Art by Prisoners


Gallery open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (Thursdays until 7pm)
Hawke Building Level 3, UniSA City West campus, 55 North Terrace, Adelaide MAP

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the Department for Correctional Services, as part of SALA

Art by Prisoners presents selected works created by men and women incarcerated in South Australia’s adult prisons, allowing the anonymous contributors to participate in the community both as prisoners and as artists. Art is a medium through which those on the inside can create and share stories using images and texts with the public reversing the usual flow of cultural information.

The exhibition provides a space and context for prisoners to insert their own voices into the public discourse around crime and punishment where we can reflect on our assumptions about prisoners and what can be achieved within the prison institution. All entries were viewed and some were awarded by a panel of arts industry professionals.  The artworks entered and selected for this exhibition are important achievements that help prisoners and the public examine the concepts of inclusion and exclusion, rejection and acceptance.

Making and exhibiting artwork is no easy task. It requires skill, creativity and the courage “to put yourself out there” to quote numerous contributors. Some may make you laugh and others may move you to tears.  Either way, people are often surprised by the work in this exhibition. In adopting the role of artists, prisoners challenge themselves to think differently about their relationships with the self, the community, and culture. You are invited to participate in this process.

Come and vote for your favourite artwork and leave a comment. People’s Choice awards and public comments will be sent to participants. 




While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - and Building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.