The National Gallery is leading the charge for ‘insider art’ with an exhibition of artwork by criminals opening next week.
The 48 works on display are the fruits of an outreach programme named ‘Inside Art’ conducted by the gallery at Feltham Young Offenders Institution.
Groups between the ages of 15 and 21 created paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings and collages inspired by the National Gallery’s permanent collection.
The prisoners are taught by freelance artists who work for the National Gallery, using large-scale prints of famous works.
The offenders’ responses to the project have also been included in the exhibition, illustrating ways in which the project has helped them to develop knowledge, skills and to use their imagination.
One participant remarked: “‘I learnt to look at paintings in a different way and see that there is a lot going on and that a painting gives you a message.”
National Gallery Outreach Officer, Emma Rehm, said: ““Such experiences and insights are enriching for the young men involved and can help to reduce the risk of reoffending.”
Funding for the project comes from the LankellyChase Foundation.
‘Inside Art’ opens 7 February 2011 until 1 May 2011, nationalgallery.org.uk