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Ex-offenders to curate new exhibition at Margateís Turner Contemporary

23 November 2018

A unique partnership launches today which sees people under probation supervision in the south east curate a new exhibition at Margateís internationally renowned Turner Contemporary art gallery.

People serving community sentences or who have recently been released from prison will work with local artist and project facilitator, Trish Scott, to curate an exhibition for spring 2019. They will select from over 700 pieces created by people in prisons, young offender institutions, secure hospitals and others on probation across Kent and Sussex.

It’s the result of a partnership between Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company, (KSS CRC) the agency responsible for supporting and supervising low and medium risk offenders in the region, and the Koestler Trust, the UK’s best-known prison arts charity.

Around 10 participants will take part in eight sessions over several weeks in November and December 2018 as part of efforts to rehabilitate and integrate them more closely with civic life and their community.

The exhibition opens on 1 March 2019.

KSS CRC chief executive, Suki Binning, said:

“This project at a world-leading gallery is part of our efforts to develop new ways to engage the people we work with effectively. It will give them an opportunity to develop teamworking skills, a sense of worth about what they can achieve and reflect on how they can make more positive choices in the future.

“We are delighted to partner with the Koestler Trust and Turner Contemporary. This exhibition promises to be an eye-opener for the people we supervise, their families and the wider community and I hope that people from every walk of life are able to come and see this art which is so often hidden from view.”

Koestler Trust chief executive officer, Sally Taylor, said:

“This is our first regional show in the south east and we’re thrilled that Turner Contemporary will be the setting for Koestler artwork, in the same year as the gallery hosts the prestigious Turner Prize. To have service users from KSS CRC as the curators adds another layer of meaning to this project, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the exhibition emerge from their efforts and ideas.”

Turner Contemporary head of learning and visitor experience, Karen Eslea, said:

“We are delighted to be working with KSS CRC and the Koestler Trust on this exciting project. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to make art accessible to all and I am sure some fascinating insights and perspectives will come from the curators of this exhibition.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Kent Surrey & Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company Ltd (KSS CRC) works to reduce reoffending and in so doing, improve people’s lives – potential victims as well as perpetrators of crime. We work with people who have been sentenced by a court to either custody or community supervision and who are classed as low to medium risk.

For media and press enquiries, please contact our press office, email  or call 0777 92 51 711

  1. The Koestler Trust is the UK’s best-known prison arts charity, working across the whole of the British criminal justice system – in prisons, secure hospitals, immigration centres, young offender institutions and in the community. The Trust runs the annual Koestler Awards to motivate people to participate in the arts, and to showcase the talent and potential of people in the criminal justice system to the public. Around 3,000 people enter the Awards each year. Entrants receive feedback and certificates, can be selected for public exhibitions or mentoring, and may sell their visual artwork. The Trust holds a programme of exhibitions and events each year around the UK. The biggest is the annual exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre, which over 20,000 people visit.
  2. Turner Contemporary’s mission is art inspiring change: enabling fresh perspectives through which to see the world and encouraging creative expression, to bring about real, positive impact.  about our exhibitions, events and world-class learning programme here: turnercontemporary.org.
  3. Responsibility for managing low and medium risk offenders in the community was handed to privately owned and managed community rehabilitation companies as part of the Government’s “Transforming Rehabilitation” reform agenda. KSS CRC is owned by Seetec, an Essex-based company, which works all over the UK to improve people’s education, skills and prospects.


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