SDP Spotlight: Combining art and history to represent the psychological effects of solitary confinement

SDP: Rebecca Lipsitich

Over the spring and winter terms, Rebbeca Lipsitch ’21 has been working on a Student-Directed Project centered around the question of “How does one artistically represent the psychological effects of solitary confinement on a human?”

As one of Yolanda Wilcox González‘s change-making students, Rebecca’s student-directed project was born from a project in Ms. Gonzalez’s Theories of Justice class. Rebecca made connections with artists and formerly incarcerated people to design a solitary confinement cell to briefly simulate the destructive isolation and environment prisoners are subjected to. With help from Beaver’s Building & Grounds Department, Rebecca created a 6×10 foot model cell on-campus. In the space, there is a red light to show the lack of heat control. Only a bed and sound fill the room (Rebecca created a two and half minute audio sequence to accompany the experience). Students, faculty, and staff were able to experience her work earlier this month.

“This is both an art and history project. There are unrealistic elements to the design, but the anxiety and desperation [the audience] feel should be real.” — Rebecca Lipsitch ’21

Check out a 360 video of her work:

Read more about Rebecca and her work on her website.

— Lizzie Conklin is an intern at Beaver Country Day School and assistant to painter Joel Janowitz. She is currently interning in various departments at Beaver—including Visual Arts and Marketing. She hopes to one day be an artist.

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