For the first time, art created by prisoners and acquired by The Ingram Collection is on public display through an innovative collaboration between The Ingram Collection and pioneering prison charity, The Clink.
An exhibition of prisoner art from The Ingram Collection – recognised as the biggest privately owned publicly accessible collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art – is now on display at The Clink Charity’s newest restaurant at HMP Styal, Cheshire, and will extend to other Clink venues at HMP High Down, HMP Brixton and HMP Cardiff.
The exhibition marks the launch of Inside Out from The Ingram Collection, the name chosen by the Collection’s founder, entrepreneur and philanthropist Chris Ingram, for objects in The Ingram Collection created by disadvantaged groups. For several years, Chris Ingram has been interested in ways that art can be used positively to help prisoners, young offenders and people affected by mental health issues to rebuild their self-confidence and sense of purpose in order to improve their lives.
Having now acquired more than 30 works by these artists, and committed to widening public access to art for both enjoyment and educational purposes, Chris Ingram is delighted to be working in partnership with The Clink to introduce Inside Out, and to celebrate the transformative powers of art in building better lives.
Chris Ingram says: “I admire what The Clink Charity is doing and hopefully, there are some good parallels. We are both looking to give prisoners improved skills, confidence and self-respect so that they have a much better chance of successfully re-entering society.”
“I’ve certainly also been influenced by the good work done by The Koestler Trust with their huge annual exhibition and Watts Gallery with their `Big Issues’ project.”
“The re-offending rate – 45% re-offend within 12 months – is scandalous and a huge waste both personally and economically, for the Country.”
Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity, says: “It’s great to have the opportunity to show art like this in the restaurants. The Clink offers prisoners the chance to change for the better through hospitality training and art in prisons can make a huge difference to an individual’s confidence and self-belief. As a charity we collaborate with other like-minded organisations, social enterprises and charities that are all working towards changing people’s lives for the better.”
Perdita Hunt, Director of Watts Gallery, says: “Watts Gallery Trust is very grateful to The Ingram Collection for showing work purchased from the Watts Gallery Big Issues Project in the Clink restaurants. This provides further validation of the talent of the participating artists and shows the power of their stories and transformation through art. If through working with an artist and drawing inspiration from the Watts collection, women prisoners, young offenders and those suffering mental health, drug abuse and homelessness, can find a new medium of expression which is then appreciated by others, they and those who view their work derive double pleasure from witnessing and strengthening the transformation that has been achieved. I hope diners are inspired and participants in The Clink and the Big Issues project thrive!”
Find out more about The Clink here.