An update from Koestler Arts in response to the impact of Covid-19

Read more


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

  • Narrative

My Journey Inside: From There to Eternity, HM Prison Edinburgh, Bronze Award for Painting, 2017


The Koestler Scotland Exhibition, curated by Jenni Fagan

10 Nov – 22 Dec 2017
Upper Foyer, Tramway, Glasgow
Open Daily, 12pm – 6pm

Narrative is an exhibition of artwork, writing and music from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes, and community justice services across Scotland.

The display has been curated by acclaimed Scottish author and poet Jenni Fagan and features up to 180 works entered from Scotland into the 2017 Koestler Awards.  The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, needlecraft, nail art, printmaking, woodcraft, audio, animation and writing.

Some of the work is phenomenal, this will be a really compelling exhibition. The chance to practise art should be available to everyone in the prison system, it can be a vital part of their rehabilitation.

Jenni Fagan, Curator

Jenni Fagan’s 2012 debut novel Panopticon, which is currently being turned into a feature film, is about a female young offender living in a young person’s unit. She has recently been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2017.

The exhibition is part of Freedom in Expression, a festival presented by Koestler Arts to celebrate the arts within criminal justice and secure settings.

The project is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, with additional support from the Robertson Trust.

Project Partners:

Supported by:

Jenni Fagan’s curation has produced a fascinating and moving exhibition. Once again, the quality of work generated by Scottish establishments has been truly outstanding and we look forward to sharing this with the public at this very special venue.

Sally Taylor, Chief Executive
My Journey Inside: From There to Eternity, HM Prison Edinburgh, Bronze Award for Painting, 2017

My Journey Inside: From There to Eternity, HM Prison Edinburgh, Bronze Award for Painting, 2017