Collection: H.M.P The Dance of Life (2019)

Prisons and people intrigue me - exploring both sides of the coin I visited and painted at Folsom prison, on the West Coast of America, in the summer of 2018, as part of the California Collection, one painting per day for 80 consecutive days....

 

We all try to 'walk the line' as Johnny Cash once said....

 

I literally did when visiting Folsom prison and was asked to 'move along' just as this photo was taken.....

 

So off I went, managing to find a quietish corner to create '9 at Folsom'.....

 

 

& 'Folsom Prison blues'....

 

With life marching on and my relentless desire to prove my 'self-worth' rarely dimming, a well-timed 'chance meeting' (no such thing, right?) with a member of staff from HMP Berwyn, Wrexham at the local gym  in North Wales occurred.

Months later, various dots were connected and I had the opportunity to work with the Learning and skills team at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham and you couldn't have scripted what happened let alone the end result....

Over a soul-searching 8 week period the group formed, normed, stormed and performed openly sharing values, thoughts, aspirations whilst all boldly sharing life's learnings to date....

We initially enjoyed a few ice-breakers, then moved onto defining what Community, Identity and values meant to us all and how it plays such a key part in life. It wasn't until week 5 when brushes touched the canvas, spring-boarding off the strong sense of identity and ideas we all had of how to express what it meant to us did the 'Dance of Life' (2019) collection come to life.... 

 

This is the result as the dots were connected and it all came together when the time was right! Such rich learning for all involved and most importantly helped people on the way to becoming rehabilitated which is the ultimate aim of HMP Berwyn.

Here's part 1 : Running through the rationale behind the participants paintings 1 - 4

 

Sharing stories along the way we all leaned in together and created this 9 strong collection (Plus 'Hair today, gone tomorrow' but that's another story) was the creative output of a series of eight workshops held at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham between July and October 2019.

Here's part 2 : Running through the rationale behind the participants paintings 5 - 9

 

Each painting tells a story from staff and residents alike and as a collective from start to finish as the dance goes on and the result of several weeks of heart felt discussion, soul searching and team work in full effect.

The work now remains safe and sound at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham and it's hoped oneday it can be showcased to share the story of how Art can help rehabilitate people from all walks of life, meanwhile, the walk continues....

 

Enjoy this collection, please do dig deeper connecting the dots  and the thread that goes with it as ultimately we are all connected!

 

 It was a real eye opener on every level and I'm still in touch with HMP Berwyn learning and skills who do a fantastic job under such challenging times.

 I'm hoping to work with HMP Berwyn both on and offline and it will happen when it is meant to happen!

 

9 products
  • 1. What on Earth?
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  • 2. Ups & Downs
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  • 5. Core Values
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  • 3. Just Visiting
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  • 4. Bonded by love
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  • 6. True Colours
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  • 7. Connected
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  • 8. Nature, Nurture...
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  • 9. Altogether, now!
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