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Sunday 18 February 2018
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Prisoner art exhibition opens to the public

An exhibition of prisoner art is on display at London’s Southbank Centre.


This is the Koestler Trust's 49th annual exhibition of art by offenders, with exhibits chosen from the 5,619 entries from secure establishments across the UK, as well as probation and youth offending services and British prisoners abroad.


This year’s volunteer curators are seven people from the London area whose lives have been changed by serious offences against them or their families.


With training from arts experts including Southbank Centre Artist in Residence and Turner Prize-winner Jeremy Deller, the volunteers have gained curating skills, selecting the exhibits and designing the look of the exhibition.


Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Crispin Blunt, the minister responsible for prisons, said: 'There are two sides to the rehabilitation of offenders: changing the behaviour of offenders so that they lead law-abiding lives, and helping society accept ex-offenders back into employment, housing, family life, and communities – the opportunities that can help people turn their lives around for good.


'The work of the Koestler Trust contributes to both – motivating offenders to learn new skills and apply self-discipline, and showing the public that offenders have ordinary human experiences and challenges to overcome, as well as talent and potential.'


The Koestler Awards is the UK's best-known prison arts charity. Set up in 1962 the scheme helps turn offenders' lives around by improving entrants' self-esteem, allowing them to lead more positive lives by motivating them to get involved in the creative arts.


Exhibition runs until 14 November daily 10am – 11pm, Southbank Centre

Admission: free

Date Published:




Ministry of Justice