Since 1998, Minna Haukka has been documenting drawings and interventions made by prisoners in jails across Europe. These art works are not produced in formal art therapy classes provided for the inmates; rather they are intimate self-expressions made in the limited privacy of gaol. They act as a way for prisoners to decorate their cells and make a mark on an institution, while simultaneously providing an insight into their personal anxieties and desires.
Haukka records, rather than comments, on the particular situations that she finds. The documentation of the work that she encounters is not slick, mediated or journalistic in style, but instead has a casual and intimate feel.
For The Showroom, Minna Haukka creates an environment within the gallery space to show new images taken in Belfast. Her installation includes documentation of drawings, collages and poems from the Maze, Belfast and Maghaberry Prisons. Her record of what exists there revealed issues of social control and political struggle in Northern Ireland, as well as continuing her examination of more general personal freedoms.
Project supported by the Embassy of Finland, the Finnish Institute in London and FRAME, Finnish Fund for Art Exchange.
Minna Haukka lives and works in London.