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The artistic voice of prisoners released by Antony Gormley

Prisons are dull places, a grey depressive environment in an institution intended for rehabilitation, Antony Gormley’s curation of the Koestler trusts “Inside” an annual exhibition at the Southbank centre Is an attempt to add some colour to the grey and some light to the dullness.

Artworks include models, poems and paintings have all been made by prisoners, secure patients and detainees in immigration centres. Alongside this are daily tours led by ex-offenders.

The Koestler awards began in 1962 under the direction of Arthur Koestler, who himself had been imprisoned three times once in Spain, France and the United Kingdom It was during his time in the UK that he approached the Home secretary pushing for an artistic outlet for prisoners as a form of rehabilitation.

Sat a staff member at the Southbank centre explained “works sent in are judged and awards are given, this stimulates prisoners and helps them to be rehabilitated” Sat also said how he felt the exhibition was very bleak this year but believed that this is what Gormley was aiming for, although he did point out one comment from the visitor’s book that simply read “where is the hope”


Inside runs at the Southbank centre until November 15th

Tours are run at 1:30 pm and 6:00pm Monday – Thursday

And 1:30 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm Friday – Sunday