Thursday, January 19, 2012


The idea that any person who can create great art, in whatever medium, must have an essential goodness
to their nature is a seductive one. And, obviously, completely wrong. People who have done horrible things
are also able to produce great art; another illustration of the genuine complexity of human beings.
Arthur Koestler was such a complex being. Both an alleged rapist and definite author, his name is now that of a charity which encourages the creative urges within prisoners, awarding prizes, selling art and holding an annual exhibition. I can only applaud their efforts.
The depth and breadth of artistic ability amongst my peers has always astonished and delighted me, and I encourage you to visit the Koestler website.
Even the most rotten of lives may be transformed by the nurturing of a nascent creative ability and who knows what effect your support may have?

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to checking out the Koestler website.

    The image of the artist is usually that they struggle, either, and fairly commonly with their emotions, but also with finances. "The struggling artist" is an often heard phrase.

    I can imagine there are some brilliant artists in prison, because, not only are many prisoners extreme and/or strong characters, but also art is a sure way of transforming your life.

    Art should be encouraged, not just for therapy or for personal transformation, but also because it is regenerative.

    So, where there is decay, be it in the economy or the environment, art can generate interest and energy, it is a good motivational force.

    One of my favourite artists was a man called Richard Dadd, he did some of his best work from prison. He was incarcerated for life after committing patricide. So yes, artists like everyone are just people, fallible and fragile.

    Good luck and best wishes to all prisoners who do art, hope you continue to get an outlet and recognition, and also to Ben for his appreciation and promotion.