“Britain’s most violent prisoner” exhibition opens

"The Death Of Bronson". Pic: Guerrilla Zoo.

“The Death Of Bronson”. Pic: Guerrilla Zoo.

An exhibition by “Britain’s most violent prisoner” opened last week in Hackney’s Apiary Studios.

The Death of Bronson “salutes the demise” of the UK’s most notorious criminal, Charles Bronson, and will run until January 22.

By “death” the title does not indicate the artists literal passing, but rather refers to the end of Bronson’s dangerous public image and identity, as he seeks to distance himself from his past reputation.

A statement on the artists’ website said: “The old me dried up…Bronson came alive in 1987. He died in 2014.”

He also added that his heart is now “at peace” and his mind “set on art”.

Bronson was first arrested in 1974 for robbing a post office, but his sentence was extended to life when he held his prison art teacher hostage for 44 hours. The teacher had criticised one of his sketches.

Of the 36 years Bronson he has spent imprisoned, 17 of them he has dedicated to art. He still remains in solitary confinement, allowed out only to eat and exercise.

Besides drawings, The Death of Bronson includes pieces of literature written while he was in prison. Throughout these projects Bronson captures his emotions during almost four jailed decades.

In the course of his prison sentence the criminal changed his name to Charles Salvador, in tribute to his favourite artist, Salvador Dali.

Before this he had made a violent name for himself by fighting prison guards and starting one-man riots. During this time he has been moved between prisons more than 150 times.

Bronson has also published 15 books and has sold part of his artwork in galleries across London.

A new biography, Broadmoor: My Journey Into Hell, in which he documents his five-year tenure at high-security psychiatric hospital, Broadmoor, will also be launched alongside the exhibition.

The Death of Bronson is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm every day at the Apiary Studios.

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