‘Ingenuity’ programme to highlight creative arts of prison inmates

prison soap carving
Prison inmates soap carving

source: National Justice Museum
published: 9 November 2020

Michelle Hubbard, the Senior Creative Engagement Practitioner from the Nottingham based National Justice Museum, has asked us to circulate details of the project she is developing called ‘Ingenuity’, based around exploring an historic collection of beautiful objects crafted by people in prison.

Some of these objects will have been made in prison workshops, some will have been made illicitly with crude materials and items to hand. for example there are several beautifully made little soap carvings that the maker would have whittled away at (probably late at night) to fill the hours of emptiness and loneliness, using just their government issue soap ration, and maybe a finger nail or matchstick to carve it with.

The human ingenuity of the maker in creating these unique objects is what we want to capture by working with people to form a contemporary response to these fascinating objects.

Michelle said; “I have a national brief to work with people in prison / affected by prison, but due to the current climate we all find ourselves in, running practical workshops is quite difficult, so I’m finding ingenious ways to stay creatively connected with small groups of people, or individuals, that have either been in prison, or families that have been affected by having a loved one incarcerated.”

Want to be involved?

Michelle can send the necessary instructions to enable people to make their own carved soap portrait. They can email any questions or responses to michelle.hubbard@nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk

The National Justice Museum aims to use the objects made, to shape and inform forthcoming displays and exhibitions. They hope people will share pictures of their finished items online using the hashtag #NJMPowerPortrait  Read more here >

Full contact details:

Michelle Hubbard
Senior Creative Engagement Practitioner
(working days: Tuesday’s Wednesday’s and Thursday’s 9.30am – 5.00pm)

National Justice Museum, High Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 1HN
T: 0115 9520555