ARTWORK, writing and music from people in prisons, secure hospitals and on community sentences in the East of England are on display at Colchester’s Firstsite art gallery.

Curated by Firstsite’s Young Art Kommunity, the Chip Night exhibition is drawn from works submitted to the 2017 Koestler Awards - an annual programme spanning 52 art forms.

The exhibition comprises visual arts across the disciplines of painting, needlecraft, sculpture, woodcraft, mixed media, drawing, textiles and digital art.

Its strange title derives from an essay about chips and the important role they play in the imprisoned author’s life.

For YAK, the essay is a vehicle to narrate personal stories and explore the emotions and nostalgia food can invoke.

Chip Night itself looks at how one’s sense of self and Britishness can be impacted by social circumstances.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

'Childhood' from a prisoner in Warren Hill, Woodbridge. Picture: The Koestler Trust

Firstsite director Sally Shaw said: “We’re proud to be presenting this intriguing show which brings together one aspect of the admirable and important work of the Koestler Trust, and Firstsite’s brilliant young team of curators from YAK.”

The Koestler Trust helps offenders, secure patients and detainees lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts.

Each comment made about Chip Night will be shared with the artists.

A second display to debut during Firstsite’s year of identity is Bronze Age 3,500 BC to AD 2018, specifically curated for Colchester.

The show recreates a fictional Bronze Age presentation from a forgotten museum with pieces separated into six themes.

Sally said: “It’s an important show for Firstsite in that it shows master works from the contemporary and modern art canons alongside ancient antiquities.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Subodh Gupta Et tu, Duchamp? 2009. Picture: Subodh Gupta and Hauser and Wirth

“While it was initially conceived as a satire on museum exhibitions, it has grown into something much more and invites the viewer to approach history and archaeology from a fresh perspective.

“Originally conceived by Hauser and Wirth, we’ve been delighted to add exhibits from Colchester and Ipswich Museums.

“Bringing the project to Colchester - the earliest recorded town, the seat of the Roman occupation of Britain and home to one of the most radical contemporary art galleries - is a perfect continuation of this story.’’

Bronze Age originated from Dr Neil Wenman in collaboration with classics professor Mary Beard who has produced an accompanying audio guide on iTunes.

Chip Night will run until June 3 and Bronze Age until October 28.