Welcome to the Koestler Trust
  • The Koestler Awards 2014 \ Closing date 14th April
  • Past Exhibitions
  • Koestler Trust at the Venice Biennale
  • Name an Award


We are the UK's best-known prison arts charity. We have been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 50 years.

Our awards receive over 8,000 entries a year - inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Our national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors - showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.

We have no endowment or capital - our work depends entirely on donations. More

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Evidence Library

2014 Koestler Awards Katharine Grainger

2014 Koestler Awards

Our official deadline has now passed…but, if you’re quick, we’ll still accept your entries!

Any questions, please call 0208 740 0333

This year : the 2014 themed award is 'Dreams' and will be judged by the Olympic gold medal winner Katherine Grainger.

Ocean of DespairMENTORING

Since 2007, we have supported ex-offenders to continue with their artistic activities by matching them with a specially trained arts mentor. We now have two ways in which we offer support to a wide range of people who have been involved in the criminal justice system who would like to develop their interest in the arts.
Find out more about mentoring and how to apply

A PrayerUnder 18's fast feedback programme

Entrants to the Koestler Awards who are under 18 can enter for our Fast Feedback Programme. This offers a faster turnaround and additional Koestler awards for young people.

If the artwork that has been entered has been made as part of an Art Award project you will also be considered for the 'Arts Award Achievement Prize'
Find out more the Under 18's Fast Feedback Programme


If you'd like to receive news on forthcoming exhibitions, Art Sales and projects please sign up for our mailing list.


Books in prisons:
public statement

We share some of the concerns that colleagues in other charities and the arts have expressed in the last few days about recent changes to "Incentives and Earned Privileges" for prisoners. One implication of these changes is that prisoners can no longer be given books or art materials from outside prison, unless they earn or are given the money to buy them.
Read our full statement

The Koestler Trust has won an RSPH Award

The Koestler Trust is now on Soundcloud. Feel free to share these great tracks and leave your feedback.

Venice Biennale 2013

The Koestler Trust
at the Venice Biennale

Prison art is a feature of Jeremy Deller's exhibition at the Venice Biennale. We're really proud to have worked with Jeremy and the British Council on this project extending arts participation to people in prisons around the UK.
Find out more about how HMPs Everthorpe, Parc and Shotts contributed to the Venice Biennale

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