‘Just Us’ on display at University of Sussex

Artwork by Outside In’s Arthur Mactaggart

‘Just Us’, a display of work by Outside In artist Arthur Mactaggart, is now on show at The University of Sussex’s School of Law, Politics and Sociology.

The Sussex Law School is engaged with a number of teaching and research projects that seek to bring together the disciplines and practices of art and law, as this collaboration with Outside In illustrates.

Arthur’s artwork was selected collaboratively by Sussex Law School and award-winning arts charity Outside In. The brief set by the Sussex Law School was a display of artwork that was strong in style and relevant to the studies taking place in the building. This display offers students and facility members the opportunity to discover a new artist and see how ideas relating to law, politics and sociology can be expressed in artistic practice.

The selection of works on display are from a series called ‘Imprisoned’ which are an ongoing series of paintings inspired by prison. One of the reasons Arthur creates artwork to promote awareness of the rehabilitative powers of art intervention.

“I realise my paintings aren’t pretty or polite, and people are unlikely to want one hanging in their living room, but ultimately I suppose I would like them to be moved in some way,” Arthur explains. “With my more topical paintings, such as ‘On the Act’, I hope people are interested in the issues behind them too: Mental health is still at a crisis point within the prison system, with self-harm incidents at record levels and rising 94% in a decade (2007-2017 MOJ). I feel it’s important that we realise what goes on behind locked doors, and if someone’s interest or awareness is piqued by a painting, that has got to be a good thing.”

Arthur added that he only began to take art seriously when he found an urgent need to express himself. He draws on difficult experiences in his past which result in bold portraits which have a lasting effect on the viewer. 

If you would like to find out more about Arthur, please visit: www.outsidein.org.uk/Arthur-Mactaggart

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