February 17th will see the opening of something really exciting and different for Ripley museum. Seven artists from HMP Send – the closed female training prison located between Ripley and East Clandon, which delivers an integrated regime to around 300 prisoners, enabling them to work and benefit from an extensive education curriculum – have spent the last few months creating exciting new paintings just for the Ripley Museum.
These offenders take part in the weekly art workshops delivered by Watts Gallery Trust and funded by the Michael Varah Memorial Fund (MVMF). Last June, six of the seven exhibited at ‘Our Time’, the much-lauded exhibition for invited guests within HMP Send that was organised and curated by the women artists themselves – the first initiative of its kind in any UK prison.
Their highly original new artworks for our museum – including interpretations of well-known Ripley and Send landmarks – will be available for sale. The women explain: “We know that we must donate 20% from the sale of any work to Victim Support Surrey (to benefit those whose lives have been affected by crime) and we also want to support the in-prison programme for future members and so 10% will go back to the MVMF.” This is part of the social enterprise model that gives the women artists transferable skills that might lead them into training or employment on release.
We are delighted that the High Sheriff of Surrey 2017-2018, Robert Napier CBE has agreed to officially open our exhibition – entitled ‘Send Inside and Out’ – on Saturday 17th February at 11.30 am. Coffee and cake – and the opportunity to buy postcards by the Send artists (in aid of the MVMF and with all profits going to support the HMP Send programme), will be available from 10.15 am in the small village hall.
The museum is open every Saturday from 10-12.30 and some Sundays (to coincide with the Antiques fair in the village hall). There will also be a special opening on Sunday 25th February between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm.
“Send Inside Out” is an exciting venture for the Society as it showcases the work of the Our Time artists from HMP Send. The project is funded by the Michael Varah Memorial Fund and delivered by the Watts Gallery Trust. The works of art are for sale and there are also postcards for sale.
The exhibition was opened by Robert Napier High Sheriff of Surrey seen here with Cameron Brown on the 17th of February