Young men from a young offender’s institution have diverted their energies in a more creative way by producing a mural to be displayed on the London Underground network.
Sixty inmates from the Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute have created a 7-metre long mural to be displayed at Southwark Station in a community project by LU.
The 15 to 18 year-olds have depicted a map of London, including geographical features and well-known landmarks, giving themselves a rare opportunity to express themselves, display their true talents and challenge people’s stereotypes about young offenders.
The aim of the Creative Communities Programme – an extension of Platform for Art – was to promote young creative talent and commissioned Feltham’s art department to contribute a mural.
LU’s Community Arts Producer, Victoria Jones, said: “The feedback from Feltham and from the boys themselves has been fantastic. We are very proud to showcase this mural and hopefully encourage some very talented young men to pursue artistic careers. The project has also been very well received by our station staff, particularly Chris Ntende, who contributed to the original idea in the first place. He talked to the young men about LU and the Platform for Art Creative Communities Programme.”
Feltham’s Creative Studies Team Leader, Iona Paterson, said: “Prison is a very inward looking world, separate from society. Projects such as this help build positive links with community and give something back. The art works as a vehicle to build self-esteem and communications skills. This project has given young people at Feltham an opportunity to have their artwork seen and recognised by a greater audience.”
Creative Communities was devised in August 2003 in a bid to work with diverse communities, championing excellence and creativity in all areas of London.
The mural will be on display at Southwark Underground Station for three months.