Mannus Correctional Centre 2011
Bringing Unlocked outside Sydney
In late 2011, The Red Room Company took Unlocked out of the confines of Sydney for the first time, to Mannus Correctional Centre. Mannus is a minimum security facility for men just outside of Tumbarumba in southern New South Wales. The physical setting of the centre is quite stunning, with an apple orchard on premises at which inmates work. However this is no holiday spot; the landscape belies the reality of life inside. Poet and educator Gareth Jenkins, along with The Red Room Company's artistic director, Johanna Featherstone, travelled to Mannus throughout November and December to carry out the workshops.
At Mannus, the students became particularly interested in visual and concrete poetry, where the form of language on the page takes on a special significance. The students looked at a range of texts from this strain of poetic experimentation, from the French modernist Apollinaire, to the contemporary Australian work of П. O.