Women�s Art Group showcasing �cycle of change

30 Dec 2013

The Harris Museum is having an open exhibition showcasing a number of pieces of art produced by members of the public. One feature has been produced by women offenders from the Preston area who are part of the Women�s Art Group at probation.

The artwork project titled �Gold Dust�, is to be exhibited in the Harris Museum�s community open gallery from 14 December 2013 to 25 January 2014 with a celebration launch event on Monday 16 December, from 3:30pm to 5pm.

Kevin Robinson, Chief Executive, Cumbria and Lancashire CRC said:

�The success of these type of projects really demonstrates how people can change their behaviours, improve their lives and give back to the communities where they live. I�m proud to see these women take ownership of their futures. The project has helped them develop life skills and it has enabled them to take the next step on their journey, with some of our women offenders going into work and others choosing to pursue training and education.�

Working in partnership with the Harris Museum, the women have completed a total of five pieces of art work to show their individual journeys. Each piece of art interprets the cycle of change and the journey they have taken to move away from offending behaviour to making a positive contribution to the communities in which they live.

The art project was launched in the summer of 2013 with around 8 women keen to participate. Preston City Council's Access & Inclusion Officer based at the Harris Museum led the art group with Probation staff which met on a weekly basis. The women developed the theme for the project which looked at the cycle of change and titled it 'Gold Dust'.

The project helps the women utilise and develop their skills including confidence building, teamwork, negotiation and co-operation. Many of the women have little community involvement or ownership, so this project has become a good way to encourage the women to participate and put something back into the community.

Not only has this project empowered the woman to take ownership of their futures but it has provided them the skills and confidence to allow them to re-build their lives and generate the change in their behaviour, which reduces the risk of them re-offending and positively contributes to the community they live in.

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