News release

02/2018 - News release

UK Supreme Court to commemorate the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote with display of artworks by female prisoners

For exhibition dates and times please go to 100 Years On.

Supreme Court exhibition area

4 June 2018

The Supreme Court will join 83 venues from across the UK as part of the Koestler Trust's 100 Years On project, which is a nationwide art trail created by women in prison to commemorate the centenary of female suffrage.

It coincides with the anniversaries of some very important dates in the history of women's participation in public life - the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote and the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to stand as candidates and be elected to Parliament, on the same terms as men.

The Koestler Trust is the UK's best-known prison arts charity. Designed to shine a light on the experiences of women in prison 100 years on from the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the Supreme Court will display 32 paintings, drawings, sculptures and poems created by female prisoners.

The exhibition is formed of entries to the Koestler Awards in 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Journey to Release, HM Prison Bronzefield, 2018 Koestler Awards
Journey to Release, HM Prison Bronzefield, 2018 Koestler Awards

Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, said:

"One of the Supreme Court's aims is to increase confidence in the administration of justice throughout the UK by promoting transparency in, accessibility to and knowledge of the importance of the Rule of Law, not least as a guarantee of democratic freedom. Art and cultural activities provide an excellent and engaging opportunity to meet this aim. In recent years we have hosted a number of exhibitions in partnership with the Koestler Trust and I am delighted to announce the launch of our next collaboration. This exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect both on how far we have come as a society, 100 years after the first women were able to vote, and to showcase some of the artwork produced in association with the Koestler Trust by women in prison."

Sally Taylor, Chief Executive of the Koestler Trust said:

We are delighted once again to be presenting art made in prisons in the UK at the Supreme Court, continuing our very successful partnership, in particular to jointly commemorate the 100 years since Women's suffrage. This is a great opportunity to display for the first time work by women who have entered our 2018 Awards, which we hope will be inspirational and thought provoking."

The exhibition is displayed across two floors; artworks will be displayed on the lower ground floor and the second floor of the Supreme Court building.

The Supreme Court is open to the public on weekdays between 09:30 to 16:00. Entry is free and there is no need to book in advance.

Other venues participating in the project include institutions, policy-makers, educators, police stations, courts and prisons such as:

  • Old Bailey, London
    Where suffragettes and women today have faced trial
  • The Pankhurst Centre, Manchester
    Birthplace of the Suffragette movement and now a women's community centre
  • Houses of Parliament, London
  • St George's Hall, Liverpool
    The site of the first suffragette protest

Dame Anne Owers, Chair of the Koestler Trust said,

"I am really pleased that we are able to launch this unique art trail, 100 years after the first women were able to vote. Many of those who fought for women's suffrage themselves experienced prison, and so it is appropriate that the art trail showcases the achievements of women now in prison."

Indian Dreams, HM Prison Styal, 2018 Koestler Awards
Indian Dreams, HM Prison Styal, 2018 Koestler Awards

One of the artists from HM Prison Low Newston, selected to take part in the Art Trail said,

"I love to be creative as it sets my mind, heart and soul free even though my physical body is imprisoned."

UKSC contacts:

Sophia Linehan-Biggs - Head of Communications
020 7960 1887

Rebecca Lowson - Media and Communications Manager
020 7960 1894

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