drunk on freedom duncan crossley

One evening as my father and I sat watching television -he was obviously exhausted as it was already well past bedtime for me- I noticed his head lolling as he fought off the impulse to sleep. I crept over to the television carefully turned the volume down lower. It wasn't long before he was happily snoring away, oblivious to my illicit surfing of the three available channels. On ITV I came across a prison riot in full swing. I can remember the grey- blue hue of the rioters uniforms and the black stains that spread across them as cell mates punctured each other with things they'd retrieved from splits in mattresses and toilet u-bends. One African-American inmate in particular seemed to be receiving excessive attention from a group of large bald headed men with facial tattoos - many of whom were subsequently killed. In next scene, a courtroom, the African-American prisoner was in the dock describing what had happened. His defence lawyer approached the bench and emptied a cardboard box full of metal and plastic objects in front of the judge. The prisoner explained that the items were called 'Shanks' and they were homemade prison weapons. The judge picked up a pair of industrial sized pasta tongs. The ends had been fashioned into a pair of jagged claws - he snapped them shut a couple of times and asked "what are these?". "Those, your honour, are testicle crushers" the prisoner replied. I don't remember much else - my dad awoke and sent me packing.
The idea of the Hollywood Shanks has always stayed with me, especially after seeing the real things which were strangely crude pieces of burned plastic, shards and picks. Small, easily concealed stabbing tools often constructed using toothbrush handles. Criminal evidence of a weapons based nature are the dark relics of our culture. Tables displaying drug related seizures of guns flanked by men in uniform, dirty knives in clear plastic bags held up in front of cameras by men in suits - displays such as these fascinate, repulse and create a window into a world many of us do not know but none the less like to look in at. In Shanks of the World I hope to have created an object that sits in a place where these sentiments have been formalised. On paper a fiction, in three dimensions an alternate reality.

drunk on freedom duncan crossley
drunk on freedom duncan crossley
drunk on freedom duncan crossley
drunk on freedom duncan crossley
drunk on freedom duncan crossley