Inside Art: Crime, Justice and Creative Energies by Mary Brown

By Mary Brown

An evidence of ways within which the research of artwork can act as a set off for switch in prisoners. This stimulating paintings relies on conversations with artists - together with humans in legal or who have been as soon as imprisoned. It charts the significance of inventive task as an tool of non-public swap. because the writer is forced to assert: ëIndividuals can, and do, switch. If there's a message in those tales, this is often it: we have to pay attention, comprehend and act upon it. The actual partitions round prisons mustn't ever turn into psychological partitions retaining us from realizing the worlds of these inside. we're all individuals of the society that builds the felony wallsí.

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Or "Who painted it? " He's a prisoner, in for murder like, and they look at it differently ... The prisoner bit comes first, and I don't like that 'painted by a prisoner'. Like most prisoners, we're copy artists. We can't go out there to look at anything to paint can we? In prison there's nothing to paint. I want to forget the cell. (Paul) Many people in prison copy famous paintings, and this is sometimes seen as in some way cheating. However, copies of old masters are highly prized among inmates and can be exchanged for tobacco, as can portraits of families painted in oils from photographs.

You've got personalities to deal with. Not everybody likes you, when you go on there ... At this year's Christmas concert I made some of them cry because it was emotional ... for me it's good to be able to say for once in my life I've done something and it's the best thing I've ever done. (David) 50 Inside Art You need someone to come along and say, 'I like that'. In music people clap. With painting no one ever claps you. It's a solitary thing. (Ran) I don't write for myself. If I didn't think my poetry was going to be read by anybody else I wouldn't have written half of what I've written ...

One of the few in Groups One and Two who had been painting before he came into prison said: I definitely don't find escape, because always you're conscious of your restrictions. I can imagine someone saying that who hasn't painted before they came into prison, hasn't experienced the outside freedoms of equipment, lighting and time. (Neville) But people do not have to be in prison to experience art as escape: You just forget everything ... You forget to eat, where you are, what time it is, only after you've finished you realise-gosh I'm hungry!

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