Dance artist Helena Webb started researching dance in UK prisons in 2018, this exhibition is the culmination of the first edition of Dance Club, a dance and choreography course run at HMP Wormwood Scrubs.
Dance Club endeavours to create a space for incarcerated men to improve communication skills, express themselves creatively and challenge negative masculine behaviours prevalent in prisons. Over 8 weeks Helena and co-facilitator Marc Stevenson have danced with a group of men currently incarcerated at Wormwood Scrubs and accessing the mental health provision there. The group have danced energetically, calmly, sensitively and with abandon. They have recorded their dances through drawn scores and audio descriptions.
The work from Dance Club is joined by pieces by artist Erika Flowers who has lived experience of the criminal justice system. Documenting her journey through bail, custody and release with Postcards from Prison.
On Sunday 10th November 1.30-4pm we invite you to hear from Erika and others talk about prison, masculinity/ vulnerability and dance as a rehabilitation tool. And have a broader conversation about how prisons, dance, rehabilitation, men, vulnerability and patriarchy interlink. There will be tea and cake available for purchase. . Please book your space via Eventbrite - limited spaces.
Dance Club at Scrubs is supported by Arts Council England and Barnet, Enfield & Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust.
Helena is a London based choreographer, performer, facilitator and rehearsal director. She works to make injustices visible, relatable and changeable. Currently Helena is interested in finding ways of undoing repressive masculinity; creating environments for men to move together, express themselves and dismantle performed layers of destructive maleness. She likes simple, striking images, huge buoyant moments transforming into something more demanding and true stories told by the people who experience them. @helenarwebb www.helenawebb.com
In 2014 Erika was sentenced to 6 years for a non-violent crime for which she served 3 years in custody. She wanted to document her experience for posterity; the way that she chose to do this was to produce an epic visual Postcard Diary that consists of at least 1400 drawings, one drawing every day from 3 months into her 6 months’ time on bail prior to sentencing, during the whole period of incarceration and also following her release. @postcardsfromprisondiary www.recordedinart.com