Works of art that cross prison walls

Art can cross all barriers. And this includes prison walls. Pune’s Yerwada prison inmate Rahul More will be among the prisoners from the state who will showcase ‘creativity in captivity’.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune | Published: January 4, 2009 2:38 am

Art can cross all barriers. And this includes prison walls. Pune’s Yerwada prison inmate Rahul More will be among the prisoners from the state who will showcase ‘creativity in captivity’.

In a rare exhibition by Mumbai-based ‘Know Your Environment Classes’,in March,the works of prisoners from Pune,Mumbai and Nagpur jails will be on display.

More,serving a life term at Yerwada,was selected to submit his creations to the group. “He is a talented artist and has done several paintings,’’ said superintendent of prison Rajendra Dhamane who said this was the first time the Yerwada Central Prison was participating in such an exhibition.

Dhamane said the group was in touch with prison for several months now.

He said many inmates are good artists and such exposure will nurture their talent. “This is a good platform for them,’’ he said. Organiser Kavita Shivdasani said she visited several prisons for the concept of holding an exhibition of art by prisoners as well as prison officials. The exhibition is titled ‘Art from behind bars and those from who put them there’.

The exhibition will also feature the works of some of the jail officials. A member from the group said there were seven entries from Pune,Mumbai and Nagpur. More are expected by March.

More,serving a life sentence under section 302 in Yerawada, has completed 10 years in jail. The 35-year-old who used to be a signboard painter tutored under a teacher from Mumbai’s JJ School of Art before he was sentenced. He is due for release soon having been given special remission for the rest of his sentence. More,whose painting on Mother India has been put up at the entrance of the prison,had at one time expressed a desire to see his paintings hanging in the Mantralaya and Sansad Bhawan. He plans to become a full-time painter after his release.

Dhamne said they would be open to more such exhibitions which would help prisoners hone their talent. The organisers have decided that the amount obtained from the sale would be given to the prisoner who made it. It has not been decided whether the prisoners would be allowed to be present at the exhibition.

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