Mind's Eye: bringing offenders’ work into the Museum of London
5 April to 5 June 2006 (CLOSED)
An exhibition of 25 paintings and 14 pieces of creative writing by offenders in Wandsworth Prison will be going on display at the Museum of London for two months between 5 April to 5 June. “Mind’s Eye” showcases the artistic talents of inmates, who have captured many aspects of the capital in new and surprising ways.
With the help of professional artists and writers they have turned their experiences of London into intimate paint and poetry depictions of the metropolis. Taking their place in an illustrious pantheon of cell-bound artists, including Cervantes, Caravaggio, Oscar Wilde and Jeffrey Archer, the Wandsworth group and their personal portraits offer a unique view of the remembered city.
Lucie Fitton, who co-ordinates the Museum’s Social Inclusion Programme says: "The fantastic art work and writing of the Mind's Eye exhibition was created over summer 2005 in a series of workshops with offenders in Wandsworth Prison. These workshops form one of 13 projects which are part of this three year programme, which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.”
“Our projects aim to engage people at risk of social exclusion with their own heritage, and we use a great variety of arts and media to do this. Participants of the Mind's Eye project clearly couldn't visit the Museum of London, so we took the Museum to them. Exploring a variety of objects from our collection the participants were encouraged to think about themes such as the past, place and memory. We set them the brief of creating a piece of artwork that represented somewhere in London that was significant to them.
“The group worked with a team of 4 artists over the next couple of months to develop their pieces. We wanted the group to experience using different art forms, which meant that we ended up with a rich body of work including lino prints, screen prints and collographs. A writer then worked with them over three weeks to create poetry or prose to interpret and accompany the artwork – which was a huge challenge for some of participants, but very rewarding.
“This project, like all of our social inclusion projects, is a two way street. Throughout the project the participants gain a wide variety of skills - such as group working, writing and creativity, but their work also helps us to learn more about what London means to people. The Mind’s Eye exhibition was displayed at the prison in December. It was really important for the offenders to realise their achievements by seeing their work properly exhibited. The sense of pride I saw in their faces was fantastic."
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Notes for editors
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