The annual Koestler Awards exhibition includes some 130 exhibits created by inmates of prisons, young offender institutions, secure hospitals and immigration removal centres across the UK, as well as offenders supervised by probation and youth offending services and British prisoners abroad.
In a departure from previous years, the 2009 show is the first national art exhibition curated by serving prisoners. All the curators are from a women's prison, giving the selection of 130 works a distinctly female perspective. The six curators were carefully chosen from women nearing the end of their sentences at HM Prison Downview in Surrey. As part of the nine-week educational project, the women have undergone intensive training, selected the exhibits, designed and built the displays and will be giving exhibition talks and tours. Each of the women involved will receive guidance about where to aim next with the new skills that they have learnt.