.


Friday, 27 April 2012

So far

Today I went through Chelsea archives- it gave me a good standing ground for context. Learnt that whole reseach that i was doing for the first term grew into subject i am doing now, and falls into places naturally. Last term I was looking and the social borders and territories, housing, that earlier meant to be utopian, failed; it fell into a social gap between wealthy and not so; good and bad; own territories started developing between those areas. Even architectural style of buildings formed stereotypes of who's living in there. Now looking at the Millbank panopticon, building was built using Bentham's utopian designs, but failed over the fact that regime was too strict and building, as an optical machine of human groupings, mentally and physically killed people. In both cases there was a dominant control, which suposed to be utopic, but the reality of this power was a failure. I find it ironic in both cases. Millbank prison from bird's eye view looking as a symmetrical flower from outside, ironicaly was more like chaos inside. My aiming for the final proposal is to show old traces of the building, as a reminder of the failure, marking its territory, layered on today's map. Structure is half-see-through, the representation of something that once was a power, but now it just stands as a reminder of the territory and flows there as a memory.


at the moment I've got this: wood is too thick, thinner will snap and bend on the ends from the pressure of the string; plastic is too thick or again, thin will bend. My solution at the moment is metal rod , (still waiting for threaded ones but they will be too thick as i can see now...). The metal rod is 2mm, and would be sprayed with white paint.

My main thoughts are that at first I was intending to get the model against the location, so it could be seen as "old and new", now wonder maybe flat map of the millbank would get lost against the big structure?+ Background of the threaded structure wouldnt be single colour anymore. White wood plane, possibly grey/black map and white rods+string structure. Or everything white.

Could be map+structure and a one or so example of close up. RISK IN TIME?

Quick examples of artists to explain the way I imagine the map.

Details that couldn't be done- little slots where cells should be ( around the walls)

The most possible details of the structure around the walls.

Any other advice/ideas in terms of technical, material side of the making?