Koestler Arts “seek to harness the uniquely transformative power of the arts to motivate prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives.”
Another Me, this year’s UK exhibition is running from 19 September to 3 November 2019 at Level 1, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London from 10am-11pm daily. British jazz and hip-hop artist Soweto Kinch curated the show.
This year 5RB sponsored three awards. Below we reproduce the descriptions of the works of art as written by the charity
- “Welcome To” is spoken word performance by Steven, who submitted this work from the Hellingly Centre, a secure mental health unit in East Sussex.
- “Me, Myself and I” is a striking portrait by an 18-year-old entrant who has chosen to remain anonymous. They submitted this artwork from HMYOI Wetherby, a young offender institution in West Yorkshire, and this is the first year they have entered the Awards. When talking about this piece, they shared with us: “I looked at myself in the mirror, although it’s a self-portrait there’s more than meets the eye. People generally judge on their first impression of me whereas I feel like there is ‘another me’ that you haven’t experienced. You might just like me.”
- “Genesis 6:7” is an enigmatic, skilful painting by William, who submitted the piece from HM Prison Shotts in Scotland, and who first entered the Koestler Awards in 2017. Intrigued by the piece I looked up the passage of the title, which reads “And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them”. When asked about his inspiration, William said “The inspiration came from the notion that everything in the world already has its place, that paths are already laid, that evolution knows no deviation and the very act to conform is embedded in the DNA of the planet. Well what if there was an interlude? What if so called God had a break? What if evolution took a deviation – Another Me.”