Exhibition features inmates’ artwork

Jane Ricketts explains to the Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service Commander Francis Kean at the launch of the art exhibition at the GPH last week. Picture: ATU RASEA

ART and artistic expressions have transformative powers that can help persons in corrections centres develop hidden skills, says Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

He highlighted this last Thursday during the Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) New Life art exhibition at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva.

“The art initiative adds value and many benefits to the Yellow Ribbon Project,” he said. “Art is not just something for show; it is therapeutic and helps the artists set goals for life after prison.

“It also provides an opportunity for inmates to be creative and to express their thoughts.”

The exhibition featured the work of seven artists and a carver.

Ratu Epeli said the FCS was moving in the right direction with the New Life exhibition. He said bringing the show outside the Tagimoucia Gallery at Korovou would give the artists more exposure.

“The New Life exhibition, Tagimouicia Gallery and the development of artists in our corrections centres are indeed an incredibly positive and tangible outcome of the Yellow Ribbon Project.”

He also highlighted that some graduates from the art and painting programs of the FCS had gone on to be outstanding artists outside the rehabilitation centre and had won prizes in national and regional competitions.

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