Pete Doherty to take part in life drawing session with prisoners for new exhibition

Pete Doherty v Barlinnie Prison will open within the gates of the Glasgow jail

Pete Doherty is set to be the subject of a new exhibition in Scotland that will showcase the drawings of prisoners who have been given the chance to attend a life-drawing class with the singer.

Doherty, who has previously served time for drug offences, will take place in Pete Doherty v Barlinnie Prison, which opens inside the gates of the Glasgow jail on September 22.

The exhibition will see curator and artist Joe Henry using the traditional life drawing class format to stage a performance with Doherty as model and subject.

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Inmates will receive the chance to take part in the life-drawing class next month, with eleven artists from Barlinnie’s diverse prisoner communities delivering their own individual take on Doherty’s appearance.

The exhibition will then present the resulting 11 drawings from the inmates, to be presented alongside a selection of Doherty’s own artworks that depict his subversive impact on popular culture.

Mick Stoney, the Governor of Barlinnie Prison, said: “Art in prison provides the opportunity for expression and is a form of coping, creating something positive and a chance for the men to see themselves as something different. This project provides an injection of energy that prisons often need to support engagement and change.

“The chance to have their art displayed publicly will be affirmation that they can create a new identity and have the skill to contribute positively, a unique project which I hope leads to positive outcomes for all involved”.

Joe Henry said: “I’ve always been a fan of Pete Doherty. His poetry and his music have influenced a generation. His artwork has the same chaotic punk energy of his sound and is similar in style to the art of Jean Michel Basquiat.

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“This exhibition will see Pete on a different platform, behind the prison gates of Scotland’s toughest prison, Barlinnie. Working with mixed media artists, using Doherty as their canvas to work from. We are hoping by staging this event, that this will inspire the participating artists on their road to recovery, and bring the conversation of prison reform to a bigger audience.”

It comes as The Libertines gear up for a lengthy UK tour this December and are still at work on their long-awaited fourth album.

“It’s been going well, but it’s been difficult with COVID,” Carl Barat told NME last year.

In 2020 bandmate Pete Doherty told NME that the band’s fourth album features “freestyle rap” and has a diversity of styles akin to The Clash’s divisive ‘Sandinista‘.

Yesterday (June 16) also saw drummer Gary Powell unveiling his first NFT collection, while bassist John Hassall recently formed new duo The Orchid Room with Danish singer Annekei.

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