Koestler Arts: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
An exhibition that showcases the artistic range and talent of people in criminal justice settings, curated by TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Joelle Taylor.
The Koestler Awards is an annual programme encouraging people from the UK’s criminal justice system to change their lives through the arts.
Joelle Taylor has worked creatively in prisons for over 20 years. Her motivation for this year’s exhibition is to showcase the talent and imagination that springs from secure settings.
Choosing from over 8,000 artworks across visual, writing and music categories, the poet selected artworks that showcase both excellence and ingenuity.
These qualities are shown in different ways by the artists, through concept, skill and storytelling, as well as through the use of unusual materials, highlighting the resourcefulness of the artists.
The title, IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, encourages visitors to complete the well-known phrase with ‘break glass’.
The poet hopes that visitors will look at the artworks, encased in various ways, and think about the way we present and look at things, and how it feels to be on either side of the glass.
‘Most of all for me when I see these cases, it makes me think of what happens when we break the glass, what happens when ideas escape,’ Taylor says.
Thoughts and questions such as these will surface when engaging with the variety of artworks in this year’s Koestler Arts exhibition.
Need to know
Free exhibition tours
View IN CASE OF EMERGENCY with a specially trained guide who has personal experience of the criminal justice system. They can talk about the work on show, the importance of creativity in secure settings and the wider activities of Koestler Arts.
Tours take place at the following times:
Thu: 3pm & 4.30pm
Fri: 3pm & 6pm
Sat & Sun: 3pm & 4pm
Exhibition Space, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall
This exhibition contains content that some might find upsetting, including references to violence, drug use and strong language.
Dates & times
2 Nov – 17 Dec
Mon – Tue, 10am – 5.30pm
Wed – Sun, 10am – 8pm
The exhibition is closed on the following dates: Tue 28 Nov, Mon 4 & Tues 5 Dec. It closes early on Thu 9, 16, 23 & 30 Nov, at 5pm; and on Sun 3 Dec, at 7.30pm.
- Standard entryFree
Everyone needs the arts. We need you.
Royal Festival Hall
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*The Royal Festival Hall is open Mon & Tue, 10am – 6pm**; Wed – Sun, 10am – 11pm.
**On event days, the Royal Festival Hall building remains open until the end of the event.
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Booking wheelchair positions
When booking a wheelchair position in the Royal Festival Hall for large motorised wheelchairs (more than 65cm wide), please book in the rear stalls or side stalls. Boxes aren't able to accommodate larger wheelchairs due to limited space. If you have any queries, please contact [email protected] or call 020 3879 9555.
Entering the hall
For level access to the Royal Festival Hall from the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road, please use the Southbank Centre Square Doors. The JCB Glass Lift is situated at this entrance and will take you to all floors. All floors are accessible from the main foyer on Level 2. If you need further assistance, our Visitor Assistants are here to help you.
You can also use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square to reach Mandela Walk, Level 2.
We welcome wheelchair users and guide companion dogs.
Blue Badge holders and those with access requirements can be dropped off on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road (the road between the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery).
There are four Blue Badge parking spaces available for visitors located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to use. You must display your Blue Badge as you enter the site. Vehicles that do not display a Blue Badge are refused entry.
Blue Badge parking at National Theatre
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.
Please note: when the National Theatre building is closed (on Sundays, and on days without performances) there is no step-free access from the car park. Please contact the National Theatre directly to check before travelling. Call 020 7452 3961 or email [email protected]
Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.
Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.
A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.
Our Access Scheme
If you have any access requirements, please sign up to our Access Scheme for discounts, wheelchair spaces, dedicated seats and free companion tickets. You can also join our mailing list to get news about accessible events and exhibitions.