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From one lockdown to another: ex-offenders release photos of freedom

Ex-offenders turn to photography to express freedom after lockdown.

Bronze griffin figure water fountain in Leicester town centre
'Fountain' by Kieran

An ex-offender photography exhibition draws parallels between those leaving prison and Britain leaving lockdown.

Images of Release is an exhibition that uses photography to recreate the experience of ex-offenders regaining freedom from living in a literal lockdown behind cell doors.

The photographs emulate the experience of newfound freedom that entire nations will be experiencing over the next few months. The photographers invite the public to see the world through the eyes of a newly released offender.

Images of Release is a virtual exhibition that contains voice recordings of ex-prisoners who explain the meaning and process behind the photos, offering the audience an interactive experience.

Photography has allowed these participants to raise public awareness of the difficulties they face whilst settling back into community life.

It has also allowed them to connect with their local area, aided their mental health struggles, and helped them feel supported in their return to society.

Over 800 people have already viewed the free exhibition.

Images of Release is part of the wider UNLOCKED programme and the result of a partnership between photographer Corrine Gretton-West and Leicester charity Soft Touch Arts which runs a creative programme engaging inmates in UK prisons.

UNLOCKED aims to evidence the efficacy of the arts methodology through an academic study in partnership with Dr Victoria Knight, Senior Research Fellow, Community and Criminal Justice at DeMontfort University and Benedict Carpenter Van Barthold, Principal Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University.


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