In 2013 I received a paper airplane from one of my incarcerated correspondents. The plane itself- the folds, the textual content, the illustrations it carried- was loaded with messages, but because it came from a prisoner, the obect carried an even deeper meaning. An object that would typically connect me to childhood and creativity had been transformed into an object represeting sadness, urgency, and permanence. That plane (and the many that followed) was a vehicle of escape and self expression for it’s creator.
As the collection grew so did the similarities between these prisoner-created objects. Each one is different than the next, however each one is immediately recognizable as an artifact from a place of incarceration.
Airplanes collected from inmates in the United States.