|HOPE HMP, Lindholme, Shearman Bowen Award for Mixed Media c|
Curated by Sarah Lucas
The Spirit Level,
Royal Festival Hall
until November 25
The 50th anniversary of the Koestler Trust is celebrated by an exhibition of art by prisoners, offenders on community sentences, secure psychiatric patients and immigration detainees. From the 8,000 entries Sarah Lucas chose 180 exhibits which include music, film, drawings, craft and sculture.
The horizontal lines in Hope draw the eye inescapably to the grid at the back which is shut firmly in our faces. No escape there. No glimpse of life outside through a cell window. The textured brownish black paint (?) applied thickly - scrawled even - on the walls is disturbing, a reminder of prisoner protest. But we can see something like a porthole. Alas, this image is too small to do justice to the delicate line drawing of a tree in full leaf enclosed in the small, pale circle. Perhaps the artist is reminding us that hope can come as a gift, unbidden, to anyone anywhere.
|Just Another Day, HMP Lindholme, Shearman Bowen Gold Award for Pastels|
Which contrasts with the what's happening before our eyes. Behind the bespectacled man at the table is an open doorway where two men are violently entangled. The trio in the top left hand corner could be having a group hug - or sorting out a deal? It's best not to ask what the man in the right corner is up to. And the card players? A cosy hand of rummy or whist? We can look over the right shoulder of the man in front of us but the symbol on his card is not red hearts or black clubs or red diamonds or black spades. It looks like a heart-shaped white arum lily. I've never found one like that in any card game I've played.
|All Patched Up, The Dene Hospital, Partnerships in Care, Women in secure hospitals Platinum Award for textile |Art.Add caption|
(c) koestler trust