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Doing Time in the Arts: the Koestler Trust at 50

Doing Time in the Arts: the Koestler Trust at 50

Name an Award

From as little as £5 a month for a Commended Award, to our top Scholarship Award which offers talented offender artists 10 mentoring sessions with a professional artist, naming an Award can be one of the most direct and satisfying ways to get involved with the Koestler Trust.
More about naming an award


This annual event is always a unique opportunity to experience the creative energy exploding behind bars. Unmissable. Evening Standard, UK Exhibition Time Out’s Critics Choice for two years running, One of the highlights at this year's Edinburgh festival

Press Coverage

  • Art by Offenders exhibition: Inmates happy to be framed - Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph
    Review of the 2011 UK Exhibition.
  • North prisoners' work is showcased at Southbank Centre - Coreena Ford, Sunday Sun
    “FROM haunting landscapes to stunning sculptures, many of these works of art are worthy of a spot in a top gallery.”
    Review of the 2011 UK Exhibition.
  • Critic's choice (Time Out)
    For the UK 2010 Exhibition, more
  • Midweek Radio 4
    Two of the curators of the Royal Festival Hall 2010 UK exhibition talk about their experience. Listen again
  • How a little praise in prison can go a long way (Guardian Article 24 August 2010)
    On the Edinburgh exhibition in 2010 Read the article
  • Critics' Choice (Time Out, Oct 2009).
    Koestler exhibition is recommended in Time Out's Around Town listings. More
  • Prison poems at the Chelsea Flower Show (The Guardian, 19 May 2009)
    Silver Medal for Koestler Award Winner Dean Stalham. More
  • Art thief turned artist (Surrey Herald, 14 May 2009)
    Profile of Koestler Award winning artist Dean Stalham. More
  • Statement by the Koestler Trust (The Times letters page, 11 April 2009)
    Our response to the disclosure of a Koestler-Award-winning artist. More
  • Removal of Koestler sculpture from Royal Festival Hall (The Independent, 11 April 2009)
    Deborah Orr comments on the issues. More
  • Offender art at the Chelsea Flower Show (Evening Standard, 9 April 2009)
    Koestler Award winner's work for the Eden Project garden. More
  • Free thought (BBC Radio 3, 22 Sept 2008)
    Talk by Koestler Chief Executive Tim Roberton. More
  • Offenders turned curators. (The Times, 1 Oct 2008)
    Inside report on Koestler's young curators project. More
  • Art from behind closed doors. (The Guardian, 26 Sept 2008)
    The Koestler Trust and ex-offender artist Dean Stalham. More
  • There's real for you.(Time Out, 11 June 2008)
    Review of Koestler Award-winning plays at the Union Theatre. More
  • The secret of redemption? Art.(The Guardian, 2 April 2008)
    Jeremy Havardi finds thatthe Koestler Awards rehabilitate criminals. More
  • Gutsy, poetic writing by an ex-con. (What's On Stage, 17 Feb 2008)
    Michael Coveney reviews the new play by Koestler Award winner Dean Stalham. More
  • Arts in prison can bring hope to broken lives (Guardian Unlimited, 19 July 2007)
    David Lammy has made a wise decision regarding Koestler Trust funding says Erwin James. More
  • Inspiring look at life behind bars (Evening Standard, 12 July 2007)
    Five stars for Koestler Exhibition from critic Sue Steward. More
  • I'm stunned by the freedom of prison artists (The Times, 11 July 2007)
    Grayson Parry on curating the Koestler Exhibition at the ICA. More
  • Odd is good (The Guardian, 11 July 2007)
    The Koestler Awards, a 'Turner prize for prisoners', are finally making it into the mainstream, reports Iain Aitch. More
  • I could easily have been a serial killer (Guardian Unlimited, 11 July 2007)
    Maev Kennedy talks to Grayson Perry at the Koestler Exhibition Opening. More
  • Art helps inmates go straight (Manchester Evening News, 6/3/2007)
    Art projects make prisoners less likely to re-offend, a new report has revealed. More
  • The fine art of starting over (Observer Review, 17/09/2006)
    The Koestler award scheme, which has inspired prisoners for 45 years, is a testament to the redemptive power of creativity. Robert Chesshyre More
  • Treasure in the hearts of those behind bars (West End Extra, 1/10/2006)
    Prison is a place for punishment, writes Jonathan Allen, but it is has spawned an impressive array of artwork by inmates. More
  • Young offenders find an escape route (Daily Telegraph, 22/09/2004)
    The Arts Column, Rupert Christiansen. More
  • Art behind bars (The Spectator, 18/09/2004)
    Ariane Bankes on how Arthur Koestler's prison experiences led him to start an annual award. More
  • Will's praise for Con artisits (Camden New Journal 02/10/2003)
    The writer Will Self opened this year's Koestler Exhibition of prisoner art and had nothing but praise. By Claire Davies. More
  • Creative Freedom (New Statesman 15/09/2003)
    William cook finds there are no bars to the imagination in a prisoners' art show. More
  • Guilty Pleasures (Observer Review 06/10/2002)
    What makes one person choose painting and another robbery? More