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


Writing by offenders at RE:FORM

arts by offenders, secure patients and detainees from the 2015 Koestler Awards

RE-FORM - Warrior, HM Prison Guernsey, Ed King Silver Award for Portraits 2015

Warrior, HM Prison Guernsey, Ed King Silver Award for Portraits 2015

RE:FORM is the UK’s annual national showcase of arts by prisoners, offenders on community sentences, secure psychiatric patients and immigration detainees. It is the eighth exhibition in an ongoing partnership between the Koestler Trust and Southbank Centre.

Re:Form was curated by Southbank Centre and the Koestler Trust to showcase many of the pieces chosen for Koestler Awards by over 150 arts professionals including Carol Ann Duffy, Speech Debelle, the BFI and Hot Chip. Specially commissioned texts by artists Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, curator and writer Shama Khanna, editor of Afterall Books Caroline Woodley and Koestler Award-winner Ben add insight and context.

Working alongside Southbank Centre exhibition hosts, to welcome visitors and invigilate the exhibition, are ex-offenders, specially recruited, trained and employed by the Koestler Trust. As well as gaining unique work experience and new skills, the hosts deepen visitors’ engagement with the exhibition, enabling audiences to hear first-hand how the arts reflect and enrich the lives of people in secure and criminal justice settings.

1 Oct — 29 Nov 2015
Daily, 10am—11pm

A partnership of:

koestler-trust        southbank-centre        national-offender-management-service

Exhibition Supporters:

arts-council-england       sodexo       partnership-in-care