Prisoner art has far reaching benefits

Prisoner Art

The Henderson’s Wayne Weaver says that encouraging prisoners to take art classes has benefits not only for the prisoner, but their family and the wider community.

“Prisoners don’t get opportunities to show their work in a professional manner, so recognition can be difficult,” Wayne says.

When prisoners are released, he explained, if they have been occupied with art, they are able to continue on, possibly making a living from their art or even teach.

“This can also have a great benefit to families who can be under a lot of stress,” he says.

“While they are in jail they can paint for 8-10 hours easily and it can make them forget about everything.”

“You can also see certain feelings and how they are doing through their paintings.”

“You can see in their colours and brush strokes a 180 degree turn around, from being violent or troubled, to them coming to terms with things.”

Wayne says that the community needs to understand the pressures prisoners have faced, will continue to face and see what an important and inexpensive role art can play.

“The big question is what do you want to see come out of the jails. Do you want someone angry and lost or do you want your community to benefit?”

Prisoner Art Exhibition
Opened on Saturday 28th January

This show also featured exhibitions running parallel and complementary to the prisoner art:

  • Colleen Sam (Ngungurnnumma)
  • Keith Weribone
  • Robert Henderson – desert-inspired digital pieces