In another creative venture at HMP Guys Marsh, an exhibition of the work of the “Artist In Residence” helped to raise over £400 for the Royal British Legion.
Using the “Say Thank You” theme of Weston College’s regional arts competition, Danny created a wonderful range of work commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War One.
The exhibition, which was open to the public and attended by over 60 people, took place in the Jailhouse Café on 9th November and was accompanied by the Weston College catering team who created a feast for the attendees based on recipes from a cookbook of the time.
Danny kindly auctioned off two of his paintings and, along with the raffle, was able to make a donation of £462 to the Royal British Legion.
Danny has been on a huge journey since his arrival at Guys Marsh 2 years ago, when he was a drug user and refused to engage with the opportunities available at the prison. However, a chance encounter with an inspirational tutor from Weston College was the motivation he needed to turn his life around and he has gone on to successfully complete five qualifications, as well as train as a peer mentor to support the education department. His love of art emerged from his support of the monthly themes in education – where Weston College promote a range of cultural events through themed learning – and the development of his talent is clear to see in the works displayed at this event.
The paintings were interspersed with a wonderful array of poppies – all 4,600 of which were handmade by the learners to represent the number of lives lost in Dorset during World War One. There were also black poppies to represent men of colour that lost their lives and purple poppies for the animals involved in combat.
Attendees, including many military representatives, commented that the event was “a very moving occasion that enabled people from all different backgrounds to come together and show their gratitude and respect.”
The event will be replicated for the men at Guys Marsh in the near future, with a talk from Alan Carr MBE from the War Horse Memorial.