Prison, pokies and colour: Three artists who turned art into therapy


In this episode, art as therapy and healing. From the art coming out of prisons, to telling the truth about poker machine addiction. And remembering a young artist who brought light and colour from darkness.

Damien Linnane was serving a prison sentence when he took up art as mental health therapy, going on to edit the magazines for prisoners Paper Chained  and working on a PhD. Damien is the curator of a new art exhibition at Boom Gate Gallery at Sydney’s Long Bay jail, showing art from people incarcerated around the world.

My Thing…is using art to talk about gambling harm. All his life,  Nelson Nghe has seen up close the harm caused by gambling on poker machines, or ‘tiger machines’ in Chinese language. It’s cost members of his family and his wider community a lot — even homes. Nelson explores this in his powerful artwork I Bet You, on display at The Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture (IAC).

Triple J’s Stacy Gougoulis visits an exhibition of the late Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta and Barkindji artist Josh Muir, who died at age 33 in 2022. In his neon street art-style prints and projections, Muir tackled difficult subjects in a visual  language that was bright and bold. Stacy speaks with Josh’s partner Shanaya Sheriden and Koorie Heritage Trust director Tom Mosby.

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