Artists & Prisoners Collaborate on Unique Artworks For "Human Touch" Show & Auction

Intricate needlework made in tandem with Ai Weiwei, Wolfgang Tillmans and more.

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Fine Cell Work is a UK-based charity & social enterprise that educates prisoners in paid creative needlework. The nonprofit organization recently launched an initiative called “Human Touch” that saw international contemporary artists collaborate with incarcerated individuals to create unique needlework based on their iconic works. “Working with each artist’s narrative and to their precise instructions, highly skilled prisoners based around the UK have stitched the works,” as per a statement.

Participating artists include Ai Weiwei, Idris Khan, Carolina Mazzolari, Annie Morris, Wolfgang Tillmans and more. One of the featured pieces includes Ai Weiwei’s large-scale hand-embroidered quilt entitled Odyssey in Quilting (200 x 240 cm) that portrays refugees. The work took over 200 hours to complete.

“Fine Cell Work has helped me to get through over twelve years behind a cell door. It’s given me a sense of purpose and taught me so many new skills. Showed me that I am not worthless, not useless, that I can learn, I can be creative, I can make things of beauty that other people appreciate,” said Robert who worked on the Ai Weiwei piece. “That other people appreciate me and my new-found skills. It has helped my self-belief and confidence grow. I can be happy, and I can achieve!”

The collaborative “Human Touch” works will go on show at Sotheby’s London from February 26 until March 3. An online auction for the works will launch on February 12. View select works above and visit Fine Cell Work’s website to learn more about the organization.

Elsewhere in art, New York-based artist James Evans is displaying new oil paintings as part of a solo show in Mexico City called “Give up the Ghost.”

Sotheby’s – London
34-35 New Bond St
Mayfair, London W1A 2AA
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Our sneak peak of artworks rounds off with this whimsical character from “The Artists” (2019). Francis Upritchard’s satirical and poignant designs were hand-embroidered onto a hand-woven silk fabric by Fine Cell Work and then upholstered into a paravent. The panels include eight designs inspired by the Bayeaux Tapestry. Due to the delicacy of the fabric, special frames were commissioned to help the stitchers work effectively. This piece will be on display at Sotheby’s during our Human Touch exhibition, and will also be sold by Fine Cell Work. For more information, visit our website or contact events@finecellwork.co.uk. . . . . . #finecellwork #humantouch #sothebys #sothebyslondon #francisupritchard #theartists #artexhibition #londonexhibition #contemporaryart #instaart #artistofinstagram #embroidery #paravent #artfurniture #handmade #handmadeinprison #artauction #londonartauction @sothebys

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“No Man Is An Island – a cushion” is being created in collaboration with Turner Prize winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans and marks the first time this internationally renowned photographer has used the medium of stitch. This image offers a sneak peek to the work in progress as it is still currently being completed by one of our talented stitchers. To capture the beautifully subtle colour variations within the photograph, 17 different colours of cotton thread are being used. This unique and fascinating work in progress will be on display at Sotheby’s during our Human Touch exhibition, and will also be sold by Fine Cell Work. For more information, visit our website or contact events@finecellwork.co.uk . . . . . #finecellwork #humantouch #sothebys #sothebyslondon #wolfgangtillmans #nomanisanisland #artexhibition #londonexhibition #contemporaryart #instaart #artistofinstagram #needlepoint #cushion #handmade #handmadeinprison #artauction #londonartauction @sothebys @wolfgang_tillmans #photography

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