Portraits of Recovery

Portraits of Recovery

At a glance


  • Arts

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


Portraits of Recovery (PORe) is a pioneering visual arts charity based in Manchester, inspiring and supporting people affected by and in recovery from substance use (Recoverists).


We are the UK’s only contemporary visual arts organisation working within this field. By working collaboratively with leading contemporary artists, people in recovery, and communities in recovery, we share the human face of the recovery experience – breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion. Addiction does not discriminate. Addiction is a health, social and cultural issue. 

Director Mark Prest’s own lived experience and resilience led him to found Portraits of Recovery in 2011; a space that opens up new conversations about addiction and recovery through the lens of contemporary art. We engage those in recovery by empowering them as artists and creators, growing their participation in culture, demystifying the world of contemporary art and giving a powerful voice to an often-marginalised community. 

Our key stakeholders, people in recovery from substance use, engage with and create high quality inspirational art, as a critical part of their recovery journey. Our work is inclusive, activist and process-based. Through culture, we build ambition by empowering a stigmatised community to enable systemic change.  

We envision a changed society. One in which those in recovery from substance use are, through the transformational power of the arts and culture, empowered to creatively shape the world around them.  

The philosophy that guides our work is Recoverism; an inclusive social movement borne out of the story of both PORe and Manchester itself - the birthplace of social movements like Trade Unionism, Suffrage, and the Cooperative Society. Our work reimagines ways in which people and communities affected by substance use and in recovery are represented and understood. Recoverism is a form of cultural activism: that encourages us to change the world and our place within it through collaboration and mutual support, between those in recovery, artists, and wider society. 

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