To mark the 10th anniversary of the Koestler Trust annual exhibition at the Southbank Centre, one of Britain's most revered artists, Antony Gormley, has been invited to curate the 2017 edition. The free exhibition, entitled 'Inside' will run from Thursday 21 September - Wednesday 15 November 2017 in the Spirit Level of Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. Works included in the exhibition will have been produced by detainees in the UK's prisons, secure hospitals and immigration removal centres as well as by ex-offenders in the community. The artworks selected for the exhibition come from over 7,000 pieces of fine art, design, writing and music, entered into this year's Koestler Awards. Some of the artworks are for sale, with 25% of original artwork sales proceeds going to Victim Support, 25% to Koestler Trust and 50% to entrants. Throughout the exhibition there will be a pop-up shop and guided tours, both staffed by ex-offenders who have been trained and employed by the Koestler Trust. Antony Gormley, curator, said: "I want to celebrate this great resource: the imaginations of the 85,000 prisoners currently in UK prisons and those in secure establishments. Art is a place in which you can do what you like; it need not be for or about anyone else but the artist. In the words of one prisoner, 'in our minds we can always be free'. I want this work to say something to all of us outside about what it feels like to be a detainee, inside." Sally Taylor, Chief Executive, Koestler Trust: "The Koestler Trust is thrilled to be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its UK exhibitions at Southbank Centre by inviting Antony Gormley to curate the show this year. He is an inspirational figure and much-loved artist both for our entrants and the general public, and we anticipate with great excitement a unique, provocative and thoughtful approach to the curation of the exhibition." Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said: "Southbank Centre and The Koestler Trust both know that the arts have the ability to change lives and over the last decade it's been a privilege to build our partnership and endorse such a rich and incredible range of artistic expression and potent stories. In this tenth year, the choice of Antony Gormley as curator ensures that the exhibition will be inspiring, thought provoking and provide the context for the important debate around the role of creative life within the penal system."
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