Charles Bronson exhibition to open in Inverness

Charles Bronson, pictured in 2001. Picture: PA
Charles Bronson, pictured in 2001. Picture: PA
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AN ART exhibition inspired by notorious prisoner Charles Bronson will include work by the man dubbed Britain’s most violent convict.

Dougie Sharp struck up a friendship with Bronson after starting an art project motivated by the prisoner’s life.

His show in Inverness, called ‘Charlie Bronson ate my hedgehog’, will also include illustrations by the former bare-knuckle fighter.

Mr Sharp, 36, became friends with the 61-year-old prisoner who has spent almost 40 years in jail after watching the 2009 biopic, Bronson, starring Tom Hardy.

He then read Bronson’s books and said these helped create the theme for his art project, saying everyone had “demons which they keep under control”.

Mr Sharp, who is studying at Inverness College, added: “I thought about how things might have been if I had gone down a different path in my life.

“People like to avoid certain issues, which I call spiky issues, or hedgehogs.

“Through doing this project I have been able to deal with my own issues, my hedgehogs, and express myself through my work.

“I sent him [Bronson] some preliminary sketches and he loved them and we shared artwork.”

Mr Sharp, originally from Sanquhar in Dunfriesshire, took up painting seriously almost two years ago, after drawing as a hobby all his life.

He now hopes to complete his degree with the next two years and work full-time as an artist.

His exhibition will start at IG:LU in Inverness’ Church Street next Tuesday, and will run until 27 July.

Bronson was born Michael Peterson in 1952, but changed his name in the 1980s to enhance his career as a bare-knuckle fighter.

He was sentenced to seven years for an armed robbery in 1974, but this was extended after violent behaviour in jail. He was not released until October 1988.

But Bronson was re-arrested just 69 days later for another robbery, being released again in 1992.

But he was soon behind bars again for conspiracy to rob and, in 200, was given a life sentence for taking his prison art teacher hostage at Hull Prison for 44 hours.

He is currently in Wakefield Prison, where he spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.

Bronson, released a book in 2002 on his fitness regime, called Solitary Fitness, continue to seek his freedom and expects a parole hearing later this year. In the last 39 years has been been free for just over four months.

Mr Sharp said he believed Bronson was a reformed character and should win his freedom.