I am able to look at my art and see who I am through my art, I don’t know how but I realised that I’m not a bad person. I’ve always wondered why people would want to be friends with me, and through my art I could start to see why. Once I finished a painting, it’s out there and not in me anymore. Sometimes I would just let the paintbrush do what it wanted and afterwards I would analyse it, I would look at the strokes, ask was I angry or happy. I am able to reflect, yeah, I know exactly why I was feeling that way, and what was going on that day. Once you’ve sort of figured it out, you feel better, even if you were troubled that day. It’s given me something – I am able to look at myself and see who I am through my art.
Art provides a safe space into which prisoners can retreat when they are in their cells. In my very early days when I came into prison, I was totally terrified. Doing art helped with the mayhem that used to start at night time until you’ve become accustomed to it. So, if you’re sitting there and distracting yourself and focusing on what you’re doing, it helps.
Art gives prisoners a sense of belonging, any time you’re walking past something you’ve made, you think, I was part of that, there’s a lovely piece that me and the other girls did, it’s now in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, we donated it to them. It’s about the very beginning of life, I am very proud of that piece.