Festival of creativity showcases artistic talent at Leicester prison

A festival dedicated to enhancing and nurturing artistic expression continues this week at HMP Leicester, providing over a dozen workshops to the men there and showcasing their artwork in a one-of-a-kind exhibition.

Event organisers with HMP Leicester resident’s pencil artwork

Launched on Mon 16th October and running until Thurs 26th, Talent Unlocked hosts ten days of events give residents of the prison a chance to explore all forms of creativity, including art, music, theatre, literature and more.

At the culmination of the festival, an exhibition of art created by the men of the prison will celebrate their often overlooked talent.

Jonjo Elliot, a #DMUlocal Projects and Outreach Coordinator, helped organise the festival and said: “On a recent visit to the prison I was invited to have a look at some work that a resident had made. I’ll be be honest, it is possibly the best drawing skills I have seen and I’ve seen a lot of drawing artists working with a  pencil and paper but this guy’s work really stands out.

“That just highlights the level of creativity that can be found inside prisons already and if we can tap into that and give these guys an insight into where they can go in the future and what they can do, it just opens up so many doors for them to get involved with.”

Talent Unlocked sees the men of HMP Leicester take part in a variety of activities and workshops including sessions on creative thinking, voice over work, poetry and rap, all while learning more about how they can utilise their passions in the outside world.

The festival is just one of the projects #DMUlocal is running with HMP Leicester this year, with Interior Design students having already visited the prison as part of a project to renovate the reception and early days in custody area.