Inspired by the book Jackson's Recantation, or, The life & death of the notorious high-way-man, now hanging in chains at Hampstead delivered to a friend a little before execution (1674), I started looking into the religious ritual surrounding the confessional box.
My idea is to create a non-religious public building for the residents of Hackney to visit and confess to the sins by which they are burdened by. This will form a type of therapy as they relieve a sense of guilt. Whilst maintaining anonymity, the confessions are displayed for all to see and then archived.
The following are my illustrations accompanied with relevant excerpts taken from Jackson's Recantation, or, The life & death of the notorious high-way-man, now hanging in chains at Hampstead delivered to a friend a little before execution (1674).
i. The Sin
ii. The Confession
Being here confined in this Terrestrial Hell; surrounded with horror and despair, my conscience started out of her dead sleep, and demanded a severe account of what I had done; guilt instantly did stop my mouth, and having not a word to say for myself, I withed my production (as my actions) inhumane; such was my deplorable destruction, that I thought I heard the howls and hollow groans of damned Souls, which added weight to one anothers perpetual misery;
Whilst I was in the greatest Agony imaginable, a Minister, or rather a charitable Physician for my sin sick Soul, came to visit me, who knowing me a notorious Offender, advised me to repent, for as yet it was not too late; hereupon he propounded several questions, endeavouring to disburden my overloaded conscience, by extracting from me an ingenious general Confession of what enormous Crimes I had committed; finding this pious man had no other design then for the benefit of my Soul, and knowing withall, the impossibility of my escape, by reason of so many Indictments alledged against me; I plainly laid open the whole course of my Life, not omitting any circumstance remarkable.
iii. The Publication
Much more might be written on this subject, but since it is impossible to discover the whole Art and Mystery of the High-way trade, let this suffice, for according to the Proverb, new Lords, new Laws; so all new Gangs have new Orders, Plots and Designs, to Rob and Purloin from the honest Traveller.