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Cell block art competition

An art competition for works to adorn the Wellington Police District Custody Unit (DCU) cell block hall walls is open to anyone in New Zealand.

“It is important that we hold people accountable for their behaviour but we need to change the prisoner experience and support them to change their behaviours,” says DCU supervisor, Senior Sergeant Stu Taylforth who came up with the idea for the competition.

The theme for the art competition is awhi which means help and to embrace. Awhi is the name of a referral programme introduced into the Wellington District to help prevent people from becoming a statistic, says Senior Sergeant Taylforth.

“If people need help with alcohol or drug addiction a referral will be made to the right agencies.

“If someone continues to be stopped for not having a driving license then a referral can be made to an agency who can help them get their licence.”

Entries should focus on making the custody unit safer for staff by improving the prisoner experience, reducing stress, and breaking down barriers.

“We want to engage with prisoners and support them to change their behaviours.

How entrants to the art competition decide to interpret that in an artistic way, is up to them,” he said.

Competition rules:

— Each entry should be accompanied with a name for the artwork, the artist’s name, the year, and a maximum of 60 words that describes the meaning of the work. This information will accompany the selected artworks.

— 15-20 artworks will be chosen for display.

— The artworks will be printed in vinyl using a 4-colour process, 841mm x 1189mm, maximum submission file size 30MB.

— A New Zealand contact address must be provided to enable a police photographer to visit and take photographs of selected entries.

— Artwork viewed as offensive or threatening will not be considered.

— All entries must be submitted via email to art.competition.wellington@police.govt.nz by October 31.

— Competition winners will be decided by November 27.

— Selected artists will be invited to a presentation at Wellington Central Police Station on December 7 where the top three artists will be presented prize money.

— All photographs taken of the artworks will be the property of the New Zealand Police and the supporters of this competition.

These images will be able to be used in any manner they see fit.

COLOUR MY WORLD: Authorised officers Ervin Garde (left) and Matthew Page from the Wellington District Custody Unit wait for some winning art to arrive. Picture supplied