Artists on Inside exhibition launches

South Australian prisoners will showcase their talent and artwork as part of the 2021 Artists on the Inside exhibition.

This year’s exhibition, organised by the Department for Correctional Services (DCS) in partnership with UniSA’s Bob Hawke Ministerial Centre, is held as part of the 2021 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival and launches today.

The Artists on the Inside exhibition features the largest collection of artworks from the prison system to be displayed in South Australia since its inception in 2012. State prisoners were given the opportunity to create art and submit it to be awarded by professional artists and curators.

Over 80 entries are on display this year featuring a diverse range of artwork which includes acrylic on canvas, pencil sketches, soap sculptures, crochet, applique and written works.

The public are invited to engage with the artists behind the exhibition by voting for the People’s Choice Award.

The Artists on the Inside exhibition has the ongoing support of the Commissioner for Victim’s Rights. Prisoners will not be identified and all artworks have been reviewed and approved for public display by the DCS Victim Services Unit to protect the community.

Correctional Services Minister Vincent Tarzia said the exhibition gives the public a unique insight into the lives of prisoners and the issues many face each day.

“Participating in art programs while in prison fosters creativity, social connection and in some cases, a possible employment option when inmates have served their sentence. This initiative has a flow-on effect to improve prisoner rehabilitation and post-release outcomes,” Minister Tarzia said.

DCS Chief Executive, David Brown, said prisoners who produce art discover it is a therapeutic way to build resilience in a difficult environment.

“Art can be restorative during incarceration. Creating art has the potential to alleviate boredom and create community, offering an avenue for correctional staff to enhance security by engaging with prisoners in a positive way,” Mr Brown said.

Artists on the Inside will be on display at UniSA’s Kerry Packer Civic Gallery up until August 27.

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