Feedback Tuesdays and Fridays
Koestler Arts Centre, July and August 2019
Throughout July and August 2019, we ran feedback writing days on Tuesdays and Fridays at our office in West London. Volunteers joined us to write personalised feedback on visual, written and audio entries, including Sculpture, Spoken Word, Painting, Portrait and Craft.
We will also ran two Saturday feedback days on the 10th and 17th August.
A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to help provide feedback for our 2019 entries. Your support is invaluable.
If you would like to know more about our feedback writing days, please contact Phoebe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Koestler Voices Feedback Writing Event
For National Writing Day, 26 June 2019
Each year we receive thousands of pieces of fiction, non-fiction and poetry from prisoners of all levels of experience and ability. Each piece is personal and heartfelt, and we aim to write feedback to every entrant.
As part of National Writing Day 2019, we invited volunteers to help us achieve this by hand-writing clear, short, subjective feedback for all of our written entries.
For more information about this event, please contact Lara Akinnawo at email@example.com.
Ben Howard in Concert for Koestler Arts
Birmingham Symphony Hall, 21 January 2019
The concert was the last UK date of his Noonday Dream Tour.
Released in June 2018 to critical acclaim, Howard’s third full-length project Noonday Dream was produced by Howard himself and recorded in several studios between south west France and south west England.
The perfect setting for Howard’s distinct vocals, poetic lyricism, and his 9-piece orchestral band, and the most intimate venue of his UK tour, the beautiful Symphony Hall in Birmingham is widely considered one of the finest Concert Halls in the world. Home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, it also hosts the best in jazz, world music, folk, rock, pop and stand-up comedy.
Koestler Arts Christmas Open House
Koestler Arts Centre, Wednesday 19 December
An evening of mulled wine and mince pies at the Koestler Arts Centre. This event gave visitors the opportunity to look around our arts centre in West London and to buy original artworks as Christmas presents.
We also showcased the winners of our 2018 Christmas Card Competition, designed by our prison associates. Koestler Associates are people in prisons, secure hospitals and detention centres who have joined our membership scheme to receive regular updates and opportunities to support our work.
The winning design, by a prisoner at HMP Edinburgh, was printed in packs of 10 which were available to purchase for £10 at the event or online. Other entries to the competition were exclusively available at the event to purchase for £5 each as unique handmade cards.
Voices from Prison
Royal Festival Hall, Wednesday 24 October 2018
An evening of performances of work from the 2018 Koestler Awards, as part of London Literature Festival.
Our annual Voices from Prison event showcased the unique and diverse work entered into the 2018 award scheme, on the occasion of our 2018 Southbank Centre exhibition, I’m Still Here.
Entrants, Koestler mentors and judges, as well as arts professionals performed a range of thought-provoking poetry and spoken word pieces.
Find out more here
I’m Still Here: Synergy Theatre Project
Royal Court Theatre, Wednesday 3 October 2018
In October 2018, Synergy Theatre Project performed extracts from three 2018 Koestler Award-winning stage plays.
The plays were read and judged by a panel of theatre professionals and ex-prisoners.
For more information about this event, please contact the Synergy team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Open House London 2018
Koestler Arts Centre, Saturday 22 September 2018
We were delighted to participate in Open House London 2018, opening the doors of our headquarters in the former governor’s house at the gates of HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs in East Acton.
Artworks from the 52 categories in this year’s Koestler Awards were for sale throughout our three-storey building, including paintings, sculptures, textile art, ceramics and much more from prisons, detention centres and secure hospitals across the country.
This was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the thousands of artworks entered into the 2018 Koestler Awards which were not selected for our annual exhibition at Southbank Centre, as well as a selection of artworks from previous years, including the platinum award-winning painting from the first Koestler Awards in 1962.
I’m Still Here: Opening Festival
Southbank Centre, Tuesday 18 September 2018
The opening festival of our 2018 exhibition at Southbank Centre, I’m Still Here. Our 2018 exhibition was curated by prisoners’ families, and offered a unique insight into their experiences.
We launched the exhibition with performances, speeches, a Pop-up Shop with artworks from the Koestler Awards and guided tours of the exhibition led by our ex-prisoner hosts.
Read more about the exhibition here
Postcards from Prison
Sotheby’s London, Thursday 10 May 2018
An evening of champagne and canapés hosted by comedian Griff Rhys Jones at Sotheby’s, London.
40 original artworks on postcards by major British artists – including Jeremy Deller, Tracey Emin, Alan Kane, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and Mark Wallinger – were displayed alongside 120 postcards by prisoners from across the UK.
Each £100 ticket came with one lottery ticket, guaranteeing an original artwork from an artist either inside or outside prison, plus an invitation for two to join us for the evening at Sotheby’s.
The artwork was on display to the public from 9.30am – 4.30pm on Wednesday 9 May and Thursday 10 May.
Carol Concert and Christmas art sale
HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, Thursday 14 December 2017
We were thrilled to invite all Friends of Koestler Arts to a carol concert inside the beautiful chapel of HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, a Grade II listed building, followed by a last chance to buy artwork, craft and ceramics entered into the 2017 Koestler Awards and fantastic Koestler Arts merchandise. All perfect for under the Christmas tree.
HF ArtsFest Open House & Art Sale
Koestler Arts Centre, 10 June 2017
This was a great opportunity to buy artwork and merchandise, and to learn more about our work and our plans for 2017. Entry is free, and all are welcome.
Postcards from Prison
Tabernacle, Notting Hill, 17 May 2017
Each ticket to this fundraising evening included an original artwork made on a postcard. With 50 high-profile artists joining 150 artists from prisons across the country, there was a one-in-four chance of winning an artwork by an established artist including Grayson Perry, Harland Miller, Cornelia Parker and Maggi Hambling.
Art Not Crime
Castlefield Gallery, 16 May 2017
Koestler Arts was delighted to launch our very first regional mentoring hub, with an afternoon panel discussion, kindly hosted by Castlefield Gallery.
The panel explored the use of the arts as a springboard for positive change in criminal justice settings, and beyond, as well as offering a unique chance to hear from participants who have been through the scheme, and the dedicated volunteers and professionals who make it possible.
Robertson House Display
Glasgow, Spring 2017
Artworks by Scottish Koestler entrants went on show at Robertson House charity hub in Glasgow as part of a five-month display.
Koestler Arts held two invitation-only events in November, including a family day for friends and relatives of the artists, giving them the opportunity to see the artwork. To find out more click here.
6 – 12 March 2017
During Koestler Week we celebrated the Koestler Awards with establishment visits, posters and flyers, as well as resources to inspire participation.
Koestler Week is a great time for people to get involved in promoting the Awards to new entrants, and to start thinking about the entries they would like to submit before the deadline on 14 April.
Download the poster here.
Christmas Art Sale
Koestler Arts Centre, 10 December 2016
The Koestler Arts Centre opened its doors for a Christmas Art Sale on Saturday 10 December 2016, from 2 – 6pm. This was an opportunity to buy original Christmas gifts such as paintings, drawings or ceramics.
There was also the chance to purchase Koestler Christmas Cards and merchandise. Prices ranged from £1 to £500 and proceeds from the sale of the artworks were divided between the artist, Victim Support and Koestler Arts.
Supreme Court, Summer 2016
PAPERWORK, an exhibition by Koestler Arts in collaboration with Victim Support, was on display at the Supreme Court from 3 August to 30 September 2016.
The exhibition explored the creative ways that paper – a material integral to the workings of the legal system – has been re-imagined and re-worked by Koestler Award entrants. As part of its collaboration with Victim Support for this exhibition, Koestler Arts invited people who had been affected by crime to respond to some of the artworks. Their responses are displayed within the exhibition.
To find out more, click here.
Summer Open House
Koestler Arts Centre, 16 July 2016
The Koestler Arts Centre opened its doors on 16 July 2016 and invited members of the public to come and learn more about Koestler Arts and to buy artworks from the 2016 Awards and the Koestler Collection.
This was a rare opportunity to buy paintings, drawings and sculptures on the day. Prices ranged from £1 to £500 and sale proceeds are divided between the artist, Victim Support and Koestler Arts.
The Pop-up Shop with Koestler Arts merchandise was also open for business, and there were refreshments available.
Pop-up Shop Spring Sale
Koestler Arts Centre, 21 May 2016
The Koestler Arts Centre (based by the gates of HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, near Shepherd’s Bush) threw open its doors on 21 May 2016 and welcomed members of the public to view some of the 2016 Awards entries, and to buy artworks from previous Award years and from the Koestler Collection, as well as Koestler Arts merchandise.
Staff were on hand to explain the charity’s work to visitors and to answer questions, and there was tea, coffee and cake, and a silent auction for an extra special artwork from the Koestler Collection, with proceeds going to support our work.