Exhibitions

Home: Ukrainian Photography, UK Words @ New Adelphi

4 March - 8 March 2024

Events

CREATIVE SOCIAL: IN THE ABSENCE OF FORMAL GROUND

2 March 2024

Exhibitions

We Feed The UK @ Exterior Walls

8 February - 31 March 2024

Events

Contrail Cirrus: the impact of aviation on climate change

7 March 2024

Exhibitions

Tree Story @ Liverpool ONE

16 February 2024

Open Source #27: Saffron Lily – In The Absence of Formal Ground @ Digital Window Gallery

6 February - 6 March 2024

Events

Contemporary Photography from Ukraine: Symposium @University of Salford

4 March - 5 March 2024

Events

Is Anybody Listening? Symposium: Commissioning and Collecting Socially Engaged Photography

29 February 2024

Past Events

Different approaches: Artists working with scientists

15 February 2024

Events

LOOK Climate Lab 2024: All Events

18 January 2024

Exhibitions

Diesel & Dust @ Digital Window Gallery

18 January - 31 March 2024

Events

Tree Walks Of Sefton Park with Andrea Ku

21 January 2024

Past Events

Artists Remake the World by Vid Simoniti: Book Launch

31 January 2024

Past Events

Shift Liverpool Open Meeting

6 February 2024

Past Events

We Feed The UK Launch and LOOK Climate Lab 2024 Celebration

8 February 2024

Past Events

Cyanotype workshop with Melanie King

17 February 2024

Past Events

End of Empire: artist talk and discussion

22 February 2024

Past Events

Book Launch: What The Mine Gives, The Mine Takes

24 February 2024

Events

Local ecology in the post-industrial era: open discussion

14 March 2024

Events

Plant a seed. Seed sow and in conversation with Plot2Plate

16 March 2024

Events

Waterlands: creative writing workshop

23 March 2024

Events

Erosion: panel discussion

9 March 2024

Events

Waterlands: an evening of poetry and photographs

23 March 2024

Events

Force For Nature Exhibition

27 March - 28 March 2024

Voices of Nature: Interactive Performances

28 March 2024

Past Events

Sum of All Parts: Symposium

27 February 2024

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

LOOK Climate Lab 2024

18 January - 31 March 2024

Past Events

MA Socially engaged photography Open Day event

1 February 2023

Past Events

Tish: Special screening and Q&A

13 December 2023

Past Events

Book Launch: A Look At A New Perspective

23 November 2023

Events

Community workshops @ Ellesmere Port Library

6 November - 5 February 2024

Past Events

Book Launch: ‘544m’ By Kevin Crooks

30 November 2023

Past Exhibitions

Bernice Mulenga @ Open Eye Gallery Atrium Space

17 November - 17 December 2023

Past Events

Bernice Mulenga: Artist Talk

18 November 2023

Past Exhibitions

Local Roots @ The Atkinson

14 October 2023

Exhibitions

Community @ Ellesmere Port Library

26 October - 11 April 2024

Past Events

Critique Surgery for Socially Engaged Photographers

6 November 2023

Past Events

Deeds Not Words: panel discussion

12 October 2023

Past Exhibitions

Deeds Not Words @ Atrium Space

3 October - 22 October 2023

Ode To Our Space @ Digital Window Gallery

29 September - 23 December 2023

A Look At A New Perspective @ Digital Window Gallery

29 September - 23 December 2023

Past Events

Book Launch: Crow Dark Dawn

19 October 2023

Past Events

Exhibition Launch: A Place of Our Own

28 September 2023

Reflections

12 September - 22 December 2023

Past Events

Sandra Suubi ‘Samba Gown’ Procession

9 September 2023

Exhibitions Future Exhibitions

A Place of Our Own

29 September - 22 December 2023

Past Events

POETRY BOOK LAUNCH: JACK BENNETT – LUNETTE

7 September 2023

Exhibitions

A Portrait of the High Street @ Prescot

31 August 2023

Projects Past Exhibitions

Our Home. Our Place. Our Space. @ Walton

16 August - 2 October 2023

Past Events

Poetry Reading: Coast to Coast to Coast’s sixth Birthday!

16 September 2023

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Archive

The Open Eye Gallery Archive contains approximately 1600 prints by more than 100 photographers. Its holdings are diverse, ranging from works by lesser known photographers to those by leading international artists. The archive is particularly strong on work made in and around Liverpool, including portraits, urban landscapes and social documentary.

The archive was started in 1980 – three years after the Gallery opened – by Open Eye Gallery’s first Director of Exhibitions, Peter Hagerty. Collecting has followed changing agendas over the years, but has remained closely linked to the Gallery’s commissions and exhibition programmes. The first works to enter the archive came from the open submission exhibition Open Eye Gallery 1980. Similar open group exhibitions continued, and fed works into the archive, until 1996.

Some of the archive’s earlier works date from the 1930s and 1940s. They include a substantial body of work by Edith Tudor-Hart, exhibited at Open Eye Gallery in 1988. Tudor-Hart was a Bauhaus-trained photographer from Austria who fled to the UK in the 1930s to avoid prosecution for her political activities. She photographed in the coal mining areas of the Rhondda Valley and in the industrial North East of England; from the late 1930s her work explored issues around social policy, housing and the care of disabled children.

In 1985 Neil Burgess (Open Eye Gallery’s Director 1982-86) organised an exhibition of the work of Bert Hardy, a leading British photojournalist of the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1940s Hardy was commissioned by Picture Post magazine to shoot photo-essays such as Chinese Hostel in Liverpool (unpublished, 1942) and Is There a British Colour Bar? (1949). In 2006 Getty Images donated the exhibited works to the Open Eye Gallery archive.

In 1983 Open Eye Gallery’s Liverpool Free Studio project set-up a temporary studio on the street outside the Gallery. Over a number of days the participating photographers, who included Tom Wood and John McDonald, photographed passers-by, who were invited to come back the next day to collect a print. From 1984-89 Open Eye Gallery’s Project Assistance Scheme helped local photographers create new work; each project contributed a set of prints to the archive.

A number of Open Eye Gallery’s exhibitions in the 1970s and 1980s examined the wider roles of photography in popular culture. Works were collected from exhibitions such as Snap, Razzle and Pop: a History of Pop Photography 1955-83, including pictures of 1960s Merseybeat stars and of the wider UK music scene. The 1986 exhibition A portrait of Comedy was also a source of works for Open Eye Gallery’s archive and included portraits of UK comedy stars of the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

In 2007 the Gallery commissioned and exhibited The Water’s Edge, a series of portraits by Michelle Sank of women who work, or worked, on the Liverpool waterfront. The project was produced in collaboration with writer and oral historian Joanne Lacey, who also co-authored the book (published by Open Eye Gallery and Liverpool University Press, ISBN 978-1-84631-084-3). Michelle Sank donated a set of prints to the archive in 2008.

Another major acquisition in 2008 was the exhibition Cities on the Edge, commissioned as part of the city’s European Capital of Culture programmes and curated by photographer John Davies. The exhibition and accompanying book (Liverpool University Press, ISBN 978-1-84631-186-4) explored Liverpool and six other European port cities through the eyes of leading international photographers. The exhibition was donated to the archive by Liverpool Culture Company.

Photographers represented in the archive include: Gabriele Basilico, Ian Beesley, Vanley Burke, Steve Conlan, Philippe Conti, Will Curwen, John Davies, John Edwards, Paul Fazackerley, Bruce Gilden, Steve Hale, Sean Halligan, Edward Chambre Hardman , Bert Hardy, Thurston Hopkins, Peter Kennard, Greg Leach, Peter Hagerty, Harry Hammond, Edith Tudor Hart, Mari Mahr, Peter Marlowe, Derek Massey, John McDonald, Neil McDowall, Rob Meighen, Joel Meyerowitz, Simon Norfolk, Paul O’Donnell, Martin Parr, Caroline Penn, Michael Robinson, Michelle Sank, Ludwig Schirmer, Samantha Seneviratne, Patrick Shanahan, Ewen Spencer, John Stoddart, Wolfgang Suschitsky, Jan Svenungsson, Ali Taptik, Ed van der Elsken, Sandy Volz, Wojtek Wilczyk, Rob Williams and Tom Wood.

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