My Path

Curated by young people working with Sheffield Youth Justice Service

20 May – 20 June 2021
Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

My Path: Art by People in the Criminal Justice System was the first Koestler Arts exhibition in Yorkshire, held at The Millennium Gallery; one of Sheffield’s flagship cultural venues. Each of the 61 artworks on display was made by someone in prison, a secure hospital, a young offender institution or on probation. The exhibition included captions with some of the stories behind the artwork as well as insights from the curators – all young people working with Sheffield Youth Justice Service (SYJS).

The pieces were chosen from over 300 artworks entered into the 2020 Koestler Awards from Yorkshire. Many of the artworks, therefore, were created during the height of the pandemic in establishments that had 23-hour lockups in place.

Sheffield-based artist Sarah Jane Palmer led the group of young people and staff from SYJS through a series of socially distanced curation workshops. The group brought unique insights and imagination to the artwork selection. Themes included time, journeys and the future of the planet.


Hear from the curators about what artwork they selected and why in our exhibition film

Watch here


A selection of audio tracks from the exhibition. The poetry recordings are performed by actors from Synergy Theatre Project with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

This playlist contains adult themes and language – parental discretion is advised for younger audiences.

Listen here