Season Launch: 18 September 2014, 5–7pm
Canada’s oldest prison, Kingston Penitentiary (KP) was home to many of the country’s most notorious criminals from 1835 to 2013. The sprawling prison complex on Lake Ontario has been deeply entwined with Kingston’s history and civic identity, but the existing visual record is scant. Through its final months of operation, artist Geoffrey James paid multiple visits to the site to develop a body of photographs documenting and memorializing this legendary institution. The resulting images capture the physical setting, routines and relationships inside KP. James’ photographs engage with the carceral environment and its inhabitants, movingly melding artistic achievement and documentary force.
Based in Toronto, Geoffrey James has devoted the past 30 years to photographing the man-made landscape, from the aristocratic idyll of European formal gardens and the democratic landscapes of Frederick Law Olmsted to the devastated asbestos-mining landscape of Quebec and the ‘no man’s land’ along the US-Mexican border. In 2012, he received the Governor-General’s Award in the Visual and Media Arts.
A publication is available. Special thanks are extended to Correctional Service Canada for their unstinting cooperation and assistance throughout this project. We also thank Kingston’s Hotel Belvedere our preferred hotel, for their generous and timely support.
The Glenbow Museum, Calgary
14 February–17 May 2015
Geoffrey James, The Dome from above, 2013, archival ink jet print
Geoffrey James, Change of seasons ceremony (1), 2013, archival ink jet print
Geoffrey James, Exercise yard, administrative segregation, 2013, archival ink jet print
Geoffrey James, Medication management course, 2013, archival ink jet print
Geoffrey James, Inner entrance to the compound, 2013, archival ink jet print
Geoffrey James, Cell decorated with Harley Davidson…, 2013, archival ink jet print