FREE AS A BIRD, 2020

Free As a Bird is based on the 18th-century panopticon design of the former Millbank prison in London. This iconic shape allowed continuous surveillance of inmates from a single location that made them unsure whether they were being observed or not. The panopticon has since become a metaphor for surveillance in modern society, be that via CCTV or the Internet. For this project, I created a bird feeder as a panopticon motif and captured the random comings and goings of feeding birds. Time-lapse images show the contents being displaced to reveal the sinister shape within. This piece questions power and control in modern society as the panopticon is the all-seeing eye of big brother but the bird is completely ignorant of technology, boundaries and the rule of law. A bird epitomises absolute freedom so we question how hidden forces of control influence our own lives.