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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We Made This: Koestler Arts at Turner Contemporary

South East Exhibition

1 March – 19 May 2019*
Clore Learning Studio

Turner Contemporary, Margate

Turner Contemporary, image courtesy of Peter Cook

Scroll down to see a selection of the artworks that appeared the show.

‘We Made This’ was our first exhibition in the South East, on display at Turner Contemporary in Margate.

Over 70 artworks made by people in prisons, young offender institutions, secure hospitals and on probation in Kent and Sussex were on display. Both imaginative in subject matter and ingenious in material use, these creations included paintings, sculpture, music, poetry, needlework and craft. The exhibition was on show in the Clore Learning Studio, which has a wall of windows looking out to sea.

The exhibited artworks were drawn from over 700 artworks submitted from Kent and Sussex establishments to the 2018 Koestler Awards.

A group of people on probation curated the exhibition – service users from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSSCRC). What went up on the walls was their vision. The curators  selected the artworks, shaped the themes and helped to determine the design. During this project they were guided by local artist and facilitator Trish Scott.

It’s been an honour to spend time with this artwork and make the selection. We invite visitors to be brave and daring in viewing these works, just as the artists were in making them. Lay your perceptions down by the door and see what you find…