Industrialised : Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery

Deadline: 15/04/2019  |  Published: 06/02/2019  |  Venue: Blackburn Musuem and Art Gallery  |  City: Blackburn  |  Region: Lancashire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Alexandra zawadzki

Expenses paid

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Continuing on the successes of the festivals headline programme Art in Manufacturing, The National Festival of Making are inviting artists to submit for an all new gallery show; Industrialised. In Season Three we are introducing ‘Industrialised; Art in Manufacturing in the gallery’. This exhibition of works at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery will celebrate work inspired by or made in or with the manufacturing industry. This is an opportunity for individual artists at any stage in their careers, to contribute work to an exciting, high profile group exhibition that will initiate a dialogue that explores what making means in a historic, contemporary and future context. We are opening up this opportunity to artists through an open call; to further explore the themes represented in Art in Manufacturing programme.

The Opportunity

This open call invites artists to submit work to be shown at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, in an exhibition launching as part of the National Festival of Making programme. Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery is a sister project to the Art in Manufacturing commissioning programme and will further explore the themes represented in this festival project.

About ‘Art in Manufacturing’

There is art at play in Lancashire’s countless, largely invisible factories: hundreds of people embark each day on creative tasks, working with remarkable attention to detail to produce the beautiful, the delicious and the complex, from the most delicate to the most durable products on earth.

In 2016 these manufacturers first opened their doors to our artists, laying bare their industry secrets and specialist machinery, their materials, staff and heritage skills in an unprecedented collaboration. Working shoulder to shoulder with factory floor staff, unearthing dead poets or delving deep into the factory records, our artists produced surprising and politically charged works which explored the unheralded skills, processes and history of our factories. Their responses to their residencies were as varied as the manufacturers they worked with: industrial workspaces were transfigured into celestial sculpture, the lives of employees were upholstered, Rudolph von Laban inspired choreography moved a team of bakers, a choral performance rang through the chambers of the Cathedral, and a waste-plastic floor installation invaded a city-centre shop.

Art in Manufacturing has continued as an annual programme, and is now embarking on its 3rd year of commissions to be showcased at the National Festival of Making. This programme is a collaboration between The National Festival of Making & Super Slow Way, and provides a unique platform for artists to make brand new work with both large and small scale manufacturers. The AIM programme facilitates exploration of heritage and contemporary making in collaboration with workforce communities; giving artists access to specialist machinery, manufacturing and crafting techniques. Artists are paired with a factory in Lancashire to produce artistic outcomes using the materials, products and/or processes used within the factory. The artistic works are shown each year as a headline feature of the NFM festival programme.

Over 40,000 people attend the event visiting placing work in both the public realm and venues in Blackburn town centre. To date, the programme has commissioned 17 artists to make new work and worked with over 20 manufacturers including Liz West, Martyn Ware, James Bloomfield, Dawinder Bansal, Lazerian, Jamie Holman, Hannah Fox, Nicola Ellis and Ruth Jones. Outcomes of residencies have included sculpture, film, dance, sound, print and installation that have been featured in the media including DesignBoom, BBC Breakfast News, Corridor 8, The Big Issue. You can find out more about all the artists, partner manufacturers and residencies by visiting Art in Manufacturing Season One and Season Two on the festival website. Found under projects.

About ‘The National Festival of Making’

The first National Festival of Making took place in Blackburn, Lancashire in 2017. The Festival celebrates our brilliant UK making industry, from kitchen table makers to master manufacturers and in May 2018 we welcomed 40,000 visitors to Lancashire for a wonderful explosion of making activities. The third National Festival of Making will take place on the 15th & 16th June, 2019. This is an opportunity to see, make and do for residents and visitors to Blackburn town centre as The Festival of Making takes over the streets with music, art, performance, tours, talks, markets, street food and above all, an eclectic mix of making experiences for everyone. The festival aims to bring people together at this free 2 day festival and use making and creativity as a vehicle to help more people access high quality art and culture.

You can read more about the festival here: Festival Website

About the ‘Industrialised’ Exhibition

In Season Three we are introducing a gallery show of works to be exhibited in Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to celebrate work inspired by or made in / or alongside industry. We wish to extend the reach of the programme, audiences and the number of artists engaged in the programme. Opening at the festival weekend to an audience of 40,000, the exhibition will remain on public view for a period of 3 months. This is an opportunity for individual artists at any stage in their careers, to contribute work to an exciting, high profile group exhibition that will initiate a dialogue that explores what making means in a historic, contemporary and future context.

We are opening up this opportunity to artists through an open call; to further explore the themes represented in Art in Manufacturing programme. Submission is open to new works developed in line with the brief or existing works that reflect the themes below.

We are accepting submissions across all disciplines but please consider that pieces should be suitable for exhibition in a gallery context. We are interested in contemporary work that reflects one, or more of the following themes:

  • Factories and manufacturing; the fabrication, industrial processes and making methods used within them

  • Blackburn and Pennine Lancashire’s place in British manufacturing heritage and/or industrial revolution

  • Making in a heritage context - craftsmanship and traditional making

  • The changing face and future of manufacturing, advanced technologies and new digital works

  • Artworks that have been fabricated using industrial processes, machinery, techniques or making methods.

  • Manufacturing workforce histories, stories and lifestyles

  • Work that has engaged communities collaboratively in making, to create new work

Things to consider before submitting works:

  • Works will be exhibited in a gallery setting - we are not placing a limit on the size of submissions, however we are limited by the number of pieces over 1.5 metres sq that can be accepted, or by large installation pieces

  • Works should be presented / framed / mounted to a high specification

  • There are no entry or submission fees for applications or exhibiting; however transportation costs / delivery for successful submissions will be at the cost of the artist. We will however endeavour to make collection from areas the team work in, and support artists where possible in the transportation of works

Submission guidelines

Submission must be provided through the online form on Curator Space. You will be asked for:

  • A description of each work - 150 words max per work

  • Dimensions of each submission

  • Medium

  • Special requirements for hang / installation

  • Image of each work at 4mb max
  • Your name / email/ telephone number and website (if applicable)

If you have any access requirements relating to submitting works, please contact the curator who will be happy to discuss alternative methods of submitting work for the exhibition.


Open call dates: 4th February - 15th April

Selection: 16th - 19th April

Confirmation of selected works by email: By 26th April

Delivery / collections of works: 27th May - 7th June

Installation dates: 10th -14th June

Festival dates / opening weekend: 15th - 16th June

Exhibition close  /de-install: TBC: between 8th and 18th September

Return of works: 19th - 29th September


Contact: Alex Zawadzki - Curator. Via Curator Space


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
This is an opportunity for individual artists at any stage in their careers, to contribute work to
an exciting, high profile group exhibition that will initiate a dialogue that explores what making means in
a historic, contemporary and future context.
When is the deadline?
15th April
How many works can I submit?
When is the delivery date?
27th May - 7th June 2019 for artists deliverables
15th June - 15th September 2019 for exhibition delivery
When do I need to collect my work?
19th - 29th September
How much does it cost?
Free to submit and exhibit
Are there payments to artists?
No - but we will endeavor to cover transportation costs
Is there a private view / opening?
No - this is part of the National Festival of Making launch
What are the exhibition opening hours?
Wednesday 12–4:45pm
Thursday 12–4:45pm
Friday 12–4:45pm
Saturday 12–4:45pm
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Does the location have disabled access?
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
PR campaign as part of a 40,000 audience, nationally recognised festival attracting press from Corridor 8, Aesthetica, Design Boom, BBC, The Guardian and more
Do I need to be present?
Where will my venue be listed?
National Festival of Making, Hemingway Design, Deco Publique and Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery websites
How do you decide on proposals?
Internal panel of festival partners including curators, producers, commissioners, museum specialists and artists
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
We will contact you to discuss transport / collection. All artists will be contacted whatever the decision is
What are the selection criteria?
Work that fits the brief, meets a level of quality reflective of the festival and programme, whilst being suited to the gallery space and overall curation of the show

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