Prisoner testimonials

Quotes by participants of the Learning to Learn through the Arts projects

“I learnt that if I want to do something good, then I can really do it”.

“I feel very proud of myself … I have skills I didn’t realise I had”.

“I’m now more confident dealing with prisoners and staff. My self-esteem was quite low and this course really picked me up”.

“This course has helped me to regain my self-worth, therefore it will help me in all areas of life”.

“It was very therapeutic and challenging – something I didn’t think I’d be able to do. It taught me a lot of patience when I thought I didn’t have any. It’s been good for me to be able to take instructions.”

“The course gave me more confidence in myself. It gave me the confidence to stand up and do something that I thought that I would not be able to do… and maybe I won’t be as scared to take a chance on the outside with my new confidence.”

“Thank you for understanding us”

“You helped me to change.”

“The tutors gave me so much confidence and self-worth that it made me think twice about a lot of things”

“I have learnt a lot and will always carry it in my heart”

“You have helped me to strengthen my resolve to make the future bright.”

“I learned many skills that I never dreamed that I could do.

“Through art, I have come to terms with a lot of things and I have woken up to what is important. Who knows what will happen with my art when I get out.”

“Looking at the work, I can’t believe we did it!”

“It was a great achievement to do this project – we were surprised at how creative we were. We might go into business!”

“I will 100% use what I have learnt in this project… I really did find this interesting, I didn’t want to lose one day. It will be useful to find a job in the future… Things I never thought about before are now in my mind.”

“I know I have a gift somewhere along the line. This project has been an eye-opener and a spiritual thing for me… It’s a big experience for me.”

“I didn’t know I had the talent – but I do.”

“It’s helped to enhance my concept of the outside life”

“The feeling of completing this project is a very fulfilling one”

“You don’t believe you could do it, and then you did!”

“It’s made me believe in myself again, and when I get out my new skills will help me make up for lost time with my kids”

Quotes by prisoners in Cologne Prison on their experiences with colour and painting

“Every time when I work with colours I am overcome with a feeling of freedom and lightness. Then I forget where I am and I can be totally myself.”

“I can honestly say that this is the first important step towards my re-socialisation.”

 “I’m now not letting myself go anymore, there’s too much going on in myself and that is the nicest thing I have ever experienced.”

“The arts are what makes the soul of humans softer and more sensitive. They alone are the power of happiness.”

“Through working with light and shade, black and white we experienced that there is always light even in the darkness…it’s not easy to describe but it is incredible, it isn’t just painting it can really change things.”

“It is fantastic to see how one grey concrete wall after the next came alive, got feeling”

“The freedom I feel as soon as I begin an artistic activity lifts me right out of the everyday life and I can forget all the stupid thoughts that come into my head…”

“It is a strange ‘language’ I speak through the colours when I paint. It is a sort of trust and a feeling of perfection.”

“When I think about art and colour, I can’t recognise myself. They have changed a lot in me for the positive… they make me free.”

“In this course we experienced that being creative has something to do with self-discovery.”

“In the beginning I came to the course simply to get out of the cell. But after a while it wasn’t the same for me, because during the course all the depression I had pretty much disappeared.”

Read Angela's testimonials from influential people linked to prisons
Read my monthly blogs - relating to Criminal Justice, Germany’s and Britain’s differing cultures of World War 2 Remembrance, and art as a tool for change