Art and decoration formed a part of life at Holloway and can be found across the Prison – from large colourful murals to messages in pen and pencil on the walls.

The women used to graffiti and paint messages on their cell walls. They were a canvas for song lyrics, names, motivational messages, posters and paintings, often making the space feel more homely. The walls were periodically re-painted so much of the graffiti is scratched in through many layers of paint.

At Christmas every year the landings were decorated by the women with the best awarded a prize. D0 (which included 40 or so women) won the 2014 competition and were awarded a buffet from Iceland for their meal instead of prison food!

Before the Prison closed in 2016, the last of the women all signed the wall in the Body Shop (the gym) to say farewell to the Prison and its staff. You can see this image below.

Peabody commissioned artist Niki Gibbs to create a photographic record of the artwork. Below is a selection of the many photographs that Niki took. We would like to thank Niki for all her work and for providing us with these images. Please see some of her own artwork here.


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