Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

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  • My Path

    Sheffield, Yorkshire

My Path: Art by People in the Criminal Justice System

Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Until 31 May 2021

Curated by a group of young people in partnership with Sheffield Youth Justice Service.

My Path: Art by People in the Criminal Justice System will open at Millennium Gallery as soon as lockdown eases in Sheffield.

Please check back on this page for updates.

A photograph of Millennium Gallery
Millennium Gallery © Andy Brown

My Path is a creative walk through art from the criminal justice system. Each of the 61 artworks on display has been made by someone in a prison, secure hospital, young offender institution or on probation.

The pieces have been 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 which had 23-hour lockdowns in place.

Works are displayed next to captions with some of the stories behind their creation. There are also insights from the curators – all young people working with Sheffield Youth Justice Service (SYJS).

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

After the main exhibition in Sheffield, some of the artworks will travel to North Yorkshire for a display at Ripon Museums.