Inmates at Isle of Man Prison have been “empowered” by the “therapeutic” benefits of an art project that used recycled roller blinds as canvases, the deputy prison governor has said.

About 20 prisoners took part in the nine-month scheme in small groups.

Many of the 12 paintings depict Manx folklore, landmarks and landscapes.

Leroy Bonnick said the “positive” art classes had helped prisoners to “find new skills” and had given them “another outlook on life”.

The project was led by prison art teacher Angela Patchett and Ramsey-based artist Michael Starkey.

The paintings will form part of an exhibition and will also be sold, with funds donated to the Samaritans and David Gray House, which both work closely with the prison.

Mr Starkey said the inmates had done a “remarkable job” in transforming the blinds and he was “really delighted” with their enthusiasm.

Mr Starkey said: “It’s all about using what materials we’ve got, painting at low cost, and teaching people that art hasn’t got to cost a fortune.”

Ms Patchett said the classes helped to create a “therapeutic environment” and gave inmates “a connection with home”.

She added: “People in prison still have their lives and their families and their relationships with the world outside.

“The scenes of the island were partly to do with remembering that environment.”

Mr Bonnick said the skills could ultimately help with the inmates’ eventual rehabilitation.

The blinds were donated by The Engine House in Castletown, where the Rolling Back Home exhibition will be on display until 10 August.

Source: bbc.com