Trainees work in teams and 1-1 with Arts Coordinator Sarah to develop creative and problem solving skills, whilst building confidence and self-worth. The most recent project: ‘LandWorks Ceramics’, was developed in collaboration with people on placement at LandWorks who are now making pottery products to sell in the shop, contributing towards the charity’s sustainability.


Mikes painting - Prisoner Training & Placements

November 2022

Landworks Trainee’s artwork is ‘Highly Commended’ in 2022 Koestler Awards

LandWorks Trainee Mike, successfully submitted a painting to the 2022 Koestler Awards, following encouragement from our Arts Coordinator Sarah Hodge. Mike’s ‘Highly Commended’ artwork was shown at the Royal Festival Hall ‘Freedom’ exhibition of art by people in the UK’s criminal justice system,  which was curated by Chinese contemporary artist, documentarian and activist, Ai WeiWei. In awarding him a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate, the Koestler Trust described Mike’s work as “very striking due to the scale of it (the biggest canvas we received this year) and the gorgeous use of colours.”

2022 marked the 60th anniversary of the Koestler Awards for arts in criminal justice, which began in  in 1962. Each year over 3,500 people in custody and in the community share their creative work by taking part. The Koestler Awards provide feedback and encouragement to all abilities in visual art, design, writing and music.

Engaging with art and creativity can help prisoners to learn new skills and gain the confidence to live positive and productive lives, helping them on the rehabilitative journeys. Evidence suggests that engaging in the arts can also improve wellbeing, family connections, motivation and resilience, and provide opportunities for self-reflection and education.


November 2017

Arts Council England and LandWorks’ supporters fund 12-month project

Over 17k in funding raised towards LandWorks Ceramics project in Devon
Things are hotting up in the LandWorks Art Department, thanks to a new electric kiln which has just reached 1240 degrees C! Pots, tiles, and necklace pendants all hand-made by people on placement here at LandWorks have made it through the first firings unscathed, with some beautiful if sometimes unexpected outcomes.

You can find the latest pots for sale on the LandWorks’ Market Garden Stall, located on the Dartington Hall Estate, Devon.

This is made possible thanks to:

  • Arts Council England who have just confirmed the third G4A grant to Sarah Jane Hodge for Arts projects at LandWorks. They’ve awarded £15,000 towards 12 months working 1-1 with people in prison or at risk of going to prison.
  • Devon Safer Communities Trust, alongside several LandWorks supporters who donated so generously towards the new electric potter’s wheel and electric kiln.

November 2016

After the success of the LandWorks Timeline, Arts Council England have awarded another grant to cover a year of arts activities at LandWorks – the overall aim of the next year is to create works which represent ‘how to overcome feeling trapped’.

At the same time the PeN Project (in which trainees take pictures of their activities during the day, before talking it through with Lead Researcher Dr Julie Parsons and posting on the PeN Project blog) has really taken off and is giving LandWorks supporters a great insight into what happens here.

2016 - Prisoner Training & Placements

May 2016

Over 10 months, 41 people helped create the LandWorks TimeLine, including: LandWorks trainees, Plymouth University art students and staff, volunteers, LandWorks staff and visitors.

“I have gained a feeling of self-worth again and believe that the future holds great things for me”

“It will be a landmark for LandWorks – it’s an impressive structure”

“Big experience day, well enjoyed and many more to come. Taken pride of what I’ve done today – it’s amazing!”

“[It’s given me] a time to think, a time to laugh, and a sense of achievement”

– LandWorks trainees

100% of participants felt they’d made connections with new people through being involved with the art project

100% felt the local community would be brought closer to LandWorks as a result of the structure

100% were introduced to a new craft or skill

75% thought their involvement with the project allowed them to talk about and/or reflect on their situation

100% said their involvement with the project had allowed them to talk about and/or reflect on the publics perception of people in prison

“90% of LandWorks trainees have gone onto employment, and although there’s no concrete evidence to say this down to art, every one of them has engaged with Sarah and this project in some way”

– Chris Parsons, LandWorks Manager

arts council england logo - Prisoner Training & Placements