Prisoner profile: motivation and ability to work at things

22 May 2012

Cory (not his real name) had never made art until six months ago when he enrolled in The Learning Connexion Certificate course – something, he says, which has made him “more motivated and willing to keep working at things”.

Artwork by Cody (not his real name)Cory is one of approximately 80 prisoners studying art from Corrections’ facilities around the country, using the distance-learning processes at The Learning Connexion. For him, art is teaching him to “look at things from a different perspective”.

Sharon Hall, Restricted Programmes Co-ordinator and Distance Delivery Mentor at The Learning Connexion, says that after only six months, Cory is establishing his own personal style. A lot of his work is themed around slightly darker or fantasy-type imagery with a strong narrative.

“We’ve been massively impressed with the way Cory has applied himself to the course and methodically worked through any challenge we set him,” Sharon says. “His skills, particularly in paint, are more developed and his ideas more resolved every time we collect new work.”

1. Do you think it’s important to have good arts instruction and a mentoring process that supports the development of your art?

Yes, it helps if you are stuck on a subject or if you don’t understand something you are working on. I also enjoy being able to ask questions, and talk about art and ideas.

2. Sometimes when we’re making art, we have to face unexpected problems and work out ways to overcome them. What sort of problems have you overcome in the process of making art?

Problem solving, which comes with time spent working on something: for example, choosing the right colour for the piece of art you are doing.

3. Do you think the skills that you learn when you’re making art transfer to other things you do in your daily life?

It makes me observe things a lot better in case I want to draw or paint them. It also lets the mind wander into different areas.

4. What does being able to participate in exhibitions mean for you?

That my art can be displayed.


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