The prison was opened to the public for the first time, allowing artists and performers a space to interpret the works of its most famous inmate Oscar Wilde, who was Incarcerated in solitary confinement for much of his time in the gaol. While there, he wrote De Profundis, a letter to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas and upon his release his last work The Ballad of Reading Gaol, was produced.
Throughout the prison, new works by artists such as Nan Goldin, Marlene Dumas, and Steve McQueen were installed. Those fortunate enough to get tickets were able to listen to Wilde’s De Profundis performed live in the former prison chapel each Sunday throughout the exhibition by readers including Neil Bartlett, Ralph Fiennes, Kathryn Hunter, Ragnar Kjartansson, Maxine Peake, Lemn Sissay, Patti Smith, Colm Tóibín, and Ben Whishaw
Throughout, visitors were able to roam the prison corridors and cells and view other exhibits on display.