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image for Art Exhibition item typeChip Night

  • VistEngland VAQAS
  • Self-assessed Accessibility Information

Art Exhibition, Sat 10 Mar - Sun 3 Jun 2018, free entry

Chip Night

Chip Night


Sat 10 Mar – Sun 3 June 2018
Open Daily 10am – 5pm

Opening celebration Fri 16 Mar 6–9pm Find out more

Firstsite, in partnership with the Koestler Trust, is delighted to present Chip Night, an exhibition of artwork, writing and music from prisons, secure hospitals and people on community sentences in the East of England. Curated by Firstsite’s Young Art Kommunity (YAK), the exhibition is drawn from works submitted to the 2017 Koestler Awards – an annual awards programme spanning 52 artforms.

The Koestler Trust was set up in 1962 to help offenders, secure patients and detainees lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts. Each year, the awards attract thousands of entries from across the UK’s criminal justice and secure sectors. Last year’s judges included the Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux, celebrity hairstylist Louise Galvin and musicians Ghetts and Hot Chip.

Chip Night is comprised of writing, music, and works of visual arts across the disciplines of painting, needlecraft, sculpture, woodcraft, mixed media, drawing, textiles, and digital art. The show’s title derives from an essay about chips and the important role that they play in the author’s life in prison. For YAK, the essay acts as a vehicle to narrate personal stories and explore the emotions and nostalgia that food can invoke.

Throughout the exhibition-making process, members of YAK have undertaken curatorial development sessions with the Koestler Trust and Firstsite staff. YAK has curated the works in small groups or pairings, exploring how themes might work across the various mediums. In Firstsite’s year of identity, Chip Night looks at how one’s sense of selfhood and Britishness can be impacted by social circumstances.

The exhibition includes personal responses by YAK. These will be further developed in 2 public tours that will take place during the exhibition, led by members of the group in collaboration with Koestler Trust.

YAK Curators Tours
Sat 28th April 11:30am & Sat 19th May 11:30am

During the opening event on 16 March, Snape Maltings in Suffolk will showcase their ‘Singing Prison’ project through musical performances. The music performed has been written by participants at HM Prison Warren Hill as part of an ongoing partnership exploring singing, songwriting and performance. Find out more


Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (with charge)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsRegional Tourist Board MemberWelcome HostWheelchairs availableAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 10 Mar - Sun 3 Jun 2018 10:00 to 17:00


Free entry




Lewis Gardens,
High Street,



See location of Firstsite on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TL 999252  Lat: 51.88968 Long: 0.90477

By Road:
Follow signs to the Town Centre.

Accessible by Public Transport: 1 mile from Colchester Town station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)Credit cards accepted (with charge)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome HostWelcome Host
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • YesDesignated parking for guests with disabilities
    • YesWithin 50 metres approx. of entrance
  • The surface of the car park and pathway leading to entrance:
    • Yesis solid
  • YesDrop-off point for guests outside entrance
  • The route from the parking area to the entrance:
    • YesIs flat (i.e. without steps)

Public Areas

  • Level access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift:
    • YesFrom the entrance to reception / ticket area
    • YesTo a specially adapted public toilet suitable for wheelchair users
    • YesTo the gift shop
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • YesContrast markings on clear surfaces such as glass doors
  • YesBaby changing facilities
  • YesVisitor information available in large print (14pt and over)
  • YesHearing loop installed in public areas


  • YesSeating available for visitors with limited mobility
  • YesClear signage
  • YesEffective lighting for visually impaired visitors
  • YesGood colour/tonal contrast for visually impaired visitors
  • YesRoutes/pathways suitable for wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility
  • YesDisplays at suitable height for wheelchair users / children
  • YesAudible alarm system


  • YesEntrance is well lit
  • YesAutomatic door at the main entrance


  • YesLevel access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift to cafeteria
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • Restaurant / cafe provide meals for visitors with special dietary requirements:
    • YesSugar free (diabetic)
    • YesGluten free (coeliacs)
    • YesLactose free (dairy free)
    • YesNut free
    • YesAdditive free
    • YesVegetarian
    • YesVegan
  • YesSeating suitable for wheelchair users, ie moveable and good height for person sitting in a wheelchair
  • YesHigh chairs for children
  • YesChildren's menu