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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Oneday Door, HM Prison Stafford, Commended Award for Painting, 2016

Beyond the Door

The Koestler Exhibition for the West Midlands
Curated by young people from Walsall Youth Justice Service
13 Jan – 26 Mar 2017
mac birmingham

Beyond the Door is an exhibition of artwork, writing and music from prisons, secure hospitals, and by people on community sentences in the West Midlands.

Hero, Dudley and Sandwell Probation, MHDFAS Gold Award for Portrait, 2016

Hero, Dudley and Sandwell Probation, MHDFAS Gold Award for Portrait, 2016

A different group or individual is invited to curate each Koestler Trust exhibition, selecting the exhibits from submissions to the annual Koestler Awards and giving every show a unique look and voice. For Beyond the Door, a group of young people under the supervision of Walsall Youth Justice Service volunteered to take on the challenge of curating the exhibition, with support and guidance from the Koestler Trust and mac birmingham.

The curating project involved a number of workshop sessions that included art and music activities. The young people learned about curating, engaged with a range of artwork and met arts professionals, before carefully considering over 500 entries from the West Midlands to the 2016 Koestler Awards.  They worked together to select the final pieces for the exhibition and decided on themes and layout.

Curating the Koestler West Midlands exhibition gave our young people the chance to engage in the arts and contribute to their rehabilitation. Using the arts as a channel helps bring young people back into education, training or employment.

Emma Donnelly, Senior Practitioner, Walsall Youth Justice Service

 

Spaceman, HM Prison Stafford, Bronze Award for Needlecraft, 2016

Spaceman, HM Prison Stafford, Bronze Award for Needlecraft, 2016

Arena Gallery
mac birmingham
Cannon Hill Park
Birmingham
B12 9QH

13 January – 26 March 2017

Daily 9am – 9.45pm
Free entry

#beyondthedoor


Project partners
mac-birm-black   birmingham-city-council-logo   walsall-council-logo

Walsall Youth Justice Service

Supported by

arts-council-england logo  NOMS-Logo-300 2015 

Corporate Sponsor
apm-r3-logo-rgb_xlge

With additional support from
Grantham Yorke Trust, Jonnie Turpie High Sheriff of the West Midlands 2015–16, Malvern Hills Decorative and Fine Arts Society


Oneday Door, HM Prison Stafford, Commended Award for Painting, 2016

Oneday Door, HM Prison Stafford, Commended Award for Painting, 2016 

Being involved in this activity has actually inspired me to do art, it was a good opportunity to work with others and appreciate different forms of art.

Beyond the Door Curator