Belfast Telegraph

Ford opens exhibition of prison art

Stormont Executive press releases - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford has officially opened an exhibition of prisoner art at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

The exhibition, organised by the Prison Art Foundation (PAF), will run until 10 August to coincide with the World Police and Fire Games and features artefacts made from prisoners who were incarcerated in each of Northern Ireland’s prisons, with some of the exhibits dating back to the Maze.

Joining the Minister in officially opening the exhibition was local celebrity Nuala McKeever, the partner of PAF Director Mike Moloney who died tragically in April of this year.

Speaking at the launch the Minister said: “Prison can be a lonely place and for many people can be an unnerving, tumultuous and troubling experience. Through art prisoners can express their inner feelings, make sense of their current situation and, most importantly of all, offer them a path to rehabilitation.

“The role of prison art is incalculable and I commend PAF on putting together this exhibition, which is surely a first for the World Police and Fire Games and it underpins the role of Correctional and Prison Services in the Games.”

The Minister also used to occasion to pay tribute to the dynamic work of Mike Moloney in the field of prison art.

David Ford said: “This exhibition is as much a legacy to Mike as it is to the prisoners who created it. He touched the lives of so many people and through art offered many prisoners opportunities in life that they had never before experienced.

“He was a truly inspirational figure who touched the lives of all who had the good fortune to come into contact with him. His enthusiasm knew no bounds and we are all the poorer without him, but his name will live on through the continuing work of PAF and the many people who find new opportunities and new experiences through prison art.”

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