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The Redaction Room

Part 2. Project Space Event– 22nd October 2021. The Work…

The space contained several different elements, all related to the same theme of Redaction, though with some distinction between them. I had created a few pieces of work over the summer, and they are what inspired me to further pieces. I had thought they worked quite well in creating a change to the potential meaning of an image, suggesting a new, ambiguous narrative. My intention was for the image to be itself somewhat obscured and the faces to be redacted in some way. Here they are and how they looked in the project space. I wanted them to make an appearance to show the progression of work, and placed them at the end of the room on the side of a panel.



The second element of work was photographic images on canvas. My idea was to use the concept of the smaller canvasses but make them larger and by redacting faces, illustrate how absurd the ‘art of redaction’ can be, and that at the end of each redaction there is a person, whether that be the operative making the redaction, or the individual whose records are being redacted.



Alongside these I created some pure redactions, in the sense that they reproduced sections of emails and reports that I had received, including the total redaction of a graph showing numbers for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding for Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). I can’t fathom why NHS England felt the need to redact these figures, (not least as I have a copy of the graph received direct from the CCG). Hiding something?




The source material and part of the inspiration for looking at redaction, included printouts of emails and reports that I had received via FOIs (Freedom of Information) and SARs (Subject Access Request) and which had been redacted before being sent to me. Generally speaking, this redaction should be to protect individual’s privacy or where numbers are small enough to be considered disclosive. I stapled these to a corner partition and invited viewers to rip one off and feed into the shredder (a cathartic experience).


Alongside this, I printed out an email, which was about an appeal case I have been pursuing (I had been unsuccessful in applying for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding and appealed through various stages, to IRP, which is an Independent Review Panel held by NHS England, and just one of the painful steps in the process of applying for CHC (if you would like to learn more about the CHC and the National Scandal of people being denied the funding they are entitled to please visit www.nhschcscandal.co.uk). The email had just one word redacted which would seem to be a likely place for an adjective, so I printed out some suggestions as to what might be hidden underneath (the rough redactions are my own for the purposes of publishing here!)




Ever get the feeling you are being labelled a nuisance? This is how this whole experience makes you feel.


Last year I bought some old photographs on eBay and they provided inspiration for looking at the connection between people and objects, including the obscuring of faces and features. I continued this work into this year and wanted to include the photos in the project space and show my experimentation into how an image can begin a new narrative which also might change depending on what is redacted, drawing attention to what is going on in the background, raising questions in the viewer’s mind.



In the next blog post, I’ll tell you about the final element, the video that I made for the Project Space and show some images from the overall event, along with ideas on where this all might be heading next.

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