No Lockdown in the Imagination
2020 outdoor installation
Artwork from the 2020 Koestler Awards
12 November – 13 December 2020
Outdoors at London’s Southbank Centre
No Lockdown in the Imagination was an outdoor installation of artwork by people in the criminal justice system.
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Creativity has been prisoners’ escape during the pandemic. Certainly, by using limited materials and unlimited imaginations, people across our criminal justice system have kept themselves going.
Being creative helped me survive my prison sentence. I go to a different place when I’m thinking of ideas and then making them out of whatever I can find.Koestler Awards entrant, 2020
No Lockdown in the Imagination showcased some of this important artwork entered into the 2020 Koestler Awards. Despite the challenges faced by the criminal justice system, we received over 6,500 artworks by artists in secure settings.
Visual art and poetry were emblazoned on the windows of Southbank Centre. Additionally, audio performances of poetry and spoken word entries were played through outdoor speakers.
The title of our installation quotes Lemn Sissay MBE, whose blog entry on 3rd May 2020 read: “The reason prisoners can create extraordinary art and poetry is because there is no lockdown in the imagination.”
Exhibition photographs by Tom Carter