Annual exhibition empowers in-prison and in-community First Nations artists

Next month The Torch will present its annual exhibition, with over 400 First Nations artists, while also opening its new home.

First Nations Australians make up around 2% of the Australian population, yet represent 27% of the national prison population.

The Uluṟu Statement from the Heart also highlights: ‘Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people… Walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.’

Such statistics were the grounds for the foundation of The Torch, an organisation that provides art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.