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Seed Packets, Solitary Garden for Incarcerated Mothers

19 x 22.5 in. (48.26 x 57.15 cm)

Jackie Sumell Primary

Object Type: Installation
Medium and Support: seeds and silkscreened paper, wood and metal rack
Credit Line: Gift offer of the artist
Accession Number: EL2019.1.1

Web Notes
Solitary Gardens utilizes the tools of prison abolition, permaculture, and creative practices to facilitate unexpected exchanges between incarcerated people in solitary confinement and folks on the ''outside." In this project, garden beds are designed and remotely “gardened” by incarcerated collaborators, known as Solitary Gardeners, though written and photographic exchanges with volunteers.
A Solitary Garden for Incarcerated Moms, which was on view outside at the museum entrance durring the Persister exhibit, is a collaboration with dozens of presently incarcerated women in Louisiana who identify as mothers. Plants nurtured here represent specific people introduced to the project via formerly incarcerated community members. The central 6'x9' aluminum frame of this sculpture maintains the blueprint of a standard U.S. solitary confinement cell.

The twelve flowers in this project were chosen for their hardiness in our region’s growing zones. Incarcerated mothers were encouraged to each choose one flower meaningful to them. Many shared their reasons with us, an exchange we treasure deeply.

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Seed Packets


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