Less than one month to go until the launch of prisoners’ art exhibition

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The launch of a major exhibition of prisoner artwork will take place at Chester Cathedral on Monday 08 October and will go on display to the public on Tuesday 09 October. The aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate to visitors that behind every prisoner’s conviction and sentence is a personal story of love, hope and loss.

Titled, Journey Into Light, the exhibition is made up of more than 50 individual pieces of art produced by prisoners from HMP Styal and HMP Thorn Cross, Cheshire.

It has been coordinated and funded by the Diocese of Chester and Chester Cathedral. Debbie Dalby, Director of Social Responsibility at the Diocese of Chester, says: “We want people to view the exhibition and leave with a greater sense of empathy and awareness of prisoner experience. There is life beyond prison and we want to celebrate renewal and restoration and the hope of a brighter, more optimistic future.

“By seeing the creativity of prisoners and hearing their stories, people will be able to better understand some of the choices, mistakes and circumstances that they have faced in their lives.”

The Diocese of Chester has been planning the exhibition for 12 months with the support of its prison chaplains who have worked with the prisoners to produce the pieces of art. The exhibits differ in style from large acrylic paintings, abstract landscapes, and self-portraits.

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, says: “Prisoners are often viewed as “the other” yet they live in our midst, are a part of our communities, and contribute to our societies. The Bible has much to say about the plight of prisoners and the Christian faith recognises that every person is made in the image of God and is valued despite our individual mistakes and regrets. This exhibition allows us the opportunity to understand better the lived experiences of prisoners in Cheshire.”

Around 80 invited guests are expected to attend the opening event at Chester Cathedral on Monday 08 October. The exhibition will then be open to the public from the 09 - 12 October before it travels to Stockport later in the month.

A further 15 venues at different locations around the Diocese of Chester will host the exhibition over the next year. If you would like to host the exhibition, email Hannah Jones


Page last updated: 13th Sep 2018 3:51 PM