Disability
in the Workhouse

Stories of disabled people in the Criminal Justice System in Ripon in the Victorian era. 

This exhibition launched in October 2023 and was co-created by a group of people with lived experience of disability at Ripon Museums Trust.

Exploring questions such as what is the lived experience of disability? What is its history? What was it like in the Criminal Justice System in the Victorian era and what do we know about the lives of disabled people who encountered it?

The project aimed to encouraging thinking about whether things are any different now? What will it be like in the future? What do we hope for and what do we fear?

Images from the exhibition:

Replace video with 7 Stories of disabled people film.mp4 (needs uploading to youtube)

The artwork explores the lives of seven disabled people who encountered the Criminal Justice System in Ripon for various reasons during the Victorian era. These were court cases that were heard at Ripon Court House and people who were held at Ripon House of Correction.

It is based on fragments of their lives captured in censuses, newspapers, and police and court records telling these tiny snapshots of a life, through storytelling.

Frederick William Jarvis 

Frederick William Jarvis

Created during September 2023 by Carol Turnbull, Charlie Dunning, Mary Jane Olivier, Margaret Crosfield, Glen Griffiths, Linda Richardson, Anna Moore, Nicola Bradbury, Stephen Lee Hodgkins and the Artmakers from Henshaw’s Arts And Crafts Centre for Ripon Museums Trust.

The exhibition in 360 degrees:

Download the Zine created for the exhibition.

Special thanks to Jenny Clough, Pat Wilson, Jean Berry, Claire Greensit, John Holmes, Moira Smith and Mark Cronfield for their voice over recording, as well as Andy Bates and Laura Allan who coordinated and supported the project throughout.

The project was funded by Arts Council England

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Images gallery of the creators of the project : I’ll send these separately as a link as the files are big! – don’t think I have received?

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