In October and November, there is an exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London which is particularly close to my heart. I am not an art lover, but this exhibition is varied, interesting, well thought out, and hugely valuable to our society.
The Koestler Trust is a wonderful prison arts charity based here in the UK. You can read more about the great work they do at www.koestlertrust.org.uk. Each year they hold the National Art Awards for offenders, secure patients, and detainees. These awards cover all areas of art – painting, drawing, poetry, model-making, embroidery, and so on and encourages those people who are often on the edges of society to engage with something positive and fulfilling.
Each year they receive thousands of entries (7656 this year) from different people in all different situations, and spanning across categories (which also includes music and short films). This is displayed in England at the Southbank Centre in London. It is a free exhibit but a lot of the artwork are for sale, with half of the proceeds going to the artist themselves, and the rest to the charity to continue their good work. The artwork is absolutely fabulous, and I have taken photos of some of my favourite pieces.
If you happen to be in London, and want something fun to do for a few hours, then get to the Southbank Centre before 20 November, it is open 7 days a week ’til 11pm.