Chip Night

The Koestler East of England Exhibition

Curated by Firstsite’s Young Art Kommunity (YAK)
10 Mar – 03 Jun 2018
Firstsite, Colchester

Chip Night was an exhibition of artwork, writing and music from people in prisons, secure hospitals, and on community sentences in the East of England. It was curated by young people from Firstsite’s Young Art Kommunity (YAK). They brought together works around the broad theme of identity, having considered how the artists portrayed their own interests, emotions and situation. This exhibition looked to question our preconceptions of individuals within the criminal justice system.

A different group or individual is invited to curate each Koestler exhibition, giving every show a unique look and voice. For Chip Night, YAK volunteered to take on this challenge. The project involved workshop sessions where YAK learnt about curating and engaged with a range of artwork, writing and music before carefully considering hundreds of entries to the 2017 Koestler Awards from the East of England region. By looking through these works, they considered the realities of life inside, and discussed why people might make art in prison or other secure settings.

“Working with Koestler has been a really cool process that allowed us to develop as young curators through putting together this collection of artwork around our chosen theme of identity. Through this we explored things like who people are and what they feel, which sparked interesting conversations among us as a group – hopefully it will open up some amongst the viewers too.”
-Curator, Young Art Kommunity

This exhibition was supported by:

Arts Council England & Essex Community Foundation