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“It Does Break People”: Inside A Violent Offenders Yard

Art always has the magical power to spark our lives, and there are many art galleries across Australia.  

However, there is one particular art gallery in NSW that only a few of us would visit. 

Boom Gate Gallery, Australia’s only permanent prison art gallery, was established in 1992, selling artworks by inmates in NSW Correctional Centres to the public.  

Listnr’s investigative journalist Joey Watson spent three hours in Sydney’s Long Bay prison meeting offenders who are selling their art through Boom Gate Gallery.  

Click the link below to listen the full episode:

On today’s Briefing, we go behind the scenes at one of the most dangerous and notorious prisons in the country to find out how art is helping prisoners survive behind bars.  

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The story begins with Watson visiting his mate’s house and finds this painting on the wall which depicts correction officers and life behind bars from a prisoner’s perspective.  

It was insanely grabbing. There was something about it that wasn’t any piece of art that I had ever seen before. I asked him where he got it from, and the answer was jail,”

Watson said.

Watson went to NSW Corrective Services for more information. A Few weeks later, with the company of two correctional officers, he was arranged to interview artists behind bars at Sydney’s Long Bay Correctional Centre.

It’s full of incredible paintings, so prison scenes, abstracts, meditation on mental health and life incarcerated. It was made even more powerful by the context.”

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