An exhibition of more than 50 artworks by men and women in Canterbury Prisons has opened at Oxford Gallery, North Canterbury and runs until 31 October.
INSIDEART Creativity Knows No Bounds showcases paintings, pencil drawings, sculpture and carving from Christchurch Men’s Prison, Christchurch Women’s Prison and Rolleston Prison.
Artworks are on display and for sale at the gallery and online, with proceeds going to the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, a charity chosen by contributing artists from Christchurch Men’s Prison for the service they offer the community.
“I’m really proud to have my work in a gallery,” says a contributing artist. “It’s given me confidence that my drawings are something people would like to look at. I told my mum too. She is really proud of me, especially because I gave my art to raise money for charity.”
Enthusiastic response from artists and prison staff
Education Tutor Elaine Drumm, who is organising the artworks on behalf of Canterbury Prisons, says the exhibition has been received enthusiastically by both the artists and prison staff.
“We have a great deal of talent in our prison spaces and this exhibition has enabled our experienced and blossoming talent to connect with the community and contribute to a great cause.
“The men and women have contributed some amazing works. We have some artists who have only discovered their talents in prison, and are both excited and nervous about having their work on public display. Other artists had a particular message they wanted to share through their art. For our experienced artists, this has encouraged them to further develop their art and potentially consider this as an employment opportunity on release.”
Exhibition extended until 31 October
The exhibition was planned to open mid-August but was delayed by Covid-19. With distancing and gathering restrictions in place, Oxford Gallery have extended the exhibition until 31 October.
For some artists, this extended date will also make it possible for them and their whānau to see their art on display.
INSIDEART Creativity Knows No Bounds is a collaboration between Department of Corrections/Ara Poutama Aotearoa and Oxford Gallery Toi o Waimakariri. You can view and purchase artwork at the Gallery or online.