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Prisoner Artworks to Benefit Restorative Justice Trust

Prisoner Artworks to Benefit Whanganui Restorative Justice Trust

Mural (Arohata Prison)
Photo credit: Department of Corrections

Sales of prisoner artwork currently on show in Whanganui’s Davis Central City Library will raise funds for the Whanganui Restorative Justice Trust.

The exhibition, themed Aotearoa – Our Land, Our People, features artwork from 13 prisoners from Whanganui Prison who contributed around 30 pieces of art to the exhibition.

The prison has partnered with the Davis Library to host the exhibition with curatorial assistance provided by Sarjeant Gallery curator Greg Donson.

Prison Manager Reti Pearse says art plays a contributing role in the rehabilitation of prisoners.

“Corrections’ goal is to reduce re-offending by 25% by 2017. The prison’s art programme complements other education, training and group therapy our prisoners attend, and provides an opportunity for prisoners to practise and strengthen their communication skills, working with others, goal setting and patience.

“The prisoners who contributed to the art exhibition see it as an opportunity to give something positive back to the community,” says Mr Pearse.

Prison art tutor Carol Gash says the exhibition features a wide range of works, including paintings, intricate pencil works and a one-of-a-kind carving.

“The works are all of a high standard and demonstrate a range of talents and techniques. Maori mythology, portraiture and New Zealand landscapes - present and futuristic - are all featured. People who view the exhibition will be pleasantly surprised at the creativity and resourcefulness on display,” Mrs Gash says.

The exhibition is on display in the Davis Library from Monday 9 June – Monday 30 June. Entry is free.

The majority of the artworks are available for purchase, with all funds raised going to the Whanganui Restorative Justice Trust.

The exhibition also includes two large scale murals (approximately 2.85m wide x 1.8m high) painted by women prisoners from Arohata Prison, just outside Wellington. It is the first time the murals, which also have a New Zealand theme, have been displayed publicly.

Exhibition details
What: Aotearoa – Our Land, Our People Prisoner Art Exhibition
When: Monday 9 June – Monday 30 June 2014
Where: Davis Central City Library, Campbell Street, Queens Park, Whanganui


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