“Story Time” at the Supreme Court, London

Sculptures and paintings by young offenders

With thanks to  Katie King of Legal Cheek November 2017

In Westminster there’s currently an art exhibition featuring the work of young offenders under the age of 18.

The small display, which is run by prison arts charity the Koestler Trust and Victim Support, is called ‘STORY TIME’, and focuses on how stories can be told through art and design.


The whole project fits into a glass display box positioned at the entrance to the Supreme Court’s café, except for one piece, a tower clock made out of matchsticks by prisoners in HMP Grendon, which is inside the café itself.


All the art is anonymous, and visitors are invited to guess the reasons behind each artwork, and also to leave comment cards for the prisoner artists.

A metal warrior is a very masculine, eye-catching piece, while the metal butterfly (made by a young person in a secure children’s home) is more peaceful in appeal.

For those expecting prison-themed pieces, an acrylic painting called ‘Man in a Pad’, from HM Young Offender Institution Wetherby, depicts a young boy donning Nike trainers sitting on a bed, and ‘Outside In’ shows two sportsmen behind mesh barrier.

Behind bars...

Behind bars...

The Koestler Trust receives over 7,000 entries each year for their annual art award scheme, including art, writing and music. Art lovers can check out more pieces in the Southbank Centre, in a larger exhibition curated by Sir Antony Gormley, the man behind the Angel of the North.

‘STORY TIME’ runs until 7 December 2017 and is free to attend.

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