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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Self-Harm: The Past, HM Prison Frankland, Platinum Award for Painting, 2015
Installation view of LOUD! at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art



5 Feb — 12 Mar 2016

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Quay Gallery, Level 2
Gateshead Quays
South Shore Road NE8 3BA
The Gallery at Gateshead Central Library
Prince Consort Road
Gateshead NE8 4LN
LOUD Brochure Cover Image

LOUD! Brochure: Click to download

LOUD! is an exhibition of artwork from prisons and secure hospitals in the North East of England. It features an extensive range of artwork including painting, drawing, sculpture, and creative writing from entries to the 2015 Koestler Awards.

This exhibition has been curated by students of the Behaviour Support Service, Gateshead, with guidance from artist Paul Merrick. The intensive project allowed the curators to engage with a range of fine art, meet arts professionals and work as a group to put together a beautiful and thought-provoking exhibition. With the guidance of curators and artists from BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, The Gallery at Gateshead Central Library and the Koestler Trust, the curators have selected works that explore themes of home, conflict, freedom and escapism.





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