Board of Trustees
Dame Anne Owers (Chair)
Dame Anne Owers is the National Chair of the Independent Monitoring Boards. Previously Dame Anne was Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Chair of Trustees of Clinks, the national umbrella organisation for charities that work with people in the criminal justice system and their families. From 2001 to 2009, Anne was HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, and prior to that, she was Director of the human rights charity Justice. Anne has been Chair of Trustees at Koestler Arts since 2013.
Ariane Bankes (Vice Chair)
Ariane Bankes is the niece of Arthur Koestler, founder of the Koestler Trust (now Koestler Arts). After a career in publishing, she became an independent writer, art critic and curator, and is a passionate advocate for the role of the arts in rehabilitation. She was involved in launching the Koestler Arts mentoring programme and chairs the Arts Steering Group.
Jane Gillespie (Treasurer)
Jane Gillespie was introduced to the work of Koestler Arts during her time as a London Magistrate – first as part of a team of curators and now as a Trustee and Treasurer. After a career of over 20 years in the finance sector and 10 in the administration of educational charities, she is now retired. Jane believes strongly in the importance of rehabilitation in prison and the prevention of re-offending.
David Banks is Former Chief Executive of GSL Justice Services (now part of G4S) and a former member the Youth Justice Board. He is currently Director of Hyde Housing Association and the Disclosure and Barring Service. David is a violinist in Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra and has sat on the Board of Koestler Arts since 2013.
Jasmin is a business transformation consultant at Capgemini. She works in large-scale technology-enabled change – including with the Ministry of Justice. Jasmin is a lifelong art lover, she is especially passionate about using art to improve mental health. She is a textile artist, working with embroidery and crochet.
Carl Hardwick is Governor of HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Drake Hall in Staffordshire. As a keen advocate of the power of art in custodial settings, Carl is passionate about the work of Koestler Arts and the positive impact it has on both the women he looks after and the UK’s wider prison population. Carl is particularly interested in studio pottery and the art of Middle Eastern textile weaving. He has been a Trustee since 2018.
Richard Heaton is an experienced charity Trustee and former civil servant, most recently Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice. He is a lifelong art enthusiast, and currently a student of art history. Richard has for many years been a supporter of the role of creativity in custodial establishments.
Nora Laraki is a London-based curator, creative producer and researcher. She has successfully delivered culture, community and art projects for public bodies such as the Goethe-Institut, the European Commission and the German Historical Institute London. She is currently working in Culture Development as part of Medway Council’s Culture team and holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Kent. Nora has been on the Board of Trustees since December 2021 and sits on the arts sub-committee.
Gary Mansfield was a long-term prisoner when he discovered art. From his cell, he corresponded with some of the biggest names in British contemporary art, who guided him towards a Fine Art degree. Gary is now an artist, curator and host of the ‘Ministry of Arts’ podcast, and has collaborated with many of the artists that once supported him. Gary was appointed as a Trustee in 2019.
Page Nyame-Satterthwaite is a trainee pupil barrister at 2 Harcourt Buildings, practising in criminal law. Page has served as a trustee of the National Children’s Bureau – for which she was awarded the Dame Helen Alexander ‘Non-Executive Director to Watch’ Award and as a Director of Vocalise, a mentoring programme run by Gray’s Inn for people in prison to learn debating skills mentored by law students.
Andrea Rose is Former Director of Visual Arts at The British Council. Her first involvement with Koestler Arts came through working with Jeremy Deller at the Venice Biennale in 2013 to exhibit the work of prisoners who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Andrea said, “It was eye-opening to see what this meant – for the artists, for their families, and for the art world in general. I am proud to have joined Koestler as a Trustee since then, and to support their extraordinary work.” Andrea is a member of the Arts Steering Group and has been a Trustee since 2014.
Nicola Solomon is a solicitor. She is Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, the UK’s largest union of professional writers. She chairs the Creators’ Rights Alliance, which promotes and protects the interests of creators through policy, advocacy and campaigning. She is a Deputy District Judge.
Robert Taylor is a photographer specialising in portraits of strong women and multi-media collaborations. He has work in various collections including the National Portrait Gallery, The V&A and the Royal Society. In 2007 he completed a project called ‘Inside Out/Outside In’, an exploration of creativity as a part of rehabilitation through portraits and interviews, created in prison, with award-winning artists. Robert judges the photography category of the Koestler Awards and has been a Trustee since 2010.