Steven Tafka’s book The Art of Crime takes a dive into Britain’s Jails and his job as an art tutor
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A prisoner’s seemingly innocent painting of a tennis court caught his trainee art tutor off guard when he was found dead on the site where he was the victim of his murder.
The killer chopped up his female victim and placed her body on the bushes around the edges of a tennis court, and he was now using the same court as his latest artwork.
The revelation came as art tutor Steven Tafka was taking a tour of the UK as a prisoner in the UK behind bars.
He told The Mirror: “I asked the student why he was painting a tennis court and where he buried the body parts.
“My training in Nothing is quite prepared for me.”
Mr Tafka’s book The Art of Crime looks at his work in Britain’s Jails and his job where he was able to teach, but he said that the longer he did the job, the more it looked like it was a sentence .
He added that writing this darkly comic book gave him a release and helped him survive.
Writing about the encounter with a murderer explained that there was a small man standing awkwardly in front of him with a tennis court and a tennis court correct.
Mr Tafka said it was a curious subject matter so he asked the pupil why he could choose to paint, and he picked up a picture of himself in a tennis court with swings and slides in the background.
But before he had the answer, Greg – the tutor leading the class – came rushing over, grabbed Mr Tafka by the elbow and ushered him into his store cupboard.
“That’s where he spread the body parts. He chopped a woman up and placed some of her bits in a tennis court, ”he told him.
Greg added that it is best not to ask about a prisoner who worries that he might be inadvertently open.
Mr Tfka added: “I was a qualified teacher, I’d done my PGCE, I had years of experience as a lecturer in art and design, but nothing in my training was quite prepared for me.
“And so, with a churning stomach, I returned to find the strange-looking man and help him get the paint of the splodges. Something more like a tennis player.
“We had the most bizarre conversation as I struggled to transplant the tennis player’s arms and legs into the front of his body, whilst trying not to mention impasto green and brown splodges. ‘t see anything lurking there. “
The book looks at tales from his initial job interview, charting his journey as a rookie prison art tutor to the depths of a prison underworld.
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Written in diary form, it is often the case with absurd daily experiences of helping prisoners to achieve a qualification.
Mr Tafka, who had wanted to be an artist since the age of four, had been found guilty of teaching watercolors to violent gangsters and murderers.
He found himself doing swimming pool designs for an armed robber and trying to keep order in a classroom where one of the learners thought he was Picasso Peppa Pig.
And all this is happening as he counts the latex gloves in and out – so the prisoners couldn’t smoke them – and while watching out for the illicit hooch being brewed behind the classroom radiators.
Publisher Mirror Books Managing Director Steve Hanrahan said: “This book gives a rodents-and-all-insight into the dysfunctionality of prison life, the often-abject conditions, but more importantly the power of art to transform lives.”
“Make Art Art Prisoners With An Undoubted Fascination, Because It Has Something To Say About The Human Condition And This Book Reveals The Behind The Characters.”