OPEN CALL / SMALL HOUSE GALLERY

Deadline: 22/09/2021  |  Published: 19/03/2021  |  City: London and Online  |  Region: London  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Eldi Dundee

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Small House Gallery is a contemporary art curation project for a series of dolls houses across two locations in South London. The project (or parts thereof) occasionally travels to other exhibition spaces, galleries or studios (predominantly around London).

The original Small House Gallery (est 2016) is a miniature art gallery in a 1:12 scaled three storey dolls house which is situated in a shared studio space. 2021 brought an expansion of two additional 'properties': 

Small House Two and Small House Cottage are both 1:12 scale dolls houses, currently located in a private residence near the studio.

Small House Two is exactly the same type of house as the original SHG1, but with an additional lower ground floor (basement), and the possibility of using a converted 'roof terrace' level above the attic. (That's four to five (4-5) storeys' worth of exhibition space in total to play with).

PLEASE NOTE THAT SMALL HOUSES ONE AND TWO ARE BOOKED UP FOR SOLO SHOWS UNTIL DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022
WE ASK THAT YOU HOLD OFF APPLICATIONS FOR THOSE TWO HOUSES UNTIL OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021 TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE EXHIBITION SCHEDULE STARTING FEBRUARY 2022.

(If this changes, we will update the listing accordingly)

FOR NOW WE ARE ACTIVELY SEEKING APPLICATIONS FOR SITE SPECIFIC WORKS THAT WORK HARMONIOUSLY (OR ANTAGONISTICALLY) IN SMALL HOUSE COTTAGE

Small House Cottage is a different offer altogether. It's two sided, open fronted, with two storeys, and eight rooms plus two roomy stairwells. It's vintage, handmade, and came already decorated with large-print designer wallpaper and carpeting, a built-in kitchen that can't be removed, and chimney breasts in two of the rooms. It's a house that would suit certain kinds of experimental hang and installations.

It does not (currently) have electrical lighting , so would be lit front-on by a ring-light and/or daylight (or perhaps, battery operated micro-light installations and /or videos on small screen devices - these latter items to be supplied by the artist  if these were to be integral their show). We haven't yet got dimensions or a floor plan up on the website, but you can see provisional photos of Small House Cottage, and all the other houses on the OPEN CALL page at smallhousegallery.uk/open-call )

We want some mavericks to propose some kickass shows for one or both sides of this house, without permanently changing or damaging the structure or decor. It’s a curatorial challenge for sure, but that’s kind of the point.

Lastly, we have temporary access to a 'micro-venue' we're calling Small House Garage. Aka Mac's Garage, it's a toy from the 60s/70s lovingly handmade for a pair of sons by a doting father. It got passed down to the grandkids who have since outgrown it, so it's being offered up for our temporary use while we help renovate it a bit. We're not sure what scale if any it conforms to. (Again: see the OPEN CALL page at smallhousegallery.uk/open-call )

WHILE WE HAVE SMALL HOUSE GARAGE (AKA MAC’S GARAGE) IN OUR STUDIO, WE ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGING ARTISTS TO CONSIDER HOW THEY (YOU) MIGHT UTILISE THE UNUSUAL SPACES IT OFFERS ABOVE, AROUND, INSIDE, BENEATH THE STRUCTURE. WHEN IT’S GONE IT’S GONE. We will take it off the listing if/when that happens, ideally with notice. 

Visits to any of the Small House Galleries would normally be by invitation and appointment for the residential or studio locations, but all visits are suspended during Covid, therefore this call-out is an offer to show your selected miniature works in an online exhibition, with your physical work in one of the houses, but to be viewed on the Small House Gallery's website, Instagram and Facebook pages. When restrictions lift and we can accept invitations to other more open spaced venues, we will be able to accept visiters more freely. The private home and the shared studio will still require and invitation and appointment for logistical reasons, Covid or no Covid.

Artist proposals are perpetually welcome from emerging and more established fine artists working across all disciplines. Artists of underrepresented identities of any and all kinds are expressly welcome. This opportunity will suit artists who work in miniature, or want to depart from ususal practice and experiment with small scale. Maquettes for large works are also welcome, if they fit. We encourage video on mobile phones and tablets, and micro light intallation work, too.

Before you make a proposal, make sure you check out our website's OPEN CALL page for pictures and dimensions! https://smallhousegallery.uk/open-call

FEES:
£3.00 to SUBMIT a PROPOSAL for a show.
£15.00 (minimum) if SELECTED.
(To pay, copy and paste this PayPal.me address into a search window >>>>> PayPal.me/smallhousegallery <<<<< )

Thanks for your time and energy, and we wish you the best of luck!

If you’re not ready to submit for a whole SOLO SHOW at this point, and you really want a high chance of seeing your work in one of the more traditional Small House Galleries sooner than 2022, why not submit 1-3 pieces of work to the mega group show across all the houses taking place in August 2021 in the >>>Big SMALL SUMMER OPEN!<<<

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Artists who work in miniature, or who want to show small scale versions of their larger works, or who want to depart from their usual practice and experiment with working to a smaller scale. This could be custom made works, assemblages of 'ready mades', etc. You're the artist. Propose a show - as an individual or as a group.
When is the deadline?
There isn't one, not really. As long as Small House Gallery exists, proposals are welcome.
How many works can I submit?
As many as you like that you think might fit within the dimensions of the Small House Gallery. It doesn't mean they will all be accepted or shown.
When is the delivery date?
This would be agreed once we have agreed on dates for your show.
When do I need to collect my work?
A date would be agreed with you. You may opt to have it posted back to you, but you would need to cover those costs and provide (or provide for) suitable packaging and packaging instructions.
How much does it cost?
We truly wanted to keep the project completely free to artists, and we managed to do so for the first 6 months of Small House's lockdown revival.*

But we can no longer afford to offer this opportunity for free. We just can't. We either charge a nominal fee (asking for tips/donations didn't work) or we shut it down. We're trying to get to the point where we're attractive enough to arts funding bodies, or for corporate sponsorship, or 'something', but we're not there yet. Maybe with double the amount of followers, or triple - not sure what it it's going to take. The current completely free model is unsustainable; we're too far out of pocket for the the time, care, attention to detail, and unpaid labour, the wholly self funded purchases of parts/equipment/materials required to maintain even just the physical 'buildings,' not to mention the upkeep of the online stuff which is integral to the project's survival.**

So we're charging a nominal fee for applying and a nominal amount to exhibit with us if selected. We want to keep it down to a fair and accessible amount, but we ask that if you can afford to give more, please do so generously.

FEES:
£3.00 to SUBMIT a PROPOSAL for a show.
£15.00 (minimum) if SELECTED.
(To pay, copy and paste this PayPal.me address into a search window >>>>> PayPal.me/smallhousegallery <<<<< )

We want to keep it low so that selected artists who are truly struggling will not be barred from showing work with us.
IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY MORE, PLEASE DO. That additional money can then be used to help another artist exhibit. It will help us keep the project ticking along more smoothly, less precariously, and potentially saves us from the need to resort to begging for donations or tips. We're leaving it to you to decide what amount 'more' comes to.

We're not trying to profit from artists. We're trying to survive, same as many of you. We want to keep art alive in our lives and connect with other artists around the world, promote their work to new audiences, expose them to new opportunities. We need to pay the studio rent and the unexpected expenses that arise for the project along the way. We'll have to trust people not to take advantage of our good intentions for this low fee honour system structure.


Fees to artists who want to sell their work:
At this time we don't want to be involved in brokering deals between artists and buyers for a variety of reasons (admin for the curation of shows and maintenance of houses and online stuff has become a full time job and brokering deals would require hiring of staff, and becoming a business). Instead, as a courtesy, we will put the collector in touch with the artist directly (unless the artist expressly asks otherwise). We expect that if you you make a sale as a result of your work being seen in our Small House galleries, website or social media outlets, or by word of mouth about the show, that you will pay us a 20% commission for all our efforts in giving you as appealing and accessible a show as is within our means to produce, in our 'house style' (which is evolving as we go). Accepting a show with us implies agreement to honour these terms. "We're just gonna have to trust each other to do the right thing."


*(The project started in 2016 and was free back then too, but it was really just a personal project open only to artist friends who never got to take advantage of the opportunity before it got literally shelved on top of a wardrobe and forgotten about. We began renovations out of sheer boredom in the first Lockdown, and our first Open Call went live online in September 2020.)

**(As of the time of writing this listing, we will have worked for free, often full time, for 6.5 months. The calendar is booked up with two shows per month until December 2021. That's 15 months of full time unpaid labour. So that's why we have to charge a nominal fee and ask for additional help to keep it ticking along. £15.00 to show work doesn't even cover an hour's pay. It's a token amount to help cover the cost of repairs - it doesn't cover the cost of time spent or the actual labour itself. We might spend 10-25 hours on a month-long show from start to finish, most of the work happening from it's conception through to its going live. See the website's Tip Jar page for an insight into what happens behind the scenes. And if you have any questions, get in touch. Even with the small fee, it's going to be impossible to carry on without funding, which we will apply for when we figure out the who, what, where, when, why and how. We're in the process of investigating our options there.)
Are there payments to artists?
No
Is there a private view / opening?
Short answer, no.

Even in non-Covid times, in its current private residence, it isn't practical to have strangers traipsing through, and that's more to do with neighbours than anything else. However, when Small House Gallery itself travels to other real life sized gallery or exhibition spaces, it may be possible to negotiate a private view / opening / finissage with them.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
As it's mainly an online space, it's open all hours, unless the website is temporarily down for maintenance.
Does the location have disabled access?
Partly N/A because it's online mainly.

It sometimes does travel to other spaces that do have disabled access (it was at Shonibare Studios' Guest Projects space back in 2017 for example, which is completely wheelchair friendly) but in its current residence and in the studio, unfortunately not, as there are several stairs.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
There is no advertising budget, nor any reason for one. It will of course be shared on Small House Gallery's Facebook and Instagram pages, which you will be welcome to help promote among your own social networks and social media platforms, your own website and CV. Mainly it will spread via word of mouth, and random searches that lead people unexpectedly to this very small scale art gallery and curation project.

We went live on Instagram in September/October and have organically grown a following of almost 400 followers as of mid March. It may potentially continue to grow organically (maybe even virally) from there.
Do I need to be present?
Not at all. In fact due to Covid, you basically can't (or shouldn't).

There may be points after Covid, if the Small House Gallery is asked to exhibit in another gallery space, that you may be asked to help invigilate your own work, depending on the space's set up. But that would be discussed ahead of time and as/or when an opportunity to show elsewhere presents itself.

It may be possible to set up your show yourself if you want to, but it depends on Covid regulations at the given time.
How do you decide on proposals?
Good question which there isn't really a solid answer for.

Installation of your work can't destroy the structure or surfaces of Small House Gallery, so that needs to be taken into account. No work that is discriminatory in any way against any group of disadvantaged people will be accepted. What gets accepted beyond that criteria is going to be subjective to a degree, based on personal tastes of the curator(s). But perhaps most importantly, it will also will need to work on a practical/logistical level. No clashing dates for instance.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
You will be contacted and we will try and negotiate mutually agreeable dates for the show, discuss expectations and possibilities, which works will go in and how they might be shown, how to get the works to the Small House Gallery and how to retrieve them at the end of your show.

As soon as you agree to show with us, agreement to our terms in implied, and you'll be asked to pay a minimum fee of £15 to cover a fraction of the admin and labour involved, and if you can afford to pay more, it would be greatly appreciated by us, and by the artist here and there who will have their fees lowered or waived if they find the £15 inaccessible.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
Quirky, innovative, playful, surprising, smart, witty, compelling, visually and conceptually interesting, mind bending/stretching, awe inspiring, beautiful or not so beautiful, miniature expressions of art in any medium, that works well in the space and doesn't cause permanent damage to the structure or surfaces of the Small House Gallery.

We're a bit partial to 3D and 4D works right now: sculpture, mixed media, installation, assemblage, altered readymades, video and micro light installations, but we're wide open to all other mediums.

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