Saturday, October 20, 2007

Made In Jail: art by juvenile jail inmates in Thessaloniki

A few weeks ago, an unusual project arrived at Tetragon: help arrange an exhibition of art made by juvenile jail inmates in the Vafopouleion Cultural Centre of Thessaloniki. The exhibition is based on works made at workshops sponsored by the Group of Friends and Volunteers of the Juvenile Protection Company of Thessaloniki. Artists come as volunteers at Diavata Prison and help the juvenile artists create what you will see in the following photos.

My colleague, the architect Zoe Evangelopoulou, supervised the layout of the show. It was her idea that the whole set up of the podiums to show the works of art would be in the form of a Morse code, spelling out the words "Made In Jail". Such a brilliant idea, it was incorporated not only into the banners of the exhibition (see photo above) but also in the music of the show, made with Morse code sounds. Here is a plan of the layout:

The show included artifacts, paintings and poetry.

How was poetry shown at an art exhibition? It was not only read, but words, fragments of poems, were written in pieces of paper, heaped on the floor of the show room, as seen in the photos:

At the opening, after the necessary speeches, the pieces of paper were scattered in the room symbolically by two children, who relished the idea of course...People present there were supposed to join in but few did...the symbolism of the move was apparent to all I guess...

In the photo above you can see the man behind the show, one of the well known graphic artists in Greece, Spyros Tsiligiridis, helping the kids spread the word.

Some of the works shown looked like they could easily be installed in major "adult" events. Having seen both Greek Biennials this year (Thessaloniki and Athens), I must say this show moved me more than any of the others, because of its symbolism and power. What do you think?

The opening of the show was on Wednesday 17th of October and it will last until the 24th of this month. So if you're in Thessaloniki these days, do not miss this.

All proceeds of selling the artworks will go to help the juvenile inmates' rehabilitation process.

Days- opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 - 14.00 and 18.00 - 21.00
Saturday: 18.00 - 21.00
Sunday: 10.00 - 14.00
Monday: closed

Above is Zoe's favourite piece of art, parts of it were incorporated into the show's poster.

The work above is my favourite one. I am happy to say that it will be hanging at the offices of Tetragon after the end of the show, as one of the partners bought it.

All photos of this post courtesy of Zoe Evangelopoulou


  1. Wow. What an absolutely INCREDIBLE exhibit. You do such diverse and interesting work!

  2. Christos6:18 pm

    it seems to be working pretty well. All this art.

    I very-very liked the 3 dimensional black board with buildings in it :-).

    All exhibition is fabulous!!
    Well Done!

  3. Anonymous12:29 pm

    εξαιρετικό! ειδικά τα χαρτάκια είναι πολύ ωραία ιδέα. τα διαβατά είναι από τις πιο ζόρικες φυλακές στην ελλάδα και η ονομασία εντελώς ειρωνική. χαίρομαι που υπάρχουν άνθρωποι που προσπαθούν κι εκεί πάνω...