The art awards scheme for offenders, secure patients and detainees

We’re the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 55 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.

Read more about us

Pi Equals 3, Bracton Centre (secure mental health unit), Painting 2018

Koestler Trust at Turner Contemporary

South East Exhibition

1 March – 19 May 2019*
Clore Learning Studio

Turner Contemporary, Margate

This spring we will be staging our first exhibition in the South East 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 will be on display. Both imaginative in subject matter and ingenious in material use, these creations include paintings, sculpture, music, poetry, needlework and craft. The exhibition will take place in the Clore Learning Studio, which has a wall of windows looking out to sea.

Turner Contemporary, image courtesy of Peter Cook

The exhibited artworks will be drawn from over 700 artworks submitted from Kent and Sussex establishments for the 2018 Koestler Awards.

A group of people on probation are curating the exhibition – service users from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSSCRC). What goes up on the walls will be their vision. The curators are selecting the artworks, shaping the themes and helping to determine the design. In this project they are being guided by local artist and facilitator Trish Scott.

As a visitor, you can complete this circle of creation, curation and communication – take a moment to write a feedback card about your favourite piece in the exhibition and it will be sent back to the artist.

*Please note: this exhibition space is used regularly for workshops and events – please check here or call the Gallery for up to date visiting information