The Art of Crime
THE ART OF CRIME
Textiles Made In and Out of Prison Exploring (In)justice and Reconciliation
ARTIST'S ZOOM TALK: Sunday 13 November 2022, 4.00pm - 5.30pm online
Meeting ID: 869 9787 5524
Zannah is a textile artist and designer based in London. She is motivated by the power of art to help individuals understand themselves well as heal and build confidence.
After completing an MA in Design at Central Saint Martins she focused on ways to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable populations and volunteered at HMP Thameside prison, with the Saint Martin’s Design Against Crime Research Centre. In prison they co-designed anti-theft bags with prisoners, and seeing the rehabilitative and creative potential within this context, Zannah got a job at HMP Thameside as a Textile Officer. She designed a project aimed at reducing violence and increasing empathy where prisoners made fidget quilts for Dementia charities and weighted blankets for children with Autism. Many prisoners are highly creative and said how being creative in a social context was good for their minds and so would often open up about their struggles. As a ‘side hustle’ prisoners made patchwork cushions and quilts to give out on prison visits for their loved ones using fabrics that reflected their cultural identities and personalities. This exhibition is a combination of my work alongside prisoners exploring themes of (in)justice and reconciliation through textiles.
Zannah started studying Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art, followed by Textiles at Bath School of Art and Design. On graduating from Bath she received commissions from the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Anthropologie and English Eccentrics, but found being a free lance artist isolating. She wanted to share the joy and power of creativity with vulnerable populations, having been inspired by her quilter aunt who this year was awarded an MBE for 23 years volunteering in prisons with the charity Fine Cell Work. After her MA at Central Saint Martins she was offered to do a practice-based PhD but was keen to gain more experience working in prisons to understand how to help individuals within a complex and flawed criminal justice system. During Covid she worked at HMP Wormwood Scrubs as a Health and Wellbeing Practitioner and set up a prison enterprise Rise & Bloom which is an ongoing project.
Currently she is working in the community with ex-offenders experiencing substance misuse, but intends to return to prison to offer creative workshops once again.
Artist's Instagram Pages
Next project: → Incarnari - God Made Flesh
Previous project: ← Forgive Them Their Debts