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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  • A Feeling We All Share

Woman With Wooden Hair, HM Prison Peterborough

A Feeling We All Share

Koestler Exhibition for the East of England

Snape Maltings, Suffolk

1 – 31 August 2019

A Feeling We All Share celebrates music, visual art and writing from criminal justice settings across the east of England. Together these artworks will infuse and interrupt the historic walls of Snape Maltings with sights and sounds not usually seen or heard.

This exhibition is the result of a new partnership between Koestler Arts and Snape Maltings, a leading centre of music nestled in the Suffolk countryside. This year marks 20 years of Snape’s work exploring and creating music with their local prison, HMP Warren Hill – one of the longest partnerships between a prison and an arts organization. It is also the year Koestler Arts are turning up the volume on musical entries to their annual Awards scheme for arts in criminal justice.

On 24 August Koestler Arts are taking part in ‘RE:LEASE‘ – a special day of concerts and activities at Snape Maltings, showcasing arts within criminal justice. Other partners include Clean Break, Fine Cell Work and the Irene Taylor Trust.

A Feeling We All Share takes advantage of Snape’s unique and spacious setting – the exhibition is located in the Concert Hall Gallery, Inner Foyer, Dovecote Studio and in the open air. Lyrics from three songs, created as part of Snape Maltings’ work with men at HM Prison Warren Hill, introduce each area of the exhibition. Here you can listen to live recordings of the songs in full:

Who’s this person looking back at me. Is this who I really want to be?

(from Steppin’ Out, HM Prison Warren Hill, 2019)

Hear me now. I got something I’d like to say

(from Hear Me Now, HM Prison Warren Hill, 2019)

Lost in space but the sun shines

(from Satellites, HM Prison Warren Hill, 2019)


About Snape Maltings and the Snape Proms

Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Snape Proms

Snape Maltings is a place of energy and inspiration – one of the wold’s leading centres of music and a visitor destination of outstanding natural beauty. Located on the stunning Suffolk coast, Snape Maltings brings together outstanding concerts and events, distinctive independent shops, cafes, galleries and walks, all set against a breathtaking expanse of reeds, water and sky. Each summer, outstanding musicians from around the world converge on Snape, offering audiences 30 great nights out in one of the world’s great concert halls. From big bands and orchestras to folk groups and solo artists, there’s music for everyone at the Snape Proms.


Online Gallery

View a selection of artworks from the show in the gallery below.