Graft in Flux, at Artlink

Graft in Flux, at Artlink

“GRAFT in FLUX” is an exploration of continuous transformation of the behaviours, environment, and partnerships within our prison system.”

The HMP Humber Art Department, known as GRAFT Studio, is collaborating with Artlink on an immersive and interactive exhibition, focused on the changing landscape and the aspirations of those currently working and living in the secure prison units. The exhibition is now open, and runs until the end of June.

GRAFT’s ethos is to use art as a vehicle to improve confidence, grow self-esteem, and to incrementally transform individuals by engaging them in a pro-active intervention program. Elements and working practices from the Studio will be recreated to allow visitors to observe and take part in the environment, projects, techniques, and journey of HMP Humber’s students. 

Work made by visitors will then be displayed as part of the evolving exhibition. 

These interactive Drop-In Workshops will be held on April 21, May 19, and June 16. During these sessions, the general public will get to participate in the induction and workshop experience of the prisoners ultimately producing work to be included in the exhibition.

A GRAFT team member explains, “A prison does need to be secure, with locked doors, fences and high walls. However, treating people harshly only reinforces negative behaviours. Ultimately, the punishment is loss of liberty, not loss of hope. There should not be a system in which these individuals are given up on. This is why we find that rehabilitation and therapy, through training and education, is the answer for returning men and women to back into society. Our hope is that we can provide them with the skills and the mindset to add value to their communities with a reduced risk of reoffending. 

GRAFT aspires to offer individuals new creative thinking skills and professional development. We do this by providing a visual learning environment, programmes, courses, and therapy. Participants find confidence, self-esteem, and the realisation that there is something to be gained from the acts of creating and giving back. When we treat individuals with mutual respect and commitment, we can enrich others and create a safer, more inclusive community for us all.

Artlink Hull Creative Director Kenn Taylor says: “We’re pleased to be collaborating with the HMP Humber Art Department on this project, which we think will demonstrate the powerful work they do with art in a prison context, engage a wider public in their processes and enable discussion around prison, creativity and rehabilitation.”