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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Illusion Optical, HM Prison Shotts, Bronze Award for Painting, 2016

Robertson House Display

Artworks by Scottish entrants to the 2016 Koestler Awards were on show at Robertson House charity hub in Glasgow as part of a five-month display. The Koestler Trust began exhibiting in Scotland in 2009 and has seen a continual increase in submissions to the Koestler Awards from Scottish entrants. 

Although the display was generally not open to the public, the Koestler Trust held two invitation-only events in November, including a family day for friends and relatives of the exhibited artists, giving them the opportunity to see the artworks on display.

The 58 artworks were seen by visitors to Robertson House, which as well as being home to The Robertson Trust and 25 Third Sector tenants, is used by many other Third Sector organisations for events and meetings, attracting over 7,000 visitors per year.

Illusion Optical, HM Prison Shotts, Bronze Award for Painting, 2016

Illusion Optical, HM Prison Shotts, Bronze Award for Painting, 2016

The artworks were on display at Robertson House in Glasgow until April 2017.

> For more information about the Robertson Trust, visit their website.


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We are delighted to be working with The Robertson Trust following their invitation to mount this imaginative display of work entered into the 2016 Koestler Awards by Scottish establishments which gives the artists a unique opportunity this year to show their work.

Sally Taylor, Chief Executive, Koestler Trust

When we opened Robertson House in 2013, our vision was to create a charity hub that offers high quality facilities and support to the Third Sector.  As such, we’re delighted to offer the building for this event and I’m sure our tenants and visitors will greatly appreciate the talent on show.

Kenneth Ferguson, Director, The Robertson Trust