This exhibition, titled Our Journey, celebrates the work of ten artists who have benefitted from the Koestler Arts Mentoring Programme. The scheme provides creative guidance for ex-prisoners, matching them with established artists, writers, producers and crafts people following their release. It aims to support their resettlement into the community by encouraging and empowering them to continue their arts-based activities and work towards their own creative goals.
The artists here are at diverse stages of their mentoring and resettlement journeys. Some are still receiving mentoring and have only recently been released from prison, while others completed the programme 10 years ago. This exhibition celebrates the talent that has been nurtured throughout and beyond Koestler Arts Mentoring and many of the pieces in this display are for sale.
Koestler Arts is the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We run an annual arts Award Scheme, receiving over 7,000 visual arts, crafts, writing and music entries each year from prisons, secure hospitals, detention centres, young offender institutions and probation services. We aim to motivate the participants across these settings to engage and achieve in the arts and increase public awareness of arts in the criminal justice system. We provide feedback and mentoring for entrants, and stage public exhibitions and events. With your help, we can do more to reward achievement, build self-confidence and open new horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people. Koestler Arts and House of St Barnabas both encourage and facilitate lasting change for those affected by social exclusion through mentoring and support.