The I and the We

Curated by Camille Walala and Sarah Ihler-Meyer

29 October – 5 December 2021
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

After a year of covid-lockdowns, the 2021 Koestler Arts UK exhibition of art, music and writing by people in criminal justice settings was back in Level 1 of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall presenting around 200 powerful artworks selected from over 6,400 entries to the 2021 Koestler Awards.

French-born, London-based artist Camille Walala and her sister, curator Sarah Ihler-Meyer utilised their unique perspective and creative eye in the curation of artwork made in the UK’s criminal justice system to showcase quirky artworks made of found materials, works full of humour and joy, as well as pieces reflecting on loss, relationships and prison life, all created during the pandemic.

The exhibited artwork illuminated the amazing perseverance many within the criminal justice system have maintained during the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and with limited equipment and space to create. The unique and beautiful pieces, including sculptures carved from prison-issue soap, a dinosaur constructed from scrap paper, a tram and boat painstakingly produced from matchsticks, a painted collage composed of grains of rice and a portrait painted with coffee,were testament to the ingenuity and commitment many managed to bring to their creative practice.


Watch our exhibition film and see examples of the film & animation videos which featured in the exhibition, The I and the We, through our YouTube playlist.

Watch here


Listen to the music from the exhibition, The I and the We, through our Soundcloud playlist.

Listen here