Oscar Wilde's De Profundis
In Autumn 2016, Reading prison opened to the public for the first time for an Artangel project in which a 30-strong showcase of artists and writers share works in response to De Profundis.
Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading Prison between 1895 and 1897, enduring the Separate System, a harsh penal regime designed to eliminate any contact between prisoners. During this period he wrote one of his last great works: an extended letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, later published as De Profundis.
The actor Stephen Rea returned to cell C.3.3 in HM Reading Prison to perform De Profundis. The reading was preceded by a feature documentary where writer and director Neil Bartlett examined the conditions under which Wilde was writing.
Across a week on BBC Radio 4, in Letter from Inside, writers and artists from around the world read letters on the theme of imprisonment. The letter writers include Ai Weiwei, Jeanette Winterson, Anne Carson, Gillian Slovo, Joe Dunthorne, Tahmima Anam and Binyavanga Wainana.