A boxed set of twenty prints (Sheet 22 x 18 in, 550 x 450 mm) on Somerset Satin Waterleaf paper (250 gsm). Letterpress composed of Gill Sans type.
Housed in a black solander box (22 x 19 in, 58 x 49 mm) in an edition of 20.

HANGMAN is used as an obvious metaphor. I felt a profound association between morbidity and mental pathology in the time I spent working in these hospitals for the mentally ill. A macabre ‘Dance of Death’ seemed apparent, being played out in front of me. A man burns a cigarette into the middle of his forehead, a vain attempt to eliminate the torment of his third eye. In my naivety I was hoping to elicit some sort of insight from the forlorn souls incarcerated within. Nothing could be less straightforward, I was listening to words which had no allure to common sense. However, hidden behind this absence of reality, these strange, coded phrases contained a twisted labyrinth of meaning. A few years later I produced ten woodcuts to combine with this collection of random utterances. They refer to events taking place as they happened in the disturbed ward or on the grounds of the institution. A fragile human presence paired with a jumble of psychotic words, juggled around and arranged in the style of an undisciplined Hiaku.

‘The material for Simon Redington’s work HANGMAN is derived from his experience as an art therapist in psychiatric hospitals in Southern England. The game of hangman was one of those used to draw patients out but, obviously, the title brings with it other associations, particularly since the unbound pages are housed in a sombre black box. Its dour, weighty appearance is a fitting house for the inmates Redington has chiselled out in his woodcuts. Inside, the dense images create their own mysterious, sad world; a lone female presses against a window, shut out in urban exile; figures in groups move around one another without visible communication or affection, the barriers between them all emphasized by stark black and white definitions. each of the ten woodcuts is accompanied by brief text on a separate sheet. Vast, deranged letters of the alphabet in reds and greys are scattered over the the texts, harking back to the title game. Redington has produced a ‘document’ which is sensitive and un-voyeuristic and avoids patronizing its subject but the underlying parallel is, of course, the way we tend to view the mentally sick – the book is a private view, albeit a concerned and sympathetic one, of our equivalent of Bedlam, an exhibit kept ordered within the confines of a well-guarded building and not expected to answer back.’

Cathy Courtney, Art Monthly 1990