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 7,000 entries a year – inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work towards positive achievements 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

183 More Sleeps, The Koestler Scotland Exhibition curated by artist Ruth Ewan
183 More Sleeps

183 More Sleeps

Summerhall, Edinburgh

 7 – 29 November 2015

183 More Sleeps is an exhibition of artwork from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes, immigration detention centres and community justice services in Scotland. The display is selected by artist Ruth Ewan from entries to the 2015 Koestler Awards. The exhibition features over 150 artworks including paintings, sculpture, needlecraft, nail art, printmaking, woodcraft, audio, animation and writing – highlighting the range of categories to which entrants can submit their work for the Awards.

There is a sense that these works had to be made, these stories need to be told, and the Koestler Trust allows us as viewers to listen to these voices we otherwise cannot, or will not, hear.

Artist Ruth Ewan
183 More Sleeps Brochure Cover Image

183 More Sleeps Brochure: Click to download

Since the first Scotland exhibition in 2009 with Filmhouse, Edinburgh, and through a three year partnership with Tramway, Glasgow, the number of entries has risen yearly, from 287 in 2009 to 1,788 in 2015.

The project has been supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, with additional support from the Robertson Trust and the Souter Charitable Trust.