Through the Looking Glass / Humanity's Changing View of the Universe

Deadline: 09/09/2019  |  Published: 29/07/2019  |  City: London  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Lumen

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Lumen invites artists to exhibit in an exhibition of around 50 national and international artists to look at how technology has influenced our collective view of the Universe.

This exhibition is co-curated with Becky Lyon and Natasha Sabatini

Dates: 15 - 20 October 2019

15/10 - Installation from 10AM - All artists must arrive at 10AM
16/10 - Exhibition Open 12 - 6PM
17/10 - Exhibition Open 12 - 6PM
18/10 - Exhibition Open 12 - 6PM
19/10 - Exhibition Open 12 - 6PM
20/10 - Exhibition Open 12 - 6PM
20/10 - 6PM - 7PM - Uninstall Exhibition

Theme of Exhibition


Lumen Studios are looking for submissions from artists whose work deals with the relationship between astronomy and technology. How has our current view of the universe altered due to advancements in technology?


Throughout history humanity has strived to understand our greater environment - the cosmos. Through the transition of new technologies, new evidence and logic-based thinking we have progressed from a view of early mythologies and seasonal cycles to philosophical models and current day astronomical concepts.

The earliest human would have looked up and gazed at the stars in the same way that we do today. Through technological developments our understanding allows us to reach further, to explore bigger questions about our existence and the fabric of reality. 

Together, we have traversed through different answers to our biggest questions about the cosmos. For example, the Ptolemaic view of the Universe was an Earth-centric. In this model, the Sun and all of the planets orbited the Earth and the other stars formed a backdrop that also orbited Earth. In 1543, Copernicus published the idea of a sun-centered / heliocentric view of the Universe, suggested by ancient Greek astronomers such as Aristarchos. Developments by Johannes Kepler demonstrated that the orbits of Earth and the other planets were not perfectly circular but were actually elliptical / egg-shaped. Since then, we have discovered black holes, neutron stars and dark matter. We have developed complex theories which explain the beginning and eventual end of the universe. 

Alongside an ever changing scientific world-view, humanity has found comfort and resolution in faithful worship of different gods and deities that help to answer their questions about the meaning and purpose of life. Today we have technology that has developed from Galileo’s use of Hans Lipperhey’s ‘Dutch Perspective Glass’ that gave us humanities first view of the four largest moons of Jupiter (Io, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa) and physical features on the Moon in 1610 to current day technology that allows us to see into unimaginably distant parts of the universe. Technology has allowed us to gaze so deep into the distance, yet we find it immensely difficult to resolve the figures it produces. 


To participate in the exhibition. Artists will need to:
- Pay £40 towards the production costs of the exhibition.
- Sign up for 1 invigilation slot during the weekend.

Events Programme

There will be an events programme to run alongside the exhibition.

Workshop Award

If you would like to run a workshop, please add a brief description of this in your application. Three workshops will be selected to run at the weekend. These artists running workshops will be responsible for selling tickets and managing their workshops and will not have to pay the £40 exhibition fee. 


There will be an online publication of the works, which you will be welcome to share and add to your website.


The Ugly Duck Space is very large and set over three floors. We will need each artist who is in London at the time of the show to do at least one invigilation slot of a few hours. 

Installation of Works

If hanging, works will need to be hung from existing holes. Except under exceptional circumstances (such as living overseas) we will not be able to install or take down work for artists, due to the amount of artists involved. We will not be able to take any artwork away on Sunday (unless you live overseas) and there is no opportunity to store the artworks at the gallery space.

Overseas artists will be responsbible for the postage of their work to and from Lumen. 

Previous Lumen Exhibitions at Ugly Duck

Lumen: School of Light
Lumen: Cosmic Perspectives


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
When is the deadline?
How many works can I submit?
When is the delivery date?
When do I need to collect my work?
How much does it cost?
£40.00 if you are selected to exhibit - there is no cost to apply.
Are there payments to artists?
No unfortunately we are not a funded organisation and cannot offer payments at this time.
Is there a private view / opening?
Yes, the date is TBC.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
12 - 6PM
Does the location have disabled access?
Unfortunately there are a lot of stairs in this space. Do get in touch if we can help with this.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
We will be showcasing some of the artists work through our social media, and every artists will have the opportunity to be in the online publication.
Do I need to be present?
Yes, unless you are based overseas.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
Any medium that relates to the theme.

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