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PCC displays artwork by women in prison


PCC Sue Mountstevens with the Koestler Trust artwork

Artwork, sculptures and poems by women in prison are on display in important venues and public buildings throughout the UK, including the office of Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

The artwork trail is to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage and has been prepared by the Koestler Trust who helps offenders, secure patients and detainees lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “It is a privilege to take part in this unique artwork trail. Far too often women’s voices are suppressed, overlooked and sometimes unheard. I am glad that we can help shine a light on women prisoners and their creative talents. As one prisoner said ‘I love to be creative as it sets my mind, heart and soul free even though my physical body is imprisoned.’ It just shows that the artwork provides a positive channel for the women, which helps build their self-confidence and self-esteem while also unlocking their creative abilities and I am delighted that we get to see first-hand some of that inspiration.”

On display at Police and Fire Headquarters, Portishead, there is a print of a song called “12 days of Christmas” from Low Newton Prison.

Dame Anne Owers, Chair of the Koestler Trust said: “I am really pleased that we are able to launch this unique art trail, 100 years after the first women were able to vote. Many of those who campaigned for women’s suffrage themselves experienced prison, and so it’s appropriate that the art trail showcases the achievements of women now in prison”.

The exhibition across the UK includes 100 framed paintings, drawings, sculptures and poems. With the aim of shining a light on women in prison 100 years on from the 1918 Representation of the People Act which was preceded by a suffragette campaign which led to the imprisonment of many of its supporters.

Posted on Thursday 29th March 2018
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