Leading artists, performers and writers respond to the work of the prison's most famous inmate Oscar Wilde, the architecture of the prison and themes of imprisonment and separation.
Reading Prison, formerly known as Reading Gaol, opened in 1844 and was a working prison until 2013. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated there between 1895 and 1897, enduring the Separate System, a harsh penal regime designed to eliminate any contact between prisoners. Wilde’s imprisonment led to his last great works: De Profundis, an extended letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas written by Wilde in his prison cell, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol, composed after his release.
Ai Weiwei, Neil Bartlett, Marlene Dumas, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Gober,
Kathryn Hunter, Maxine Peake, Steve McQueen, Doris Salcedo, Lemn Sissay,
Gillian Slovo, Patti Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Colm Tóibín,
Ben Whishaw, Jeanette Winterson.