In 1848 Ernest Jones was imprisoned for two years solitary confinement. A political agitator from the Chartist movement, Jones emphasised the importance of art as a vehicle for social change and in prison used his own blood to write epic poem In louring Hindostan into the pages of his prison prayer book. Foreshadowing the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and 1947 Indian independence, his words attacking colonial rule can also be read as a description of the social ills and inequality of early 1800s Britain. These social conditions were increasingly leading to calls of revolt against the political classes who used politics to protect themselves, factory and land owners.
As well as words, Jones also sketched the architecture which the political and economic structures created and this photo-montage of contemporary London mirrors Jones’ 1840s drawing A northern English town to consider parallels with our neo-liberal politics and society.