Portraits of Crime - Exhibition by Damien Linnane

Next date: Monday, 08 August 2022 | 11:00 PM to Wednesday, 05 October 2022 | 11:59 PM


About the exhibition

Criminal. Offender. Prisoner.

These words all carry a heavy stigma. Throughout history, however, legality has often been a matter of power, rather than justice or morality. Whether someone is considered a criminal is often subject to simply the time period, or country they were born into, and the inaction of the state to enact laws that are fair and just.

Slavery was legal, while those who freed slaves were persecuted. Apartheid was legal, while those who protested against it were imprisoned, and in some cases, killed.

At what point do yesterday’s criminals become heroes? And why do states often refuse to change outdated and unjust laws, until someone draws attention to the laws by breaking them? Portraits of Crime explores how we judge the action of past criminal actions today, and questions how we may judge the action of some current ‘crimes’ in the (hopefully) not too distant future.


About the Artist

Self-taught in prison after being sentenced to two years in 2015 for crimes described as an act of vigilantism, Damien Linnane used his time in custody to write a crime novel by hand, titled Scarred. After the completion of his novel, he then began teaching himself to draw. Scarred was published in 2019, and in 2021, Damien illustrated the book This Is Ear Hustle under a contract with Penguin Random House. He is currently completing a PhD in Law at the University of Newcastle, focusing on barriers that people with disabilities face when impacted by the criminal justice system, and also works as the editor of Paper Chained, a prison art and writing magazine made available to over 5,000 incarcerated people in NSW. Portraits of Crime is his fifth solo art exhibition.





  • Saturday, 06 August 2022 | 12:00 AM - Wednesday, 05 October 2022 | 11:59 PM


Charlestown Library, Corner Smith and Ridley streets, Charlestown 2290  View in Google Maps

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