Winchester Community Prison and the collaboration with Art and Mind
The text below was written by Andy Lattimore, the Govenor of HMP Winchester, to introduce an exhibition of prisoners' artwork. This work sprang from Art and Mind's collaboration with staff at Winchester Community prison and formed part of the Festival in 2007 called 'Entrances and Exits - the art and science of birth and death'. The Art Department helped inmates produce some remarkable work, some of which we reproduce opposite.
We intend to continue our relationship with the prison in whatever ways we can in the future. We expect a rolling exhibition on this site of prisoners' work, both written and visual art.
The title "Entrances and Exits" is poignant in the prison context, as this dearly has special significance for individuals committed to custody and then preparing for their release. Coming into prison - losing one's liberty - is never easy, even for the most hardened. Life's normal reference points and the freedom to choose how to navigate through each day are taken away. The absence of friends and family is hard to bear.
While our men are in prison we work hard to help them prepare for the future - we challenge offending behaviour through programmes, we educate and provide skills for training, we help with accommodation, employment, health problems and maintaining family ties. We try to equip prisoners to make the right choices and take the opportunity to change, not to re-offend. But whatever we do we cannot wholy mitigate the human impact of walking out of our gate at the end of a prison sentence and asking "What shall I do now....?"
Justice and how it should be exercised in our society is an important question that every citizen should reflect on. I hope this exhibition will help you think about these things and gain some insight into what "Entrance und Exits" means when you are at the end of the line in prison.
Images by Mark
Images by Simon