Made Visible is an innovative new project designed by Pictora, and supported by the Big Lottery, that builds prisoner, ex-offender and unemployed individuals’ employability skills, challenges the condition of Learned Helplessness (where due to past experiences the individual has learned to fail) and a lack of purpose in life.
The project used creativity to enable people to fulfil their potential which is otherwise limited by their circumstances.
It helped to develop employability skills and through increased community engagement, helped to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.
For prisoners and ex-offenders the Made Visible project provided positive support for resettlement to reduce the likelihood of reoffending. For participants both in prison and the community, the project will have an therapeutic effect, creating a sense of purpose, allowing the development of self- expression which in turn builds self-confidence.
The key aim of the project is to challenge the ‘us and them’ mental concept, by removing labels of offender, ex-offender and unemployed, thus bringing all groups together - ‘Made Visible.’
Made Visible in HMP The Mount
The Pictora team promoted the Made Visible Project and thanks have to be given to the volunteer who put 1,000 promotional leaflets under cell doors in the prison. Linkage was made with the prison’s art department, but the success of the project was being able about to reach prisoners on the prison wings, who were not engaged in education art activity in a formal education context.
Pictora with the support of Big Lottery funding, was able to supply 170 prisoners with art paper, coloured pencils and water colours in order to complete their art, drawings or poetry.
The only restriction that prisoners had was that their work could not be larger than A5 and had to meet ethical standards.
In June 140 entries had been received. These were mounted by a Pictora volunteer and combined with entries from the community.
Judging of the entries was provided by board members of The Art Society - Gade Valley.
On 9th July 2019 an exhibition of both the prison and community Made Visible art was organised in The Mount Prison. Prisoners and prison staff had the opportunity to view the art. During this time, prisoners were able amoungst themselves to discuss their art amongst themselves and compare it with the art submitted in the community.
Following the exhibition and awards event was held in the Prison with Awards being presented by the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Sarah Beazley.
Two special awards were presented:
These special award winning entries will be displayed in the RSA House in London, (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire’s Award
Pictora Directors Award
Made Visible in the community
Whilst promoting and collecting art, drawings and poetry in HMP The Mount, Pictora was also promoting the project in the community.
With the support of Open Door Community Space in Berkhamsted, an exhibition of both offender art from HMP The Mount and community art was held.
The Made Visible exhibition at the Open Door Community Space in Berkhamsted, was launched on 27th August 2019 with an awards event. Awards and prizes were presented by the Arts Society - Gade Valley.
Pictora would like to thank Works For Us in Milton Keynes for promoting the Made Visible project to their art group, who with Pictora's support were able to attended the awards event in Berkhamsted.
The Made Visible exhibition in Berkhamsted ran from 27th August 2019 until 5th September 2019.