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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Doing Time with the Arts


The Koestler Trust at 50

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Product Description

This book celebrates the Koestler Trust’s 50th Birthday. For half a century the Koestler Trust has encouraged the creativity of those who find themselves behind bars. And that creativity is boundless, fuelled by powerful feelings of hope and despair, love and loss, longing and remorse. It takes as many forms as the emotions and skills that underly it – poignant portraits, eloquent poems, imaginary landscapes, ingenious objects – and in making this work public, the Koestler Trust showcases an astonishing spectrum of inventiveness and talent.

This book was first published by the Koestler Trust to coincide with its 2012 National Exhibition Free: Arts by offenders, secure patients and detainees, curated by Sarah Lucas.

Paperback: 64 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9574101-0-7