In ‘PETER DOHERTY v BARLINNIE PRISON’, curator and artist Joe Henry, will use the traditional life drawing class to stage a performance and event inside the gates of Barlinnie prison, with Doherty as model and subject.
The exhibition will present the resulting 11 drawings from the inmates, to be presented alongside a selection of Doherty’s own artworks chosen by Doherty himself and curator Joe Henry, that depict Doherty’s subversive world of art, music and poetry, and his far reaching influence on popular culture.
The drawings included in the exhibition will be created in July 2021, during a one-day life drawing class, using Doherty as the life class model. The class will be held at the Fife college Art Room inside the gates of Barlinnie prison and include eleven artists drawn from Barlinnie’s diverse prisoner communities, ranging in age from 19 to 65, with varying backgrounds and levels of education and experience. The exhibition will also include photography from Sarah Thompson and Pauline Darley.
Henry’s collaboration with Doherty as the subject is essential to his concept. A pioneer artist & musician. Doherty has been described as the modern day Jack Kerouac, his poets are for the romantics & his music is the rebellious sound of youth. Following the radical tradition of the Scottish bard Robert Burns, a man with a lifestyle seen in its day as every bit as wild as Doherty’s, The Libertines frontman has also himself spent time behind prison bars, and knows the importance of prison reform, rehabilitation and redemption for these new artists.
As part of the exhibition there will be an introduction written text / essay from Christopher Bailey (head of art, World Health Organisation), on the importance of creation in confinement and using art as a form of healing.
Mick Stoney, Barlinnie Governer said;
“Art in prison provides the opportunity for expression and is a form of coping, creating something positive and a chance for the men to see themselves as something different. This project provides an injection of energy that prisons often need to support engagement and change. The chance to have their art displayed publicly will be affirmation that they can create a new identity and have the skill to contribute positively, a unique project which I hope leads to positive outcomes for all involved”.
Joe Henry curator said;
I’ve always been a fan of Pete Doherty. His poetry and his music have influenced a generation. His artwork has the same chaotic punk energy of his sound and is similar in style to the art of Jean Michel Basquiat.
This exhibition will see Pete on a different platform, behind the prison gates of Scotland’s toughest prison, Barlinnie. Working with mixed media artists, using Doherty as their canvas to work from. We are hoping by staging this event, that this will inspire the participating artists on their road to recovery, and bring the conversation of prison reform to a bigger audience.”