Koestler Arts 2024 UK exhibition

Jeremy Deller & John Costi Confirmed as Co-Curators

Coming this autumn, dates to be confirmed

We are proud to announce artists Jeremy Deller and John Costi as the co-curators of our seventeenth annual UK exhibition in partnership with the Southbank Centre.

The show, taking place in the autumn, will display artwork by hundreds of individuals in prisons, secure mental health facilities, immigration removal centres, young offender institutions and on community sentences across the UK.

The artists’ initial conversations about co-curation have focused on how best to weave a collaborative aspect into the project. They are both keen to create a fuller picture of the broad work Koestler Arts does, and to use the opportunity to explore the relationship between the Koestler Awards scheme and the annual exhibition at the Southbank Centre that springs from it.

More information coming soon!

About the curators

Both artists have had long associations with Koestler Arts. Deller, who has been a supporter of the charity’s work for many years, volunteers time each summer to judge the annual Koestler Awards and write feedback to entrants. Costi first learnt about Koestler Arts in 2008 whilst serving a sentence at HM Young Offender Institution Feltham. Upon release, he joined the Koestler Arts Mentoring Scheme to help progress his artistic ambitions, going on to study at Central St Martins.

Jeremy Deller and John Costi
Jeremy Deller and John Costi at the BBC studios in 2019 recording the Koestler Arts Radio 4 Charity Appeal

The pair first crossed paths at Deller’s ‘English Magic’ exhibition for the British Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in 2013, when Costi was awarded a Cultural Scholarship from the British Council to travel and visit the display in Venice. They developed a rapport, talking about their work and shared collaborative approach to art.
That connection was later strengthened when they were both invited to record Koestler Arts’ Radio 4 appeal in 2019 [pictured left].