A group of young ex-offenders is to curate an exhibition of art produced in prisons, secure children’s homes and by people on probation in the North West.


Staged at the World Museum, the exhibition entitled 'Safety Net of Sky' promises to be a display of thought- provoking artwork, including paintings and drawings.


In partnership with National Museums Liverpool, the group of young ex-offenders, working with Liverpool City Council’s Youth Offending Service, will make its selection from a total of 600 pieces of art submitted as North West entries to the annual Koestler Awards.


Tim Robertson, CEO of the Koestler Trust, told JMU Journalism: “We know from experience that art has the power to change the lives of offenders who create it and we wanted to get some young people involved in actually curating an exhibition."


The Koestler Awards are an annual national scheme set up by the Koestler Trust, a prison arts charity which promotes the creation of high-quality art by offenders.


The awards were founded in 1962 by the writer Arthur Koestler. He was a political prisoner in the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and wrote the classic prison novel 'Darkness at Noon'.


Helen Robinson, Head of Communities at National Museums Liverpool, told JMU Journalism the importance of giving the ex-offenders a chance.


She said: “The communities’ team at National Museums Liverpool are committed to involving people who might ordinarily be under-represented. Young ex-offenders might not normally have their voices heard and opinions acknowledged, but this partnership project will give them that opportunity.”


The exhibition, which is also supported by both The Co-operative and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, will take place from 30th March to 27th May.


Young ex-offenders put their art to the test

By Scott Girling-Heathcote

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The World Museum where the exhibition will take place; one of the pieces of art on display


© Koestler Trust