Contemporary Artists and Prisoners Collaborate on Unique Artworks
to be shown in Exhibition and Online Auction
Ai Weiwei | Idris Khan | Carolina Mazzolari | Annie Morris | Cornelia Parker
Bob and Roberta Smith | Wolfgang Tillmans | Francis Upritchard
26 February – 3 March 2020
Exhibition: Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1S 2RT
Online Auction: www.finecellwork.co.uk/humantouch
London, UK: Fine Cell Work announces Human Touch, a ground-breaking collaboration
between international contemporary artists and stitchers working in prisons, trained by this
leading charity and social enterprise. Artists and stitchers have worked to create unique works
of art which will be on show at Sotheby’s London galleries from 26 February until 3 March 2020,
and offered for sale by Fine Cell Work. All proceeds will go to Fine Cell Work, working to
enable prisoners across Britain to build fulfilling and crime free-lives by training them to do
high-quality creative needlework, and thereby helping to foster hope, discipline and selfesteem.
The participating artists are: Ai Weiwei, Idris Khan, Carolina Mazzolari, Annie Morris, Cornelia
Parker, Bob and Roberta Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Francis Upritchard. Working with each
artist’s narrative and to their precise instructions, highly skilled prisoners based around the UK
have stitched the works.
Pieces include Odyssey in Quilting, an intricate large-scale hand-embroidered quilt designed
by Ai Weiwei, measuring 200 x 240 cm which depicts the transition of migrants across the
globe. In close collaboration with the artist, 13 stitchers in eight prisons have brought this
project to life. Ai Weiwei’s backing of the charity’s transformative work with prisoners builds on
his ongoing political activism and passionate support for human rights.
Wolfgang Tillmans has chosen to recreate his No man is an island. No country by itself. EU
campaign poster design as a large cushion. Measuring c. 84 by 59 cm, the intricate
needlepoint on canvas has been completed by a single stitcher.
Cornelia Parker presents a piece, Bitter/Sweet (verso) 2019, from her Opposites series,
featuring intricate hand embroidery on linen. This follows her 2015 collaboration with Fine Cell
Work when she created a monumental Magna Carta artwork, first shown at the British Library.
Idris Khan has produced Numbers, a hand sewn photograph 2019, a framed silkscreen fabric
piece, stitched by a single prisoner.
Francis Upritchard has worked with a group of six stitchers on an ambitious paravent entitled
The Artists 2019 that has been upholstered in Italian silk and embroidered.
Carolina Mazzolari’s hand embroidered piece Void was stitched in wool by both the artist and
the prisoners. Annie Morris has produced an intricately embroidered chaise longue.
Bob and Roberta Smith’s piece, Art Makes People Powerful is a colourful and large-scale
Exhibition open: 26 February – 3 March 2020