Prisoner’s artwork to feature at Heathcote
ART has always been about eliciting a response and that brief will no doubt be ticked when punishment, rehabilitation and society’s attitudes toward incarceration are explored in a thought-provoking exhibition at Heathcote Gallery, opening May 4.
Untitled is a collaboration between Rockingham artist Andy Quilty and a prisoner currently serving time in a WA jail.
Quilty said under strict guidelines for the exhibition to go ahead the man’s identity and the prison where he is serving his sentence had to be withheld.
Featuring a mix of drawings, paintings and installations, the exhibition examines the impact of prison life “on the physical and psychological wellbeing of individuals”.
In a statement, the unnamed artist, a Masters candidate, said his work was an attempt to visually portray – from a first person perspective – the impact of being confined to an artificial environment.
He said the regulated movements of prisoners and repetitive and mundane routine was more harmful than good.
“Highlighting how the prison environment impacts on the individual from an insider’s perspective, it may also be possible to develop a broader awareness and open dialogue to alternative ways to lessen the damage caused to prisoners by the environments they are housed in,” he said.
Quilty said he hoped the exhibition would trigger discussion about the way prisoners are handled.
“It should then be about rehabilitation. A mark of society is how we treat the most difficult among us,” he said.
Rockingham artist Andy Quilty will collaborate with a WA prisoner on Untitled, an exhibition at Heathcote Gallery.