Prison Art

It’s not often you see a prison program which works, but every now and then, someone gets it right. Prison art program The Torch seeks to rehabilitate Aboriginal inmates. The art work is amazing and beautiful, and not only provides a way to make a living, pile up a bit of cash while serving a sentence, prevents recidivism, it helps to reconnect indigenous people with their roots. That last is crucial for indigenous people everywhere. For every indigenous person being forced into a colonial lifestyle, the odds aren’t good. This is highlighted, briefly, in the article:

Mr Morris said Indigenous Australians made up less than 3 per cent of the population, but close to 30 per cent of the prison population.
“They’re 15 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous Australians,” he said.
And rates of reoffending are also too high. “Developing economic opportunity and independence allows participants to start afresh, start again and get over that cycle of poverty and disadvantage,” Mr Morris said.


Photo: Works painted by former and current inmates of Victorian prisons. (ABC News)



Photo: The Torch program helps Aboriginal inmates reconnect with their heritage. (ABC News)


  1. says

    A number of these pieces are done with a searing sense of looking out and knowing you can’t touch or be a part of what you see. The one that seems to touch on this most is the one with two lizards (2nd painting down, middle). You can see that they are painted as though they were on window glass. It’s terribly poignant, and whoever did it is a very talented artist.

  2. dakotagreasemonkey says

    That 2nd painting down, to me is a representation of rejoining the circle of life. The blues are male, pink are female, and a solitary dog. The four that have touched the circle are being drawn in, and there are others that have started to become part of the community, but are still outside.
    A very vivid way to look at belonging to a greater whole.

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