Ikon’s exhibition features a number of Dean Kelland’s new films, prints and sketchbooks that reimagine the psychoanalytic dialogue that has occurred between Pop Art and Prison Art since the 1960s. Referencing figures from popular culture such as Elvis and David Bowie, Kelland interrogates male identity and flawed notions of masculinity.
Birmingham-born artist Dean Kelland has been making art for nearly three decades. Despite this, his chosen exhibition title, Imposter Syndrome, reflects his experience at HMP Grendon, an all-male, Category B therapeutic prison. By setting up a studio in the carceral setting, with its own history and typology of art, Kelland has found himself assuming multiple identities. HMP Grendon opened in the post-war period, as an experimental psychiatric prison and, by taking on the residency, Kelland understood that the compulsive behaviour underlying his filmed performances – in which he repeats a physical action in a prolonged and painful way – would be examined by the prison’s therapeutic community.
In 2022, sixty years after the opening of HMP Grendon, Ikon opened the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Studio at the prison, offering workshops in screen printing and dry point etching. While the prisoners have collaborated with Kelland on his artistic practice, he has given them the materials and equipment to start processing the plethora of imagery that has accumulated in their cells. In doing this, he has established the prison as a centre of cultural production, where pop iconography is appropriated for the purpose of a carceral realism.
Dean Kelland’s exhibition is accompanied by a showcase of artwork by HMP Grendon prisoners at Ikon Gallery (7 – 17 December) and a public programme of events, including a screening of Kelland’s film work Catch Back the Breeze (2022). Two publications are available – Notes from Grendon 1 and Notes from Grendon 2 – including excerpts from Kelland’s sketchbooks and an interview with Nick London (pseudonym), a writer for Inside Time. An exhibition catalogue designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio will be available, including an essay by Dr Sue Tate, freelance art historian and author of Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman (2013).
Ikon has engaged with meaningful discussions with Victim Support to inform the development of Dean Kelland’s exhibition.
Open 20 September – 22 December 2023
Wednesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am-5pm
Free entry, donations welcome
This exhibition is on our Second Floor
Please note this exhibition includes an area with low lighting and images of masked figures.
Information on Ikon Gallery’s accessibility is available here
For additional access enquiries please contact email@example.com
1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
Birmingham, B1 2HS
Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.
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