Three years ago, behind the bars of a federal prison, Brian Martland painted an oil portrait of his daughter.
The little girl’s hair is gently brushed away from her face. She is turned sideways, revealing freckles across her nose. In her hand she holds a gavel.
“This painting’s straight-forward. It pretty much means that only my daughter can judge me,” said Mr. Martland, who is now out of prison and will not discuss the crimes that lead to his incarceration. “I’ve been turned into a monster. But my daughter will prove that I ain’t.”
The painting hangs among scores of artworks by former and current Canadian convicts in a gallery at the Brampton, Ont., offices of The Bridge Prison Ministry, which offers outreach to people in correctional institutions and helps ex-inmates re-enter society.
Executive director Garry Glowacki advocates for and facilitates art workshops within federal and provincial correctional facilities. …