The Koestler Trust, Prison Art, and Gibran UK

The Koestler Trust is the UK's best-known prison arts charity.

The Koestler Trust hold an annual awards scheme which is open to prisoners, secure patients and detainees, as well as young offenders and people on probation. They also hold exhibitions to showcase the entries, with an annual event at Royal Festival Hall in London plus two or three exhibitions around the UK each year.


The Koestler Trust annual awards receive over 8,000 entries a year - inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Their national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors - showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.

In 2015, The Koestler Trust are planning their 'illumination' exhibition in Cardiff. In each of their exhibitions they have a linked participation project with a group.

For example, The Koestler Trust have worked with groups of young offenders, young care leavers and serving prisoners to select artwork for the exhibition or to work on a creative response to the artwork.

The aim of these projects is to help the group develop skills such as communication and teamwork, as well as building self-esteem. They also aim to introduce participants to a subject they may not know much about, encourage them to feel confident to visit galleries, and to give them the opportunity to work on a prestigious exhibition which they will have a voice in.

Gibran are delighted to have been selected to work in partnership with the Koestler Trust with a group of our women for the Illumination Exhibition in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff between 6th February and 13th April 2015.

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