Invited by Artwo gallery to work with Rebibbia’s inmates, Sara Ferrari designed a wall clock with the wastes of the leather products industry, to give prisoners the possibility to express their creativity.

A very subtle prison tattoos you might come across is a tattoo of a clock with no hands. It means ‘doing time’, a colloquial expression for “spending time” in jail. It’s usually representative of a long prison sentence but it can also refer to the different time perception of a convicted person who can view time as somewhat meaningless.
Prison tattoos are often made to somehow create a connection with the outside: marking the beloved names enforces the meaning of relationships that will hopefully continue once out.

Tattoos made in prison though are often done to kill time. Concentrating in the pain is considered a good distraction, a way to stop thinking, through “the making”.

Once out though, most of the times prisoners regret to have market their skin that way.

With this project I would like to give prisoners the possibility to “mark” a different kind of skin, a canvas to use as a carrier pigeon where to express their thoughts and ideas and send them outside.

Wastes generated in the leather products industry will become the new skin to mark, a new precious surface where the prisoners’ thoughts will become decorations of a furnishing object such a wall clock.

Like this, the “doing time” will gain a different meaning and it will be transformed from simply “serving time” to “making and thinking time”.

wastes from leather industries, round wood embroidery hoop, clock mechanism, clock hands.
Every piece will be unique. Decorations will be designed by Rebibbia’s prisoners, compart G8, long sentence.
The project was commissioned by ARTWO, a gallery in Rome producing design objects using de-contextualized or recycled materials, based on social utility.
Collaborating with non profit companies Artwo started a training program and a production workshop with the inmates of Rebibbia, one of the biggest prisons in Italy, where designers meet the convicted to share artistic and manual skills.
All products are made by the inmates of REBIBBIA’s prison.

The five dots, sometimes known as the quincunx, represent time done in prison. The four dots on the outside are seen as the four walls, and the dot on the inside represents the prisoner.