Recently, learners at HMP Humber had the exciting opportunity to work on the 'Ingenuity, Creativity and Hope' project run by the National Justice Museum.
The project uses the museum's archived collection to share historic objects, crafted by people in prison, as a creative stimulus. The programme aimed to work with and represent perspectives of people with lived experience of prison, to improve relevance of the museum's collection for more flexible display, dialogue, and interpretation.
Providing unique opportunities for learners to develop their skills and creativity
One of the project strands was with HMP Humber, who based their project off a historic hand-made slipper.
Over time, learners generated and shared new ideas on how they could use the piece to inspire a response which was when they came up with the shoe sculptures.
Representing people and their characters, in a prison environment, through their shoes and also the position/stances to reveal further details about personality and life in prison. The sculptures were made from found prison materials and cast from concrete poured into old, worn-out Government issued footwear.
The project has been a fantastic opportunity for all learners involved. The chance to respond to a live brief has equipped learners with a broad range of interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills that will benefit them both in their professional and personal lives once released.
The chance to create artwork that evokes and challenges the perception of prison and working on a project that will be seen by the wider community was a great chance for learners to show what they are capable of and expand their creative skills.
There are many different strands to this project, which will provide a number of opportunities for Novus learners across the years. The outcomes that have been created are now on display in the museum and will also feature in a VR exhibition.
The Double Cell installation
The visit and installation of artwork was organised by Sarah Hartley, Novus' Creative Staretgies Lead and Michelle Hubbard, Senior Engagement Creative Practitioner from the National Justice Museum.
The day was vibrant with the input of public engagement through small discussion groups and public visitor conversations and comment/feedback exchange during the intallation process.
Shoes made of found materials are posed in the double cell, recalling the daily lives of people living in prison. Concrete boots firmly stand their ground in the cell. Each carries the weight of a sentence.
The installation of artwork from HMP Humber is now complete and the Ingenuity Exhibition opens on Thursday 21st September 2023 in Nottingham!
The project was made possible through a partnership developed between the National Justice Museum, Novus and Graft Studio's Art Development at HMP Humber. We work closely with the National Justice Museum on a number of different projects across prison sites that we will be sharing over the next couple of months.
If you are interested in working with us to help inspire and provide new opportunities for learners contact us here.