Since its start in 2009, Pictora has constantly explored new and innovative ways to help our target groups of offenders in prison, ex-offender and vulnerable individuals in the community, to develop to their fullest potential, through the power of creativity.
Some of our work has been through specific projects in prison, designed with valuable input from specially convened focus groups of offenders. This work has involved the development and running of innovative projects in HMP The Mount, such as the 'Creativity, The Connected Economy and Offenders' project and the 'Made Visible' project. This work has also engaged prisoners in events and visits involving Pictora’s transnational partners from across the EU.
Focus groups of prisoners, have been involved in creating marketing strategies for Pictora, thus helping to develop their business and positive entrepreneurial skills.
In prison, 1:1 mentoring support is provided to help creative individuals develop their art, writing or photography enterprise ideas, post release from prison.
Our prison work has also involved supporting offenders ‘through the gate’ with RoTL (Release on Temporary Licence) voluntary work opportunities and ongoing mentoring to support release into the community.
Some prisoners on RoTL have been trained in sublimation printing and involved in the production of both t-shirts and mugs, bearing images from the Pictora website.
In the community
The work of Pictora is with both ex-offenders and vulnerable individuals, who are often long term unemployed.
Our work includes, taking ex-offenders on photography walks around a city or in the countryside, using photography to develop positive creative skills and to allow informal mentoring. These photography walks are valuable in developing an individual's self-confidence and self-worth: a way to challenge Learned Helplessness and create a ‘Can Do’ attitude.
Ex-offenders and vulnerable individuals are also involved in organising transnational project conferences and helping with the design of marketing and promotional campaigns and events. Examples of this work are demonstrated in the planning and operation of the transnational Create 4 Life conference that Pictora ran at the British Library and also the Made Visible exhibition in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.
Other work includes encouraging ex-offenders and vulnerable groups in the community to present their art and photography on the Pictora and Made Visible websites, thus helping to develop positive engagement in society and self esteem. Presenting one's creative work is often a very big step.
Another key area of the work of Pictora is in the use of creative activities to support the family relationships of ex-offenders and vulnerable individuals. This can be through informal mentoring support or engagement in Pictora inspired family-based activities.