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Emma Rose

Rose is a multi-disciplinary artist, who will be working remotely during her residency. Rose is interested in why women were incarcerated in Shepton mallet prison in the 1800s, and has discovered that theft was the most frequent crime. Rose will create an experience within a cell so that it feels as if walking into a home.


While researching female prisoners, Rose purposely chose women who had stolen everyday items. These items are generally lost within todays setting of a home for example, an umbrella and sheets are very much over looked. Most people have easy access to these types of items today. The aim of this installation is to highlight these now inexpensive items which were unaffordable to some people in the Victorian times. Women risked their freedom for something that generally doesn’t mean so much to us now.


All items you see displayed are modern versions of the items that the women Rose has chosen had stolen. The women’s name and time served are written on these items. These items were commonly stolen by women in order to survive. Although the objects Rose will use are not deemed valuable by most people today, their theft in the past would have cost a lengthy prison sentence. Weeks, months years with hard labour some resulting in death from poor conditions and ill health in the prison.


“Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor” James Baldwin 1924



Emma Rose b.1985,UK, is predominantly a self-taught artist, working within a mixture of mediums. Pushing papers exhibition 2020, Field study artist book Australia 2020, British Museum, Sitifestival (Durham) 2020, Restriction 2021 



Images will be added daily from 18/09/2021 - 03/10/2021 to show the progression of making over the course of the Prison Residencies project.


Emma Rose guilty - Drunk and riotous 

Caroline Sage guilty - Of attempting to kill and murder herself. 

Digital version of artwork within cell 2 at Shepton Mallet Prison. 


Emma Rose artist interview for Prison Residencies - read below  

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