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Artists with conviction

INMATES from Risdon Prison have produced creative responses to an Alice in Wonderland theme for the ninth annual Artists with Conviction exhibition.

Inmates responded to the statement “down the rabbit hole” with a range of innovative artwork creations.

Tasmania Prison Service creative learning officer Natasha Woods said the results had been enlightening and inspiring and included a variation of styles.

Entries have been received from inmates at Risdon Prison, people on community corrections orders and corrections staff members.

“Many prisoners have reflected on their offending as an experience of going ‘down the rabbit hole’ so the theme has produced works that have allowed them to look critically at their lives,” Ms Woods said.

“This has a rehabilitative effect because it means that they are looking at the consequences of their actions.

“In a lot of cases, working on art has given prisoners a new determination to turn their lives around.”

Other responses to the theme are more nuanced.

One prisoner thought of the instructions he received when learning to tie a knot, with the last step being to take the end of the rope down the rabbit hole.

His work is a model of the knot, suspended in a frame.

Other participants have let loose their artistic flare with the results ranging from bright and colourful to moody and dark pieces.

The works were displayed at the Waterside Pavilion, Mawson Place from 1 to 6 November.

Caption: Tasmanian Prison Service creative learning officer Natasha Woods with some of the artworks from the exhibition.

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