Exhibitions

JOURNEY TO EDEN @ DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY

6 May - 12 May 2024

Events

MARRIAGE (IN)EQUALITY IN UKRAINE. Screening and a panel discussion

9 May 2024

Events

Casey Orr artist talk and SEPN North West meet-up

18 May 2024

Events

Poetry reading: Coast to Coast to Coast

11 May 2024

Exhibitions

National Pavilion of Ukraine @ Venice Biennale

20 April - 24 November 2024

Exhibitions

Open Source 28: Sam Patton – Room to Breathe @ Digital Window Gallery

10 April - 18 May 2024

Exhibitions

Forward, Together @ Wigan & Leigh Archives, Leigh Town Hall

23 March - 28 September 2024

Exhibitions

As She Likes It: Christine Beckett @ The Rainbow Tea Rooms, Chester

1 March - 30 June 2024

Exhibitions

Shifting Horizons @ Digital Window Gallery

27 March - 31 March 2024

PLATFORM: ISSUE 6

26 March 2024

Past Events

Saturday Town: Launch Event

10 April 2024

Exhibitions

Saturday Town

11 April - 18 May 2024

Past Events

PLATFORM: ZINE LAUNCH EVENT

21 March 2024

Home. Ukrainian Photography, UK Words: Tour

4 March - 28 February 2025

Exhibitions

Home: Ukrainian Photography, UK Words @ New Adelphi

4 March - 8 March 2024

Past Events

CREATIVE SOCIAL: IN THE ABSENCE OF FORMAL GROUND

2 March 2024

Exhibitions

We Feed The UK @ Exterior Walls

8 February - 31 March 2024

Past Events

Contrail Cirrus: the impact of aviation on climate change

7 March 2024

Exhibitions

Tree Story @ Liverpool ONE

16 February - 1 May 2024

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

6 February - 31 March 2024

Past Events

Contemporary Photography from Ukraine: Symposium @University of Salford

4 March - 5 March 2024

Past 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

Past 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

Past Events

Local ecology in the post-industrial era: open discussion

14 March 2024

Past Events

Waterlands: creative writing workshop

23 March 2024

Past Events

Plant a seed. Seed sow and in conversation with Plot2Plate

16 March 2024

Past Events

Erosion: panel discussion

9 March 2024

Past Events

Waterlands: an evening of poetry and photographs

23 March 2024

Past 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

Past 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

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Samba Gown, Mark McNulty, 2023
Respire, Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, 2023
Me, Myself, My SPACE, Rob Battersby, 2023
Radical Landscapes, Matt Greenwood, 2022
Some Intimacy, Davinia Ann Robinson, 2022
Some Intimacy, Davinia Ann Robinson, 2022
'Rinkeni Pani (Beautiful Water)', Delaine Le Blas, 2022

Threads of Change: Unravelling Sustainability as a Social Tapestry in the Gallery Space

by Jennifer Graley

What does it mean to truly incorporate the notion of sustainability into the gallery space? Sustainability is often used as a buzzword to shed light on environmental initiatives, such as reducing energy usage or increasing recycling schemes, in order to meet green policy targets. Whilst these goals are certainly important, the concept of sustainability is comprised of so much more. This is definitely the case within the arts, and more specifically within the gallery space, where a truly comprehensive approach to sustainability requires an all-encompassing holistic perspective. 

How can Sustainability be Incorporated into the Gallery Space? Sandra Suubi and the “Samba Gown”

Universal complexities such as climate change, globalisation, deforestation, and fossil fuel usage are topics that at first may seem distant and overwhelming. Despite this, arguably the gallery space can play a crucial role in breaking down these global challenges into localised, inclusive, and accessible discussions that ignite grassroots change. This call for community involvement is a fundamental aspect of sustainability, and it unites people to collectively address these larger problems rather than being divided. This is particularly true with collaborative and socially engaged photography, as advocated here at Open Eye Gallery. As part of the Liverpool Biennial 2023 titled ‘uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things’, Sandra Suubi’s ‘Samba Gown’ at Open Eye Gallery is a clear example of how sustainability can be incorporated into the gallery space. Crafted from discarded plastic waste, and complemented by thoughtfully captured photographs, the gown is in itself a sustainable textile that represents the ramifications of colonialism and plastic pollution. A symbol of Ugandan power, the artwork assumes the role of an integral catalyst, illuminating an intricate web of global challenges and their interconnected nature. 

As shown through Suubi’s depictions of the ‘Samba Gown’, photography serves as a powerful tool for achieving social engagement and inclusivity. Through visual storytelling, it captures the experiences of specific individuals and places, providing a unique perspective that may differ from one’s own. At Open Eye Gallery, we embrace photography to connect people, tell compelling stories, provoke inquiry, reflect on humanity’s past and present, and celebrate its diversity and creativity. By fostering social inclusivity and community involvement, the gallery space becomes an unsung hero of the sustainable cause, acting as a binding force that brings people together both creatively and socially. 

Inclusive Sustainability: Advocating Racial and LGBTQI+ Equality

A significant illustration of this dynamic between visual art and the implementation of sustainability in the gallery space includes Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński’s ‘Respire’ at FACT Liverpool, another integral component of the Liverpool Biennial 2023. Comprised of a series of succinct videos, the piece delves into the concept of Black breath and the intricate nature of occupying space as a person of colour. This piece is a response to violence, joy, and liberation, demonstrating how confronting systemic racism within our society is a fundamental aspect of achieving sustainability and change for the future. 

A gallery cannot consider itself to be sustainable and fight environmental issues such as climate change without first providing a space that promotes its dedication to the advocation of racial equality and LGBTQI+ rights. They exist in a symbiotic relationship, and are therefore fundamentally and unequivocally interconnected. Open Eye Gallery recently assembled the thought-provoking ‘Me, Myself, My SPACE’ exhibition at The Atkinson. This exhibition challenges young LGBTQI+ and ally people to use photography and art as a tool for navigating their identity. This is why it is crucial to provide a gallery space that empowers local communities through visual expression, igniting transformative action collectively as a unified force that embraces diversity. 

Resilient Futures: Intersecting Sustainability, Environmental Issues, and Social Justice

Gathering and voicing creative ideas, even if they initially appear to not be directly associated with environmental initiatives, is essential for the creation of a successful sustainability narrative. This was evident in the transformative 2022 ‘Radical Landscapes’ exhibition at Tate Liverpool, where the definition of landscape art was redefined and expanded beyond solely scenic depictions. Notably, works like Davinia-Ann Robinson’s ‘Some Intimacy’ and Delaine Le Bas’ ‘Rinkeni Pani (Beautiful Water)’ explore unity within natural settings, using mediums like clay, images, and sound to advocate the importance of climate change and social justice. ‘Some Intimacy’ is a sculptural exploration of the relationships between people of colour and land, combining soil and clay with spoken poetry reflecting on regeneration, and ‘Rinkeni Pani (Beautiful Water)’ is a study of the theme of water scarcity and its connection to identity. Both of these works are fundamental in highlighting the intrinsic link between sustainability, social inclusivity, and the natural world. 

Exhibitions like ‘Radical Landscapes’ and the Liverpool Biennial 2023 ‘uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things’ play a crucial role in embodying every corner under the scope of sustainability.  By addressing global challenges on a local scale, they emphasise that through a holistic approach to sustainability, we can transform the gallery space into a vibrant hub that promotes meaningful dialogue and encourages grassroots action. 

Sustainability flourishes through the united efforts of our vibrant community. Immerse yourself in the experience of embracing sustainability and inclusivity at our gallery by actively engaging with us. Share your invaluable thoughts, and together we can harness the power of gallery spaces to create a lasting and positive impact on our world. 

Text: Jennifer Graley

Images:

Samba Gown, Mark McNulty, 2023

Respire, Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, 2023

Me, Myself, My SPACE, Rob Battersby, 2023

Radical Landscapes, Matt Greenwood, 2022

Some Intimacy, Davinia Ann Robinson, 2022

‘Rinkeni Pani (Beautiful Water)’, Delaine Le Blas, 2022

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