A collection of artwork produced by prisoners in HMP Inverness has gone on display at Eden Court.

Between 10 and 30 June Eden Court Theatre will be hosting ‘Art Behind Bars’, an exhibition of prison artwork in the Blink Gallery.

All work was produced by learners attending art classes run by Fife College within the prison. The purpose of the exhibition is to allow prisoners to express their views and emotions through the medium of art and to allow the public an insight into the inside.

Students were keen to showcase their painting, drawing and print making skills and the intention is to give the public an insight into the inside through the medium of art.

One prisoner said: “I choose to create artwork in prison because it’s good for my mental health, I find it very therapeutic. Also it takes my mind off being in prison and helps me really focus on more positive things.”

The exhibition has been organised by Tutor, Chloe Jennings who said: “It’s been a real pleasure to introduce our learners to new art styles, techniques and artists. I have witnessed confidence, self-esteem and talents grow throughout this project. Art behind Bars is a real testament to how powerful art practice can be and how it can be used as therapy.”

James Macdonald, Learning Centre Team Leader said “Art is often the subject that first appeals to students who attend education, they find it therapeutic and will then go on to attend other classes and gain qualifications. A lot of people in Inverness don’t even know there’s a prison here and I think it’s fantastic that Eden Court have given us this opportunity to showcase the artistic talent we have.”

Stephen Coyle, Governor in Charge, HMP Inverness said: “I’m delighted that Eden Court have agreed to host this exhibition. Creative subjects like art can often be a vehicle to help those in our care develop other important life skills that will help them when they are released. We encourage prisoners to get involved in purposeful activity that can help them manage feelings and develop a positive and active attitude to life.”