An exhibition of works by the men and women in Canterbury prisons has opened at Oxford Gallery toi o Waimakariri, North Canterbury.
INSIDEART Creativity Knows No Bounds showcases over 50 artworks, including paintings, pencil drawings, sculpture and carving from Christchurch Men’s, Christchurch Women’s and Rolleston Prisons
Artworks are on display and sale at the gallery and online, with proceeds going to the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, a charity chosen by contributing artists from Christchurch Men’s Prison for the service they offer the community.
“I’m really proud to have my work in a gallery,” says a contributing artist. “It’s given me confidence that my drawings are something people would like to look at. I told my mum too – she is really proud of me, especially because I gave my art to raise money for charity.”
Education Tutor Elaine Drumm, who is organising the art works on behalf of Canterbury prisons, says the exhibition has been received enthusiastically by the artists and prison staff.
“We have a great deal of talent in our prisons and this provided our experienced and blossoming talent to connect with the community and contribute to a great cause,” says Elaine. "The men and women have contributed some amazing works. We have some artists who have only discovered their talents in prison and are both excited and nervous about having their work on public display. Other artists had a particular message they wanted to share through their art. For our experienced artists, this has encouraged them to further develop their art and potentially consider this as an employment opportunity on release.”
The exhibition was planned to open mid-August and was delayed by COVID-19. With distancing and gathering restrictions in place Oxford Gallery have extended the exhibition for a further month, to 31 October.
For some artists, this extended date will also make it possible for them and their whānau to see their art on display.
INSIDEART Creativity Knows No Bounds is a collaboration between Ara Poutama Aotearoa and Oxford Gallery toi o Waimakariri.
You can view and purchase artwork at the Gallery or through Oxford Gallery toi o Waimakariri.