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Prison art on display in Belfast

Pioneering work of Prison Arts Foundation transforms lives

By Amanda Ferguson

Artwork by Northern Ireland prisoners is on display in Belfast as part of a thought provoking exhibition.

A Time and a Place features a series of pieces created by serving prisoners in HMP Maghaberry, Magilligan and Hydebank Wood.

The project harnessed by the Prison Arts Foundation (PAF) is being showcased at the Waterfront Hall until tomorrow.

Then the Bind, Books and Bond exhibition - the final stage of the Inspire Women’s Project - opens on Wednesday in the Linen Hall Library until December 17.

PAF says the exhibited artworks raises prisoners self-esteem and highlights their ability to do something positive that is valued by peers, families, and the public, “creating a ripple effect” throughout our prisons.

Arts Council chief executive Roisin McDonough praised PAF’s work.

“Thanks to its pioneering work with prisoners and ex-offenders, lives are being transformed and patterns of behaviour changed for good,” she said.

“The team of dedicated and experienced professional artists working across the prison network in Northern Ireland is offering many prisoners a life-line, helping to improve their creative and communication skills, which is the key to personal and social development, building self-confidence and unlocking people’s potential.  

“The Arts Council is proud of our 16 year association with PAF; what PAF achieves through the arts, giving individuals the ability to reshape their futures, is a constructive intervention that benefits society as a whole.”

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