New Beginnings – Women in Prisons
For the first new exhibition of 2019, the Riverside Café Gallery is delighted to welcome back the ‘Women’s Support Centre: New Beginnings Arts Awards’ which aims to inspire and motivate women in contact with the Criminal Justice System in Surrey to participate in the arts.
Each year a theme is chosen which will enable the women entering to reflect and express themselves. It is an opportunity to showcase talent, but also has a therapeutic benefit. This year’s theme is ‘Hear My Voice’, linking to the 100-year anniversary of the first women getting the vote in the UK. Those entering could interpret the theme as broadly as they wished, and you will see many entries reference the suffragettes in some way, while others address the theme of being heard in a wider way.
The New Beginnings Art Awards is an annual competition for women whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system. It is open to women in the community as well as women in the three female prisons in Surrey and is run by the Women’s Support Centre Surrey, Woking Borough Council and The Lightbox. The prisons and the Women’s Support Centre run workshops which provide women with space and motivation to think creatively about their lives and goals. These workshops are supportive environments. Entrants are also encouraged to write something to explain their piece of work and these are included as part of the display.