Open Call: Empty Vessels

Deadline: 27/05/2018  |  Published: 15/04/2018  |  Venue: Bankley Studios and Gallery  |  City: Manchester  |  Region: Greater Manchester  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Scaffold Gallery

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We are seeking artists to develop new work exploring ideas of nothingness for a group exhibition at Bankley Studios and Gallery, opening 3rd August 2018.


Empty Vessels 


An exhibition of works about being about nothing.

We are seeking artists to develop new work exploring ideas of nothingness for a group exhibition at Bankley Studios and Gallery, opening 3rd August 2018.

Not work that isn't about anything, but working that is about nothing. Absolute zero. Infinite absence. Eternal nothingness.

We wish for the exhibition to explore the artwork as a transference, a communication, a vessel.

Something that reaches across a divide, connects and spreads ideas, emotions and experiences.

But what if the artwork exists as an object void of content. To be about nothing. To attempt to define, embody, and exude it, all while simultaneously not. To have nothing as its subject. Can an artwork be an empty vessel, or even communicate what an empty vessel could be?

How To Apply:

Please provide a short statement on nothingness, and how you might begin to approach it. What your initial ideas are, how you might begin to embody it. This can simply be text in the box provided, but it could take other forms, e.g. documents, videos, drawings, mind-maps…

We are not looking for fully formulated ideas for work at this point. Please do not submit pre-existing works for consideration, we are seeking the development of new work.

If you have some initial ideas you can include them, however we like to choose artists when we feel there is an element of unpredictability, where we can't see exactly what you will make from the outset.

Please also provide a brief statement on who you are as an artist, what you are interested in, and what motivates you to make work (but not a CV).

Include documentation images of previous work which you feel best represents your practice or may be relevant to this open call, or links to any video/audio etc. files as necessary.

Exhibition Timeline: 

  • Open call deadline: Sunday May 27th
  • Install begins: Monday 30th July
  • Opening night: Friday 3rd August
  • Exhibition open: 4th - 11th August (exact times TBD)
  • Deinstall: Sunday 12th August

You do not need to be present for the install, unless your work requires you to set it up. We will provide dates for delivering/picking up/returning work ahead of install.


Bankley Studios and Gallery, Levenshulme, Manchester


At the current moment we are very limited in funding and can only cover general exhibition costs. This unfortunately means we cannot offer any form of financial payment to artists, or to cover shipping.

However, we will offer all chosen artists at least two tutorials (either a studio visit, or via Skype depending on distance) with a member of the Scaffold Team, to offer support and dialogue during the development of the work, in way of payment.

If you have any questions regarding this open call, email


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
When is the deadline?
27th May 2018
How many works can I submit?
We are not choosing artworks, so any works included in the submission should only be examples of previous work to give us an idea of your practice.
Is there a private view / opening?
Thursday 3rd August 2018
What are the exhibition opening hours?
4th - 11th August (exact times TBD)
Do I need to be present?
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
We will contact you with further information

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