Taking place at the Guille-Alles Library, the opening night of the Double Window exhibition, which has 48 pieces of work from 22 inmates at the Les Nicolles Prison over three floors, was viewed by more than 100 people.
Art for Guernsey founder David Ummels said the exhibition was a chance to provide prisoners with the opportunity to communicate with the outside world.
‘The opening night was a massive success,’ he said.
‘We sold a lot of artwork and visitors were really impressed by both the standard and narrative content of the work, in fact many of them wanted to use the double window idea to create a dialogue with the prisoners themselves and leave messages for them.’
The exhibition, part of an eight-month-long project, is intended as a non-judgemental platform from which to begin a discussion on incarceration and what it aims to achieve, looking through the window of the artworks at the lives of the artists.
‘Art is crucial for the self-esteem of the prisoners,’ added Mr Ummels.
‘Both art and horticulture are extremely important for prisoners who don’t often get to decide much in prison, this way they get to learn new skills and on canvas especially they get the freedom to do what they want.
‘I’m delighted that people will get to see this and witness first-hand the work of Creative Learning In Prison.’
As well as education facilities for English, maths and ICT in prison, there are also work-based qualifications, with the Clip charity allowing for a wider subject offering to the prisoners providing skills and qualifications to increase their chances of employability upon release and consequently make them less likely to reoffend.
Art for Guernsey covered all the organisational and curating costs and worked alongside Clip on the Double Window project.
The artworks are priced at £250 and all the proceeds of the sale will either go to Clip, be divided between Clip and the artist or, in some cases, the artist has decided to keep their art for themselves.
. The free exhibition runs until 1 February and works will be spaced throughout the library, with many placed near books that are relevant to the content of the piece.
The library is open during these hours: Monday 8.45am-5.30pm, Tuesday 10am-9pm, Wednesday 8.45am-5.30pm, Thursday 8.45am -9pm, Friday 8.45am-5.30pm and Saturday 8.45am-5.15pm.