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28 October 2014

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Outside In: A celebration of artistry
A painting by Tod Otgonbayar
A painting by one of the exhibitors, Tod Otgonbayar
An art exhibition in Plymouth this spring provides a rare opportunity for people experiencing social exclusion to showcase their talents.

Tod Otgonbayar

Robert Garbarzade

Russell King

Tod Otgonbayar exhibits at Barbican Theatre

Community features

Theatre and Arts

Home Office: Probation Service

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

To exhibit your work at Outside In, contact Lucy Van Waterschoot at the Plymouth Probation office on 01752 827507.

Or email her at:

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"Outside In" is an art exhibition with a difference. Organised by the Probation Service, this exhibition in Plymouth provides a unique opportunity for talented artists to show and sell their work.

All the exhibitors are experiencing social exclusion - they're political refugees, homeless people, offenders, and people with mental health problems.

Many don't have a permanent home and use materials which are donated or are free of charge.

Painting by Robert Garbarzade
This painting is by Russian refugee Robert Garbarzade
Lucy Van Waterschoot, partnerships development officer at Devon and Cornwall Area Probation, says so far around 20 exhibitors have come forward for the 9th April event, but she's hoping for more.

"Anyone experiencing social exclusion can exhibit and we'd love to hear from as many people as possible.

"It's really a celebration of the artwork of some talented people who wouldn't otherwise get a chance to show their work.

"We've got artists from a range of diverse backgrounds and social experiences."

She added: "The whole idea came out of a conversation with the Race Equality Council. We said what a shame it was that there's so much public space which isn't put to use.

Fish painting by Russell
Fish painting by Russell King
"We thought it would be a good idea to use the space we have here at the probation offices in Plymouth.

"Some of the work will stay here because the exhibitors simply haven't got anywhere to put their paintings.

"Some don't have permanent homes, for example.

"So people can tour the works here after the exhibition. We are challenging other organisations to open up their public space as well."

It's hoped hundreds of people will turn up to the event, which has free admission.

And for the artists themselves, it's important they achieve some sales on the day. Lucy said:" Obviously, sales are welcome for the artists.

Painting by young refugee
Young refugees have also provided paintings for the exhibition
"The Probation Service will be taking 10% of the sales and the money will be put towards getting in artists to work with the exhibitors and produce work which is relevant to their lives but which can be shown publicly.

"For example, instead of seeing a poster about alcoholism, there would be an artwork.

"These works would carry a message through art and could be placed at appropriate places - at shops, job centres, women's refuges, in doctors' surgeries.

"The Arts Council believes this would be a first and it's the next phase of Outside In. But that would be an 18-month project and would need funding."

You can read about some of the exhibitors' stories and see their work, using the links on the left of this page.

Also on the left are details of how exhibitors can have their work shown at Outside In.

Outside In Art Exhibition
Probation Office
St Katherine's House
5, Notte Street, Plymouth
Saturday 9th April 2005; 12 noon - 6pm
Entry: Free

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