Shape Open 2016/17: Submissions Open

The Shape Open is an 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 Bow Arts' Nunnery Gallery, Portobello Gallery, Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects and Shape's own pop-up galleries, 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 'Power: The Politics of Disability'. How do we creatively challenge the language of power, politics and disability?  To what extent do we need art to be a form of political protest? Where do art, disability and politics meet?  How powerful are disabled people?

Works submitted to the exhibition should explore, conceptually, abstractly or literally, ideas on the theme ‘Power: The Politics of Disability’ and contribute to a discourse around disability, art and power. Artists are invited to submit work in 2D, 3D, video or sound form. Any artist can apply to the call for submissions and exhibitors will be selected by a panel of arts industry judges, including Shape Open patron Yinka Shonibare MBE.

Previous participants of the Shape Open describe it as a great opportunity to meet other artists, network and build confidence. One participant said,

It [taking part in the Open] has been psychologically invaluable. It led to an increased sense of confidence and self-esteem which had been absent for a few years. It led me back to myself.

And if that's not enough to convince you, previous Open Winner, Carly Jane says 'For anyone considering showing with Shape: what are you waiting for?' - Well, what are you waiting for?!

To apply to show your work in the open, click here. The deadline for submissions is 12 noon, Monday 3 October 2016.


Image: Shape Open 2015/16 judges (L-R) Helen Sainsbury (Head of Programme Realisation, Tate Modern), Yinka Shonibare MBE and Tony Heaton OBE

Laura Evans