2017-119-Arts Project

Arts Project

Hello friend,

After the previous great week it all came crashing to the ground.

First thing: I found out that Textiles still hadn’t started the costumes; several weeks since we all got measured,. At this rate we’ll only have 1 or 2 dress rehearsals.

Next: I was informed by the woodwork guys that all of the props they had been working on had been removed; this included: the staff (for the Seer); and, the bird skull cap and elongated fingers (for the Malicon). It got worse: the staff was then cut into pieces and deposited in the bins in the woodwork shop. By all accounts the staff was a fantastic piece of work which took days to make. As you can imagine, the guys involved in this work are all devastated; as I am.

At this point, I’m being told it was DST who took this action and because ‘they could be used as weapons’. Really? Like table legs, razors and boiling water, all freely available to all prisoners on their wings. To just go ahead and destroy work which had been ordered by a customer (funded by the Arts Council) and then to rub the woodwork guys’ noses in it by putting the cut up pieces of the staff in their bins is just petty and spiteful.

Apparently, they even had a problem with the wooden cubes that have been made for the set: “could be used as a ladder”. Really? How and where? They will only be coming out during rehearsals in the Chapel. We can’t go anywhere with them. Anyway, we use amps, guitars, mic stands and all sorts of equipment which all could be used as weapons in the wrong hands, yet have been used without incident for years. I hope you can see the arbitrary and illogical nature of this environment.

I spoke with Governor […] about these issues. He was very unhappy; particularly as it had all been authorised and all items were going to be treated in the same way as a ‘tool’ (signed out and signed in). He is going to investigate who authorised this.

If there was a bona fide issue, why not discuss it with management and give the guys an opportunity to put right. What’s the agenda? Is this just a power trip?

Another problem: we have been having a regular vocal rehearsal on a Sunday afternoon for weeks; all authorised, which has been made aware to management. The guy who comes across from D wing gets hassle about this virtually every week. Yet again, D wing had a problem. One of the Sos came on to our wing to discuss with another SO. This conversation went on for a while. By the time they went back our guy had given up waiting. Another one down the drain.

At least our rehearsal and the choir rehearsal went well. In fact, the choir sung with real confidence; it sounded great.
I can feel stress building up from all this; I’m worn out.

Be happy, be safe (don’t forget to breath) Graham Coutts, 2nd September 2017

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