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Online Residency Programme 

The Prison Residencies virtual/online residency programme examines Victorian women’s prison system within the UK, giving participants insight into the history of the women who served time at Shepton Mallet Prison, Somerset now a decommissioned prison. The programme covers:- the sentences served, who served them, and the lost identities of the women prisoners. The residency also explores how the prison system works today and where participants' research from this residency can lead. The aim of the residency is to be a starting point for ongoing research if desired.


The residency is open to all artists, researchers, or anyone who has a keen interest in Victorian women’s prison history. The residency is self-directed with prompts as guides from the organisers. Participants are encouraged to make a body of work, writing and/or research over the course of the residency.

Guest speakers attend the weekly zoom meetings sharing their practice, experiences, and knowledge.


Who is the Residency for:

Prison Residencies are aimed at self-motivated artists, writers, and researchers at any stage of their career, for anyone who wants to develop and explore their practice working on an unresearched part of history, Women’s Victorian Prisons. 


Prison Residency Programme 2022


The  2022 virtual residency programme ran from 02/04/2022 – 30/04/2022 led by Amanda Lynch and Luminara Florescu.

Guest speakers included:

  • Dave Cable- Shepton Mallet Prison Historian and genealogist.

  • South West archives, Taunton, Somerset, 

  • Niki Gibbs – Artist and activist for Holloway prison to gain a Women’s house for support of women.

  • Gary Mansfield- Artist, curator, and podcast host of Ministry of Arts. Gary is also Koestler Arts board member.

  • Dr Eleanor March - an interdisciplinary prisons researcher, working on the ESRC-funded Persistent Prisons project. 

  • Maurice Gee- Retired Prison officer of 33 years.


Meet our team and speakers 

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Luminara Florescu 
Co-curator of Prison Residencies 

Amanda Lynch 
Co-curator of Prison Residencies 

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Dave J. Cable 



Gary Mansfield 
Artist- guest speaker 


Maurice Gee
Retired prison officer 


Niki Gibbs
Artist - guest speaker

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Dr. Eleanor March
Researcher prison writing 

Residency Artists 2022

Ann Workman Collage Outer by Lynne Forrester

Ann Workman Collage by Lynne Forrester

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'This is a Con' Sound work by Anna Goodchild

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Research and Collage by Romy Shiner

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