Ai Weiwei's collaboration with charity Fine Cell Work supporting skill training in UK prisons
12 February 2020
The charity Fine Cell Work has initiated a collaborative project between international contemporary artists and UK prisoners entitled Human Touch. Working with prisoners through a programme teaching creative skills, in particular highly-skilled needlework, the charity offers paid craftwork which creates training, rehabilitation and employment for prisoners and ex-prisoners.
For their next fundraising event, Fine Cell Work has engaged with Ai Weiwei to create Odyssey in Quilting, using a design originally devised by the artist as a wallpaper, which will be sold at auction with all proceeds going to the charity. The finished quilt measuring 200 x 240cm depicts the transition of migrants across the globe, and was quilted and hand-embroidered by 13 stitchers across eight prisons. An exhibition displaying the eight artist commissions in Human Touch will be hosted at Sotheby's in London between 26 February and 3 March.
Odyssey in Quilting and the project's other pieces are now open to bids via the Fine Cell Work website. Bidding closes Tuesday 3 March at 4:30pm.