A 'kaleidoscope' of expression - new exhibition showcases artwork produced in creative programme for offenders currently on probation

15 November 2023

A new art exhibition opened at Phoenix Art Space in Brighton this month, featuring artworks produced by The Art Studio, a creative programme for offenders currently on probation to help improve their mental health and provide opportunities for social connection.

The Art Studio is a voluntary weekly programme which aims to reduce reoffending by supporting its participants to express themselves through creativity, developing their own creative practice, and making and presenting their work.

Titled 'Kaleidoscope', the exhibition was a culmination of participants’ work over the last 14 months.  

First established in 2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic, in collaboration with local artists Daniel Locke and Jenny Staff, the programme is co-funded and managed by the Probation Service and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health services across the South East.

Abby Fenton, Forensic Psychologist at Sussex Partnership, and Clinical Lead for the Art Studio said: “Following the success of last year’s exhibition, we are very grateful for the opportunity to exhibit again and demonstrate the impact that this kind of creative initiative can have on people’s lives.

"The artworks are playful, expressive, bold and colourful, which I think is indicative of the joy and confidence people have found through coming to the Art Studio."

One group member described their experience of coming to the group: “The thing about the Art Studio is that it recognises the creative parts of people are a necessary and important part of their rehabilitation.

"Art Studio recognises all of that without judgement. It’s the best part of a very difficult part of life.”

The exhibition was open to the public at Phoenix Art Space in Waterloo Place, Brighton, from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 November.

To find out more Phoenix Art Space and the exhibition, go to www.phoenixbrighton.org/events/project-space-kaleidoscope.