A tolling bell

Claire Phillips‘ The Human Face of Death Row has been at the gallery @oxo this week.

In ‘artistic’ terms it’s a pretty straightforward collection of decent portraits that are all connected to Death Row — a man who was executed, a reprieved man and his mother, the lawyer who fights to overturn convictions …

All very well done, nothing to say about that — except that it’s a shame it was only here for a week. The images Phillips creates are wonderfully clear and bright, radiating complex humanity.

But speaking as someone who thinks that Shawshank Redemption would have been a much better film if Andy Dufresne actually did kill his wife the (only) issue I have is the need to portray every execution as a miscarriage of justice — and the fact that that seems to be about the only way to get a death sentence overturned.

But maybe that’s the chink of light that gets people thinking … I hope so anyway.

You can read more about the important work of Reprieve here.

I’m hoping it’s something light and fluffy up at oxo next but I have a feeling it’s war photography.


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