Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

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    The Supreme Court

Hanging Paper Ball, HM Prison Peterborough (women’s section), Craft, 2016


The Supreme Court
3 Aug – 30 Sep 2016
Parliament Square, London SW1P 3BD
Mon-Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm



Recycled Sheep, HM Prison Usk, Sculpture, 2016

PAPERWORK has been curated by the Koestler Trust, in collaboration with Victim Support, at the invitation of the newly formed UK Supreme Court Arts Trust.

The exhibition explores the creative ways that paper (a material integral to the workings of the legal system), has been re-imagined and re-worked by Koestler Award entrants. The artworks cover a range of Koestler Award visual categories and provide a unique snapshot of the creative achievements of prisoners and secure patients across the UK.

As part of its collaboration with Victim Support for this exhibition, the Koestler Trust invited people who had been affected by crime to respond to some of the artworks. Their responses are displayed within the exhibition. Victim Support is an independent charity which helps people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales providing individual, independent, emotional and practical help to enable people to cope and recover from effects of crime.


MT-09 Makes the News, Craft, HM Prison Rye Hill, 2016

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