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Sunday, September 30, 2012


The popular Mondays at Six programme will be based at Alliance Francaise during the month of October.

The next meeting takes place this coming Monday (October 1) and is titled Miracle At Westville Prison.

In 2009 as part of their Prison Project, Life Line invited artist Paulette Barker to conduct art classes to a group of inmates at the Westville Prison. She chose two of her favourite Masters to teach her students how to paint: Paul Klee for his special talent and understanding of colour, colour composition and sensitivity to music and Vincent Van Goch for his vibrant colours, gestural brushstrokes and tragic life story.”

Given a choice of subject matter, looking at Van Goch’s work for inspiration, the inmates mostly chose his portraits to copy. This choice made sense as it indicated their desire to draw and paint their own self-portraits. After this successful exercise, they were ready to paint pictures depicting their own life stories, prison and childhood memories. These classes stretched over a period of 18 weeks, comprising 21 two-hour sessions.

All sessions included discussions about every drawing that was made in class or as homework. The discussions served as the starting point for each session. This positive criticism became vitally important for the inmates, to clarify the quality of the work, what could be improved or left out, etc. It also allowed every student to participate in the teaching process; an important exploration.

Paulette Barker will show the slides of the works to illustrate the talk. Assisting her will be Lenny Pillay, who was one of the inmates attending her classes. He was incarcerated for three-to-six years and released in March 2009.

Amongst many other achievements since being discharged, he successfully studied and obtained his Certificate in Islamic Law via the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he studied eight modules in one year. He has also been actively involved in delivering talks on Crime Awareness at schools and at UKZN.

More table bookings phone 031 368 2022.