Unlocked 1: Prison Art from HMP Leicester and beyond

Held 14th September to 12th October 2018

This was a spilt site exhibition

at Soft Touch Arts, 50 New Walk, Leicester

and Leicester New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, 53 New Walk, Leicester

This exhibition was a collection of works created by men serving sentences at HMP Leicester, HMP Stocken, and the now-closed HMP Glen Parva, as well as those who have completed their sentences and returned to their communities. Over a period of several months, Soft Touch Arts arts workers worked with groups of prisoners and offenders to facilitate various arts projects with a view to exhibiting their work to the general public. Participants worked on a broad range of themes and in different media, while creating artworks that draw attention away from the usual visual surroundings of the prison environment and create a more peaceful and inspirational mood. The results were on display at Leicester Museum and at Soft Touch Arts.  A selection can be seen here:










Prints are available to buy here

De Montfort University is undertaking a linked three-year research project into the positive impact of making art on the rehabilitation and wellbeing of prisoners. The research focuses on the CHIME (Connectiveness, Hope, Identity, Meaningfulness, Empowerment) model of recovery. The CHIME method has not previously been focused around the arts or used within criminal justice.

Project participants are now working towards the exhibition for year 2 of Unlocked to be held in February 2020. This will take the form of an installation.

Unlocked is a partnership project between Leicestershire Partnership Trust, Soft Touch Arts, HMP Leicester, The Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland Community Rehabilitation Company, New Walk Museum and Arts Gallery and De Montfort University.

Made possible with funding from:









The Noel Buxton Trust

The Noel Buxton Trust





The Gordon Trust