The Open is Shape's annual exhibition of artwork by disabled and non-disabled artists created in response to a disability-centred theme. Held in high-profile, artist-led spaces such as Portobello Gallery, Yinka Shonibare MBE (Shape Open Patron) - Guest Projects, The Ecology Pavilion, and our own pop-up galleries. Last year, we held a retrospective of the past six years of the Open, at Hoxton Arches. This year the Open will be hosted by Nunnery Gallery, at Bow Arts.
The Open provides a space where disabled and non-disabled artists can discuss views and ideas about issues and topics which are often sidelined within artistic debate. This year's theme is ‘In Circles’.
Are we going around in circles? Disability Arts and the mainstream have long run parallel to one another whilst rarely converging. The conversations surrounding this divide have seemingly circled but what has come of it? Where are our points of connection and commonality?
How do we widen the conversation about disability and how do we continue to navigate society and diversify the lived experiences told, in particular those of disabled people. With the common axis of disability, do you feel like the same questions and answers are endlessly repeating?
Works submitted to the exhibition should respond, abstractly or literally, to ideas on the theme, and contribute to the discourse on what disability is and could be. Artists are invited to submit work in 2D, 3D, video or audio form via our online portal here.
Any artist can apply to our call for submissions and exhibitors will be selected by a panel of arts industry judges.
Submissions deadline: 12 noon, Monday 15 April 2019