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YJB Annual Convention Artshow 2005

Two of the canvases produced during an 8 week ’street art’ project with young women of The Josephine Butler Unit, HMP Downview, will be displayed in the YJB Anual Convention Artshow on 16/17th November 2005.

Below are the canvases chosen and the words of the young women involved explining their artwork and message!

‘Choose the right path’

I was asked to complete a graffiti project, with a specific aim towards other young people, such as myself. I had to think of a positive message to give them, so that they could chose better ways of life and avoid certain negative situations throughout life.

I decided to produce a message of ‘good and bad’. In doing so I made two roads. You can see the baby at the start of the roads, which signifies the person when they are born. The baby then has two roads, which it can follow, either the ‘bad’ road in which the devil is shown to influence him. This symbolises negative peers, which ends in him being in prison. Alternatively, he could take the ‘good’ road, in which an angel is shown to influence him and he ends up on stage, performing in front of millions. Obviously, it does not mean that if you chose the right path you’ll become a performer, but it symbolises success and happiness if the right path is chosen. Also, you may not always end up in prison if you chose the wrong path, but the prison I have drawn symbolises trauma and misery and an altogether bad life.

So make sure that you chose the right path! I didn’t……now I’m here, but I wish I had taken the right path because I’ve always wanted to be a performer!

I enjoyed making this graffiti drawing on the canvas. In making it, I thought of my own experiences and how my life greatly compares with the drawing I’ve produced, mainly the wrong path, but how I really wish I had followed the right path.

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My canvas is my way of showing how I think people should feel about themselves.

TO LOVE YOURSELF AND RESPECT YOUR BODY AND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. I GOT SOME OF MY IDEAS FROM STAFF WHO TEACH US BUT ESPECIALY ONE OF THE L.S.A ‘S WHO IS INVOLVED IN OUR LESSONS. ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS THAT I FOCUSED ON WAS HOW THINGS CAN GET WORSE WHEN PEOPLE GET DEPENDANT ON THINGS OR DO THINGS THEY DON’T REALLY WANT TO DO. I DON’T THINK THAT IS RIGHT THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO DO THEM THINGS, BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE DO THEM THINGS TO GET SOMEWHERE E.G (CRACKHEADS-SMACK HEADS).

Article from ‘Sutton Scene’ magazine -Feb/March 2006

Benefit from a brush with the law

Young women offenders have channelled their experiences
into an arts project to help other young people to learn
from their experiences. The women, from the Josephine Butler Unit at Downview Youth Offending Institute, focused on their
personal stories, choices and consequences.

They produced some striking and thought-provoking artwork and backed it up with some powerful writing.

Sutton Council’s Youth Offending Team workers, the prison’s
education department (run by Nescot College) and community
artist Julian Phethean supported the project.

The works, illustrated here, by Beatriz (above) and Kerry Ann
(right), were selected from the many outstanding canvasses
for the Youth Justice Board’s Annual Youth Justice Convention
Art Show, held last November.