Exhibition Open Call: Illumination

Deadline: 31/03/2024

City: Bristol, UK  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Sophie Sherwood

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This is an open call for artists working with analogue and alternative photography. This means artists working inside and outside of the darkroom using experimental and alternative light sensitive methods. Examples of this include chemigram, photogram, sabatier, anthotype, cyanotype, pinhole, salt printing etc. We will not be selecting work that is solely digital but will accept work made using digital negatives, e.g. cyanotypes. This is a group exhibition exploring our relationship with ourselves and with alternative photographic processes. The work in this exhibition should explore the themes of self-exploration and doesn’t have to be limited to figurative self-portraits.

An exhibition sponsored by Folk House Darkroom, supported by the London Alternative Photographic Collective, at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol. 


Exhibition dates: 18-24 April 2024.
Install: 18 April 2024, 3 pm - 6:30 pm.
Opening: 19 April 2024, evening. Times TBC.
Closing event and De-Installation: 25 April 2024, 10 am - 2 pm.
You must be available to attend the installation and de-install of the artwork.
Artists do not need to invigilate.

  • FREE Submission (please send a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 images for consideration)

  • One piece/series by each artist will be selected and exhibited.

  • Cost to participate if work is selected: £10. 

We prefer to charge for participation that will share the costs of the exhibition instead of charging for submission just to submit their work and risk not being selected.

Participation fee includes:

  • Exhibition space

  • Invigilation of the exhibition

  • Curating and organising the exhibition

  • Exhibition webpage on www.bristolfolkhouse.co.uk

  • Print material (poster, labels, etc)

  • Marketing and promotion

  • Opening night event

You will have 3 days after selection to pay the participation fee and secure your spot when you are selected.

Your submission must include the selling price of the work and include Bristol Folk House’s commission of 20%.

All work must be supplied with suitable hanging fixings for the work submitted. This means if your work is framed (no IKEA frames, please), it must have a way of hanging the frame from a nail in the wall.

Unframed work will be considered, but you must supply command strips to attach this to the wall. 3D works will be able to be placed on plinths. You must insure your own artwork whilst it is being hung in the gallery. Folk House Darkroom will take no responsibility for any damage caused during the exhibition. 

Folk House Darkroom reserves the right to use any images submitted for marketing purposes for 2 years.

Please note that due to the size of the gallery, we will be prioritising singular works. 3D work is also accepted. Please supply a selection of images of the work from different angles.

Deadline for submissions: 31st March

One piece/series by each artist will be selected and exhibited. This exhibition will showcase work by artists at any stage of their career. 

Please note that the decisions are final, and we are unable to offer feedback.

Please fill in the form and provide a  image (max 4MB) of which you would like to exhibit. You can submit up to 5 pictures, but only one will be selected. This work must be your own to which you own the copyright.

Each artist will have their exhibition piece shared on Instagram with a takeover day showing the work that has been selected.

About Folk House Darkroom

Folk House Darkroom started back in June 2015, overseen by artist Wendy Leocque. Since the pandemic, the original space has unfortunately become unusable. In the meantime, artist Sophie Sherwood has built a temporary Darkroom in Room 1 upstairs.

Every penny of profit made from running courses and workshops in this space goes towards the refurbishment of our basement darkroom. 

Folk House Darkroom is passionate about exploring alternative and experimental photography as well as using new more sustainable ways of making photographic and light sensitive imagery.

About the Curators

Melanie King
is a working class artist and curator, originally from Manchester, UK. Melanie is now based in  Kent, UK.

She is co-Director of super/collider, Lumen Studios and founder of the London Alternative Photography Collective.

Melanie is a Lecturer In Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University, and a practice-based PhD Candidate at the Royal College of Art.

She is the Interim Chair of the Royal College of Art, Working Class Collective. She is represented by the Land Art Agency.

Melanie is interested in the relationship between the environment, photography and materiality.  Melanie intends to highlight the intimate connection between photographic materials and the natural world.

Melanie is currently researching several sustainable photographic processes to minimise the environmental impact of her artistic practice.

Sarah Currie is a Bristol based artist making work around subjects of loss, grief, personal history, collecting and things passed on by those that came before; both physically and emotionally.

Drawing from personal archive and experience, she works with photography, print-making, text, assemblage and installation. Her work, often small in scale, invites a viewer to slow down, look closely and experience details intimately; allowing for deeper connection with subjects often avoided or misrepresented.

She received a BA in Drawing and Applied Arts in 2013 and an MA in Photography in 2022, both at the University of the West of England. She works for the arts organisations Bricks and the RWA, and has appeared in various solo and group exhibitions, in Bristol and elsewhere. 

Sophie Sherwood is a Bristol based visual artist who grew up on the coast of Dorset. Their work is process based and involves using light sensitive materials and alternative photography techniques, which are done inside and outside darkrooms.

They create works using plant based and biodegradable developers, such as muddy, and they are concerned with making their practice more sustainable and less toxic. They graduated in Photography from Plymouth University in 2012 and they have an MA in Photography from UWE.

They manage the Folk House Darkroom, and they have appeared in both national and international group exhibitions. 

Questions to consider within this exhibition:

How does alternative photography aid self exploration?

How can altering the photographic surface help us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves?

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Anyone working with alternative and experimental analogue photography.
When is the deadline?
31st March 2024.
How many works can I submit?
Up to 5 images.
When is the delivery date?
18th April, 3 pm.
When do I need to collect my work?
De-Installation: 25 April 2024, 10 am - 2 pm.
How much does it cost?
Nothing to submit, £10 participation fee if you're selected.
Are there payments to artists?
You are free to sell your work
Is there a private view / opening?
Yes we're hoping for either the 18th or 19th of April.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
10 am to 6 pm.
Does the location have disabled access?
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Social media highlights on our channels @folkhousedarkroom and @londonaltphoto, this will also be shared via the Centrespace and Bristol Folk House website.
Do I need to be present?
Ideally yes to help hang the work. We can be flexible with this if you live out of the country or far away, though.
How do you decide on proposals?
Curators Sarah Currie, Sophie Sherwood, and the London Alternative Collective will be reviewing all of the submissions.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
We will email you with details of how to pay the participation fee and organise with you about timings for hanging and the private view.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
We want the work to be experimental and to be questioning the self within the work

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