For the past 13 years, the Torch has been running an annual exhibition showcasing the art of Indigenous Australians who are either currently incarcerated or have recently been released. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the organisation took the event online for the last two iterations – but now it's back with a hybrid online and in-person exhibition.
Confined 13 presents 400 works from 350 artists from 16 correctional facilities across Victoria. This year, the exhibition will include a range of paintings and 3D artworks including carved wooden sculptures, woven baskets, ceramic homewares, a painted pair of boxing gloves and an array of shields, boomerangs, clapsticks and painted yidakis.
All works presented in Confined 13 are available for purchase, and 100 per cent of the sales go toward the artist. At last year's exhibition, Confined 12, the Torch sold and licensed more than one million dollars of artworks for First Nations artists participating in the program. At the time of writing, 184 of the 400 artworks from Confined 13 have already been sold.
"Participants are able to provide approved support to their families on the outside, increasing stability and helping to alleviate ongoing socio-economic disadvantage," says Kent Morris, the CEO of the Torch. "This decreases recidivism and opens new pathways towards education and employment, with many positive intergenerational impacts."
Confined 13 will be on display at the Glen Eira Town Hall Gallery from May 5 to June 5, and over National Reconciliation Week there will also be a special program of events celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. The exhibition can also be viewed online through the Torch website via a scrolling mosaic and a 3D virtual tour.
Looking to fill your calendar with more of Melbourne's best art? Check out our round-up of the best exhibitions and events happening this month.