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24 September 2014

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Outside In: Russell King
Russell King
Russell King with some of the fishy pictures which he "paints for a bit of fun"
"Outside In" is an art exhibition in Plymouth, giving people experiencing social exclusion a chance to showcase their talents. Among them is Russell King.

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Community features

Theatre and Arts

Home Office: Probation Service

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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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Russell King is exhibiting a range of his work at the Outside In exhibition in Plymouth on 9th April.

The exhibition, organised by the Area Probation Office, is for people who are experiencing social exclusion to show off their artistic talents.

Russell, 41,
has overcome personal problems and is looking to make a career as a professional artist.

He's worked as an artist all around the world: "I was an artist in Japan, working in the jungle, and have worked in the Alps. It was survival sort of stuff. So I've been travelling the world and painting."

Now, Russell is based in Plymouth, but a lack of a permanent home has posed problems - and so has a lack of materials.

Painting by Russell
"Low Maintenance Fish Tank"
"I get my materials for free, such as discarded wood which people don't want.But it's difficult to access exhibitions in Plymouth. If people don't read about you, they don't know about you and if you're not in that clique, it's difficult.

"You also need access to the internet and an email address. If you don't, people think you're mad.

"This isn't the easiest of professions at the best of times. People like television and those sort of visuals, they're less interested in quietly looking at a painting."

Fosh with legs
Fish with legs (are they fishnet stockings?)
The works which Russell is exhibiting include a range of fish paintings.

Russell explained: "They're just a bit of fun really, although there is a message to them.

"The ones with fish in the pictures, I have called 'Low Maintenance Fish Tanks.'

"But in some of the paintings, I've cut the fish out. These are called 'Where Have All the Fish Gone?' which is obviously an environmental comment.

"These paintings have cost me nothing and it keeps me busy - I like to keep busy."

Among his other paintings on show at the exhibition are retro style posters - and these, too have a social message to them.

Russell says Outside In is a great idea: "This is one of the things which motivates you.

"It's easy to start thinking you're going down a dead end, so to be able to exhibit gives you an incentive to keep on painting.

Russell King
Russell likes to keep busy
"Because I haven't got anywhere to store my paintings, I have been giving them away.

"Or I leave them propped up against trees in the park. There's been no outlet for them.

"Here (at the probation office), they're secure. This exhibition is a great opportunity for people living in social exclusion."

Russell has been working with Creative Entrepeneurs, a body which helps provide artists with a business sense. It also enables access to email and the internet.

He has also built an underwater sculpture, paid for by Millennium Funding and with the help of the National Marine Aquarium. So perhaps all his hard work will soon pay off...

Find out more about the exhibition and some of the other exhibitors, using the links on the left of this page.

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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