Trebuchet Magazine in discussion: with Olly Walker and David Ellis
Made Corrections – is a cross – cultural, trans – media exchange between those in need and experienced practicing artists who seek to use their talents for positive change whilst raising awareness to the passion and talent for the arts that exists within the world’s prisons and youth offending facilities.
In 2014, a group of international artists travelled to Lithuania to curate a show centred around the population of a Lithuanian youth prison. Threatened by setbacks, physical hardship, and administrative barriers, they overcame mutual incomprehension with both the inmates and the authorities to stage one of the most unusual and important shows of 2014. An example of presenting art in extreme places, the show, Making Corrections, reflected the complex question of juvenile criminality to inmates, authorities, and the Lithuanian public. It was simultaneously exhibited in the prison and local town, bridging the gap between prison and public, and suggesting reform by inspiration and individual recognition, rather than normalising through punishment. Against a backdrop of penal modernisation and international concern, prison conditions in Lithuania are hard. Despite efforts to improve conditions, change happens slowly, and in the meantime young lives are negated despite possibilities for redirection, perhaps even rehabilitation. For many, putting on a simple show in East London taxes ingenuity and courage to the limit. Imagine then curating a show in an Eastern European prison that includes the inmates as participants within a penal system unused to outsiders. In 2014 Trebuchet followed one of the organisers, OllyStudio aka Oliver Walker, discussing the lifecycle of an ambitious project, working against the grain, heightened by the thrill of dangerous art shown in dangerous places.