Prison art flourishing internationally

1 December, 2010 Innovative art initiatives in prisons from the United States to the United Kingdom and Pakistan to Trinidad and Tobago are evidence of a flourishing global movement towards the use of creativity as an important tool for rehabilitation.

The cast of a play atHer Majesty's Prison Barlinnie, part of Scotland's Inspiring Change project. Image courtesy of Tim Morozzo.Arts Access Aotearoa has reported on several initiatives over the last few weeks, as it looks to expand links with international counterpart organisations and individuals who have much to share with us.

Recent stories include:

UK prison art exhibition curated by victims

The latest national exhibition of prison art by the United Kingdom’s Koestler Trust was curated by victims of crime. Read more.

US prison arts founder named Greatest Person of the Day

Katherine Vockins, founder and director of New York-based Rehabilitation Through the Arts  was earlier this month named Greatest Person of the Day by America’s influential Huffington Post blog. Read more.

Phyllis Kornfeld: unplugging creativity

Internationally renowned American prison art teacher and lecturer Phyllis Kornfeld sees her primary function as “unplugging”. Read more.

Inspiring change in Scottish prisons

An ambitious project in five Scottish prisons is enabling researchers to gather robust evidence on the impact of creative arts activity on re-offending. Read more.

Prison art in Wales

An exhibition of prison art at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff includes a remarkable painting of The Oliver Cromwell, one of the last steam locomotives to operate in Britain before steam was banned in 1968. Remarkable because the detailed work was painted from memory by an inmate who cannot read or write and had only seen the train once. Read more.

Reaping as they sew

Hundreds of inmates in prisons throughout the United Kingdom are finding solace – and learning important skills – from an unlikely creative source: needlework. Read more.

Global tool for rehabilitation

Earlier this month 30 inmates crammed into one room at Karachi Central Jail in Pakistan to take part in an art class. Across the border in Hyderabad a few weeks earlier artists and prison inmates from the Cherlapalli Central Jail worked together in a one-day “camp” to create paintings. Read more.


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