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James, Geoffrey
Recently vacated cell, with abandoned belongings
2013

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University worked with Toronto artist Geoffrey James to develop a body of high quality photographs documenting and memorializing Kingston Penitentiary during its final period of operation. To this end, curator Jan Allen worked with Correctional Services Canada to gain access to Kingston Penitentiary under the supervision of Corrections staff in the spring and summer of 2013. The artist’s aim was to provide a record of the architecture and wider physical setting and to convey a sense of the lived experience of this legendary institution, the oldest prison in Canada. Geoffrey James believes that the best photography gives a sense of what it is like to be somewhere, that it has “a mnemonic power that no other medium has, [that is,] a power to recall things.”

 
James, Geoffrey
St. Asaph, Wales 1942
Recently vacated cell, with abandoned belongings
2013
colour photograph on archival baryta-coated paper, 1/10
53.3 x 35.6 cm (print); 55.9 x 43.2 cm (sheet)
Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grants program, Chancellor Richardson Memorial Fund and J. Stuart Fleming Fund, 2014
57-016.01

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Agnes reopened on Tuesday 7 July. Welcome back! Learn more.