This project presents a collaboration between Maria Hinds, Matthew Thompson and Herman Wallace. It documents the life of Herman Wallace, a former Black Panther and Angola 3 member, during his forty two years of solitary confinement in Louisiana state prisons. His story is told through a collection of personal items fashioned or acquired during his incarceration that testify to the resilient strength and creative ingenuity of a human spirit forced to endure decades in the harshly punitive environments the U.S. prison system.
Through artistic expression and imaginative improvisation these items became functional tools for survival, repurposed to navigate, circumvent, and ultimately transcend the constraints of prison life while affirming humanity in an otherwise inhuman set of circumstances. Embodiments of memory, self-identity, social connection and political determination, these items reflect both community and loss, inside and outside, struggle and pleasure, as well as courage and transcendent human freedom.
The project catalogues a selection of Herman’s possessions that he gave to supporter and friend Maria Hinds.
About Matthew Thompson
Matthew is an Irish fine-art and commercial photographer who is interested in why we think what we think.
About New Irish Works
Selected by an international panel of 23 professionals, New Irish Works brings you a selection of 20 projects and 20 photographers representing the diverse range of practices coming from Ireland. New Irish Works 2016 is a year long project of 10 presentations and 20 publications that aims to highlight the great moment Irish Photography is experiencing.
The artists selected are Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Aisling McCoy, Caitriona Dunnett, Dara McGrath, Daragh Soden, David Thomas Smith, Eanna de Freine, Emer Gillespie, Enda Bowe, Jan McCullough, Jill Quigley, Kate Nolan, Mandy O’Neill, Matthew Thompson, Miriam O’Connor, Noel Bowler, Robert McCormack, Roseanne Lynch, Shane Lynam, and Yvette Monahan.
Every month from July 2016 to July 2017, a special presentation will be hosted at The Library Project for two of the selected artists at a time. The presentation will include a display and a publication for each artist’s project. The two artists that will be presented during PhotoIreland Festival 2016 are Daragh Soden and Mandy O’Neill.
As part of the project, PhotoIreland will bring New Irish Works abroad at key events like PhotoEspaña, with the support of the Embassy of Ireland in Madrid, and to Paris during Paris Photo, with the support of the Centre Culturel Irlandais and Culture Ireland.
Find out more: newirishworks.com