News releases

03/2016 - News release

Supreme Court Arts Trust showcases work helping offenders transform their lives - and raise money for supporting victims

29 July 2016

An exhibition of artwork playing a vital role in the rehabilitative journey of offenders is to go on display at the country's top court next month, following an invitation by a new charity aiming to use art to explore the role of courts and other legal institutions.

Artwork from the Paperwork exhibition curated by the Koestler Trust
MT-09 Makes the News, Craft, HM Prison Rye Hill, 2016

The exhibition, PAPERWORK, has been curated by the Koestler Trust in collaboration with independent charity Victim Support. The display draws upon over 6,500 entries to this year's Koestler Awards, an annual scheme that has been recognising artistic achievement in the criminal justice and secure sectors for 54 years.

The invitation to the Koestler Trust was issued by the newly-formed UK Supreme Court Arts Trust, an independent charitable body which exists to promote understanding of legal institutions through art installations and other educative projects. The Trust is independent of the Court and works to raise sponsorship for its activities, rather than using public funds.

The selected artworks explore the creative ways paper (a material integral to the workings of the legal system), has been re-imagined and re-worked by Koestler entrants in prison, serving community sentences or in secure psychiatric care. As part of its collaboration with Victim Support for this exhibition, the Koestler Trust invited people who had been affected by crime to respond to some of the artworks. Their responses are displayed within the exhibition.

Works from the exhibition are available for sale, with proceeds supporting the work of both the Koestler Trust and Victim Support.

The artworks cover a range of Koestler Award visual art categories and provide a unique snapshot of the creative talents of prisoners and secure patients across the UK.

Sir Anthony Salz, Chairman, UK Supreme Court Arts Trust, said: "More than 20,000 people will visit the Supreme Court this summer and we are pleased to be able to arrange a platform for the Koestler Trust's innovative work helping offenders reshape their lives while at the same time supporting those who have suffered as a result of crime. The exhibition provides an absorbing insight into the hearts and minds of a group of offenders, and importantly, of victims too."

Sally Taylor, Chief Executive, Koestler Trust, said: "We are delighted to have been invited by The Supreme Court Arts Trust to curate an exhibition in collaboration with Victim Support. This will enable large numbers of the public to appreciate the creativity, imagination and inventiveness of those in secure settings."

Lucy Hastings, Director at independent charity Victim Support, said: "We are proud to be associated with the Koestler Trust and its work to help offenders understand the impact of their actions on the lives of victims.

"From supporting thousands of crime victims every year, we know that what people want most is that no-one else should suffer as they have, and so we welcome initiatives like this which help offenders change their lives.

"The money raised will help our specially trained staff and volunteers give more victims the practical help and emotional support they need to recover and move on from crime."

The exhibition is open on weekdays from 3 August to 30 September 2016 from 9.30am - 4.30pm on the lower ground level of the Supreme Court in central London.

This exhibition is kindly supported by Interserve and Serco. The Koestler Trust is supported by Arts Council England and NOMS (the National Offender Management Service), with additional support from individual trusts, donors and sponsors.


Notes to editors


3 August to 30 September 2016
The Supreme Court, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3BD
Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm

Images available on request to nchikhlia@koestlertrust.org.uk

2. The Koestler Trust is the UK's best-known prison arts charity. Founded by writer Arthur Koestler (author of the classic prison novel Darkness at Noon), it has been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for 54 years. The Koestler Awards receive over 6,500 entries a year in 52 artforms from over 300 prisons and other establishments - inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, raise their aspirations and transform their lives. Koestler exhibitions attract over 50,000 visitors annually at venues across the country - showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings. The Trust has no endowment or capital - its work depends entirely on grants and donations. The Koestler Trust's aims are:

  • To help offenders, secure patients and detainees lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts
  • To increase public awareness and understanding of arts by offenders, secure patients and detainees
  • To be a dynamic, responsive organisation, which achieves excellent quality and value for money.

Log on to www.koestlertrust.org.uk for more details of the Trust's work.

3. The UK Supreme Court Arts Trust is an independent charitable body registered with the Charity Commission (1165602). It was formed to "advance the education of the public, in particular in relation to art; the connection between art and legal institutions of, or associated with, the UK and the history and operation of such legal institutions; and to promote art for the public benefit, in particular through exhibitions and displays and through maintaining and managing the art collection of the UK Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council."
For more information, contact Ben Wilson (Ben.Wilson@supremecourt.uk / 020 7960 1887).

4. Victim Support (VS) is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. Last year we offered support to just under 1 million victims of crime. VS also runs the national Homicide Service supporting people bereaved through murder and manslaughter and more than 231 local projects, which tackle domestic violence, antisocial behaviour and hate crime, help children and young people and deliver restorative justice. The charity has around 1,100 staff and 1,600 volunteers.

Website: www.victimsupport.org.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/victimsupport

Twitter: twitter.com/victimsupport

UKSC contacts:

Ben Wilson - Head of Communications
020 7960 1887

Cheryl Walmsley - Communications & Outreach Manager
020 7960 1886