This is the fourth of eight exhibits presenting the artwork, graffiti, and other expressions of
incarceration at the former prison site in Lorton, Virginia.
This project began on 24 August 2002, when my wife Til
and I attended a decommissioning ceremony, transferring jurisdiction of
the prison property from the District of Columbia Department of
Corrections back to Fairfax County, Virginia. At the time and
subsequently, I had the opportunity to photograph the site during guided
tours of the prison and, eventually, self-directed visits with the
permission of the proper authorities at the time.
This self-assigned project was undertaken in my spare time from 2002 to 2008, with the
bulk of the work occurring from 2003 to 2005. My "canvas"
consisted of hundreds of cells and other rooms located in dozens of buildings on more than 2,300
rolling acres spread between the town
of Lorton in Fairfax County and the village of Occoquan in neighboring Prince
The majority of buildings constituting
the prison complex were assembled into four major groups, known as: 1)
"Central" (or "Central/Max," including the primary
maximum security area); 2) "Minimum Security;" 3) "Youth
Correctional Facility" (or, simply, "YCF"); and 4) the
"Occoquan Facility" (or, the "Workhouse"). Generally,
these four facilities are represented in each of the eight exhibits which
will be presented here, in approximate proportion to the amount of
material I harvested in each of them.
Over the course of this project, I managed to make a
little more than one thousand images throughout the entire prison site,
approximately one-quarter of which will be presented on this web site in
one of eight separate exhibits under the banner of "Behind
Bars." It is hoped that the viewer will find these images as
compelling and as fascinating to ponder as I have in making them over the
For other particulars relating to this project, the
viewer is encouraged to review the introductory texts of the first three
exhibits of this series (for which, see the "Previous Exhibits"
section of this web site).
Caution: Some images in this exhibit may not be
considered suitable for viewing by children.