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.

Read more about us

Soweto Kinch, curator of Another Me, 2019
A Feeling We All Share, Snape Maltings, 2019
A Feeling We All Share, Snape Maltings, 2019
We Made This, Turner Contemporary, 2019
We Made This, Turner Contemporary, 2019
Antony Gormley at Inside, 2017

Exhibitions and Events

Each year Koestler Arts holds exhibitions and events across the UK. We do this to showcase the talent and potential of prisoners and people in secure settings – often causing visitors to reconsider negative stereotypes. Each exhibition covers the range of Koestler artforms and includes a programme of events. We also publish publications of written and visual artworks in conjunction with events and exhibitions, available to purchase in our online shop.

Very insightful to get into the minds of those society forgets about and neglects. Art is universal, this exhibition proves that.

Comment from exhibition visitor