Lullabies in Lockdown

Deadline: 21/08/2022  |  Published: 23/07/2022  |  Venue: Sunny Bank Mills Gallery  |  City: Leeds  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Sunny Bank Mills

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Are you an illustration-based artist with a story you'd like to share in relation to approaching or becoming a parent/carer during the pandemic? Have you made drawings, sketchbook work, visual diaries or other narrative-based illustrations in response to your experience? If so, please read on…

‘Lullabies In Lockdown’ is a group exhibition of illustration to be held at Sunny Bank Mills in Leeds during October 2022. The exhibition showcases the work of several local, national and international artists who became parents during the Covid pandemic. This open call looks to discover further existing works created during this time to widen the conversation. 

The show explores how illustration can be used to make topics accessible: to document, share, unite and advocate for those having lived an experience. It intends to uncover quieter or untold stories around navigating parenthood during the pandemic as well as celebrate the tender moments, precious times and lives of the babies who stayed at home.

The open-call invites: prospective, first-time, single-parents, those who were navigating adoption, surrogacy or even committing during lockdown to not having children… Anyone with related experiences to new parenthood and caring for children in the early stages of life during the pandemic is welcome to submit illustrative work made during this time.

For this open call, please submit up to 5 images (or other digital files) of completed illustration-based work which is ready for inclusion within the show. The work submitted from this open call will be shortlisted during a selection process in August with works chosen then being professionally printed/presented within the gallery.

NB: There is potential for original works also to be selected from open call submissions in which instance we will contact relevant artists who will be responsible for arranging delivery to the gallery with the organiser’s covering the cost of return postage only.

The exhibition is curated by Sunny Bank Mills and Beth Duggleby, a lecturer and researcher. Selected works for the exhibition will inform discussion around the positive uses of illustration within culture, society and contemporary research in this area. With this in mind, your work might be referenced in write-ups for the exhibition, debates and discussions and be included in publications or other printed & digital promotional and archive materials for the show. Please only submit work if you consent to its use in this way.

Entry is free. This is an unpaid opportunity.


Make a submission Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Illustrators and Artists who make drawn narrative works
When is the deadline?
Midnight on Sunday 21st August 2022
How many works can I submit?
3-5 any or all of which may be chosen
What is the timetable post submission ?
22 August - 31 August. The applications will be assessed by selection panel as soon as possible and successful applicants informed.
Delivery of shortlisted work: Digitally by We Transfer by Sunday 4th September or, posted, if original to reach us by 11 September.
11 - 28th September: Printing, exhibition preparation and set up.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. The opportunity is free to enter. The only cost would be postage of any original work which might be negotiated by the gallery and participating open call artists for inclusion.
Are there payments to artists?
No artist fee will be paid for this exhibition for existing works. Printed work may be offered for sale at a 45% commission rate to the Gallery. Original work included will be negotiated for sale upon individual artist's agreement.
Is there a private view / opening?
An engagement programme has been planned to work alongside the exhibition. Successful artists will be sent the details of this
What are the exhibition opening hours?
10-4 Tuesday-Saturday
12-4 Sundays
Does the location have disabled access?
The Gallery building on Town Street is accessible with mostly level entrance to the rear (there is an approx 1 inch step), disabled toilets and parking. Please be aware that the main Gallery entrance on Town Street has a flight of stairs. The front door is propped open automatically during gallery opening times. Outside of those times please ring the buzzer.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
The exhibition will be promoted on our social media channels, through our website, on listings and through adverts and postings to our mailing lists. There will also be posters and flyers sent out to local creative businesses and tourist attractions. The exhibition will include a publication and your work may be included within this.
Do I need to be present?
No but we'd love to see you in the Gallery if you're able to make it here!
How do you decide on proposals?
A Panel of curators from the gallery and the exhibition curator Beth Duggleby will select work based on a number of criteria including the quality of content and this working alongside works already selected. The open call looks to add through narrative illustration; new voices, conversations and insights to the topic. We are looking for original works which will diversify the content of work on offer. We are particularly keen to showcase work that may uncover unconsidered and inclusive elements of the journey into and through new parenthood and during the Pandemic.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
We will contact you with guidelines and next steps.

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