Hatched in Prison: designboom

Hatched in Prison:

Project Description

Artist and Former Inmate Carves 20 years of Prison Life Onto Egg Shells

by Nina Azzarello

November 3, 2015 – After spending more than 20 years in five different california prisons for fraud and forgery, artist gil batle now resides on a small island in the Philippines. While behind bars, he fixated on developing a set of sophisticated tattooing skills — an artistry that impressed fellow inmates and protected him from gang violence. Now released, batle has evolved his self-taught drawing ability into a complex creative craft that expands the traditional methods of illustration, and combines it with an atypical medium: ostrich egg shells. Batle has expanded his experience inside prison into a visual timeline, carefully and meticulously carved into the fragile exterior surface of eggs.

Batle’s orb-like relief carvings feature a rounded arrangement of pictorial panels, separated by descriptive drawings of chain-link fencing, barbed-wire and hand-cuffs. Appearing on the eggs in pristine detail, the lives of the violent men he knew, the terrifying events he witnessed, and even the friendships formed tell the story of both a troubled ordeal and a realized potential, once which may not have been found without his experiences in jail.