It is hard to believe that one year has passed since we closed the doors on Human Touch - our unique exhibition of artworks designed in collaboration with eight of the world's leading contemporary artists. We welcomed hundreds, possibly even thousands, of people through Sotheby's famous doors and shone a spotlight on the incredible work that can be achieved in prison. The exhibition was the culmination of three years hard work and the sale of the works raised extraordinary funds to support our rehabilitative work in prison. It was a hugely proud moment in our history.
One year on, we reached out to the buyers of some of these extraordinary artworks to find out where the pieces ended up and what it means to own them:
Odyssey in Quilting (2019), Ai Weiwei
"It’s a true honour to own this magnificent piece which hangs in pride of place in our entrance hall. Not only is it an extraordinary piece of art, but it also serves as a reminder of all the people in the world today who are denied their liberty.
Every time I walk past it it reminds me to be human, to be compassionate, to try harder, to never take my freedom for granted. I hope the last year has made us all understand the significance of the simple human liberties we previously took for granted.
Fine Cell Work is an amazing charity that has long understood the need to rehabilitate prisoners and help them regain their freedom and live crime free lives. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the prisoners involved in making this beautiful piece and hope that one day they will have their own redemption." (Anon)
"The Idris Khan piece is not just visually captivating; it is thought-provoking and meditative.
The Fine Cell Work collaboration marries seamlessly with the piece's theme of time and self. This connection made the piece irresistibly compelling.
It has been a pleasure to live with this artwork, particularly during Covid. The experience of lockdown has meant that the piece resonates on a much deeper level." (Christine and Joseph Swanson)
Bitter/Sweet (verso) 2019, Cornelia Parker
“We feel very lucky to be the proud owners of Cornelia Parker’s artwork that was interpreted and recreated by Fine Cell Work for the art auction last year. Apart from being great admirers of Cornelia’s work it was an exact fit for what we were trying to achieve in the Lobby of The Crosby Street Hotel in New York. The inspiration for this space is Art Inspired by the Written Word so this artwork is precisely what we were looking for.
Cornelia Parker’s work sits in pride of place beside Callum Innes’s orange and black abstract canvas and Jaume Plensa’s large sculpture made from alphabetical letters. Cornelia Parker is an artist whose work sits just as happily in a traditional setting as it does a very contemporary one. It says a lot about the prisoners skills, patience and diligence to execute very detailed stitching to the exacting standards of world class artists. Bravo Fine Cell Work and all the stitchers.” (Kit Kemp, Director of Design, Firmdale Hotels)
Void (2019), Carolina Mazzolari
"I’m so thrilled to have this piece from Carolina and Fine Cell Work hanging in my home.
In it I see a new abstract life being born, a symbol of hope, of beauty and the future. It also speaks to other human emotions; the possibility of struggle and grief and an unknown journey ahead. But always hope with the majestic and expansive wing of a beautiful butterfly.
The embroidery partnership between Carolina and Fine Cell Work also brings hope. Embroidery is the cornerstone of both Carolina’s and Fine Cell Work’s creative output. It’s a beautiful and natural collaboration and one that is filled with hope." (Anon)