Hope from the Yards Art Exhibition


Friday 26th March – 21st May

HMP Bristol is pleased to announce its forthcoming art exhibition, Hope from the Yards, which takes place in the exercise yards of HMP Bristol from Friday 26th March, inspired by the theme of HOPE.

HMP Bristol, is a Category B men’s prison, located in the Horfield area of Bristol.

Weston College delivers a wide range of courses in the prison, including English, maths, customer service, catering, NVQ’s, barbering, ICT and Art.

HMP Bristol Governor, James Lucas, said: “The artwork was created during some of the most challenging months in lockdown from within the cells of HMP Bristol. 

“While face-to-face education had to be suspended to protect lives, prisoners have been supported by Weston College lecturers to create and learn through written communication.” 

Emma Lilwall, Art Lecturer, HMP Bristol added: “This exhibition is testament to humanity’s resilience and ability to spread the message of HOPE in these unprecedented times.  It is their message to each other and the outside world.

“13 pieces of artwork have been selected, enlarged and installed on the fences of the exercise yards within the prison. A mosaic of a further 30 pieces of works with the title HOPE creates a banner on the entrance to each yard.  It was essential that this project is inclusive and therefore every prisoner who submitted has been included in the show.”

Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive, Weston College said: “We have been providing prison education for over 9 years in various prisons across firstly the South West and most recently the South East. The College – rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – provides nationally recognised qualifications and a wide range of extracurricular opportunities to thousands of learners. This exhibition shows the importance of learning to those in HMP Bristol and the dedication of the lecturers, especially during such a difficult time.”

The exhibition can be accessed by the public online and through an interactive QR code outside the prison at 19 Cambridge Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8PS. Once onto the website, viewers are invited to enter a roulette which rests on a random artwork from the show.  The physicality of the engagement with the site is focused on interactivity.  The proximity of the yard exhibition to the code itself, creates a sense of connection to the artwork and the prisoners who created it.  In this way, this project projects a message of HOPE from the incarcerated to the free.  This project aims to encourage positive attitudes towards rehabilitation and inclusivity.