Events

100 Years of The Wasteland

17 November 2022

Events

National Poetry Day Celebration: The Environment

6 October 2022

Exhibitions

(Re)Production: Parenthood and the Art World

16 June - 3 July 2022

Events

In Conversation: Mindful Photo Project

2 July 2022

Exhibitions

Mindful Photo Project @ HMP Thorncross

9 June - 6 July 2022

Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: BA Hons Photography with Social Practice – UCEN, Manchester, with Open Eye Gallery

2 July - 5 July 2022

Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Whitby High School

23 June - 28 June 2022

Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Hugh Baird University Centre

18 June - 21 June 2022

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: Follow The River, Follow The Thread

1 April - 12 June 2022

Past Events

Sustainability – Climate Change and the impact from Industry

17 May 2022

Open Source Exhibitions

Open Source #22: Bags For Life – Luke Saxon

1 May - 31 May 2022

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: LOOK Climate Lab 2022

13 January - 20 March 2022

Past Events

An evening with Maytree Poets

28 April 2022

Past Events

Recovery in Focus & Inside Stories

14 May 2022

Past Events

Homo Humour film screening & Q&A

7 May 2022

Past Events

Painting the Mersey in 17 Canvases Coast to Coast to Coast

21 May 2022

Exhibitions Open Source Exhibitions

Open Source #21: Ancestral Folk – Eunice Pais

1 April - 30 April 2022

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

Follow The River, Follow The Thread

1 April - 12 June 2022

Exhibitions

Saturday Girl About Town at Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces: Wigan

28 January 2022

Past Exhibitions

WE

31 March - 1 May 2022

Past Events

Who Cares? – Symposium exploring the role of art & design in health & care

26 April 2022

Past Events

Socially Engaged Photography Network: North West regional meet up event ‘Co-authoring the Collection’ 

28 April 2022

HOPE COMMUNITY GARDEN/ FEEDING LIVERPOOL: REIMAGINING YOUR FUTURE FOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD

9 March 2022

SESSION 3: DERELICTION TO DELICIOUS

11 March 2022

PELOTON COOP: JOY RIDE

18 March 2022

Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: Grow Your Own

23 February - 20 March 2022

Taking Root Bootle – Growing on the Streets: Involving local residents In greening up public spaces

10 March 2022

Liverpool Food Growers Network: Panel Discussion

12 March 2022

Past Events

ECOSYSTEM 2: OPEN CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

19 February - 20 March 2022

SCOUSE FLOWERHOUSE

2 March - 5 March 2022

Session 3: Windowsill Growing with Croxteth Community Garden

12 March 2022

Taster Menu

11 March 2022

Session 2: Dereliction to delicious

11 March 2022

Session 2: Introduction to beekeeping

11 March 2022

Session 1: Dereliction to delicious

11 March 2022

Session 1: Introduction to Beekeeping

11 March 2022

Session 2: Windowsill Growing with Croxteth Community Garden

10 March 2022

Session 2: Relax and Grow

10 March 2022

Session 1: Windowsill Growing with Croxteth Community Garden

10 March 2022

Session 1: Relax and Grow

10 March 2022

Compost Works – An Introduction into Composting

9 March 2022

Hope Community Garden/ Feeding Liverpool: Reimagining your Future Food Neighbourhood

9 March 2022

Liverpool Food Growers Network: Rethinking our Food System

9 March - 12 March 2022

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: NOVUS: Restricted Views – Creative Outlooks

1 December - 12 December 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: Collective Matters

1 October - 12 December 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: On the Brink

27 January - 19 March 2022

Exhibitions Open Source Exhibitions

Open Source #20: Matt Dunne

9 February - 28 February 2022

Arts Groupie Workshops

26 February - 19 March 2022

TREE: Live Storytelling Session

19 March 2022

Horti-Culture Sharing Sessions with Arts Groupie and Incredible Edible

19 March - 9 March 2022

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HISTORY

Launched in 1977, Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery was one of the UK’s first dedicated photography galleries. Excluded from the programmes of art galleries, photographers and others with an interest in the medium established their own network of galleries in the 1970s and ‘80s, drawing on newly-available funds from the Arts Council and a growing sense of photography’s artistic, social and political potential.

Whitechapel: 1977-1988

Open Eye Gallery emerged as part of an organisation called the Merseyside Visual Communications Unit (MCVU), whose mission was to “make more people aware of the many positive ways in which film, photography, video and sound recording can be used in a social, cultural and educative context”. Whilst MCVU was located in the former Grapes Hotel, on the corner of Whitechapel and Hood Street in central Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery occupied what had been the public bar from 1977-1988. The building’s upper floors housed facilities for media training and production, including film and video editing suites, darkrooms and recording studios.

Founded by Colin Wilkinson, Open Eye Gallery’s early days were a heady mix of art and activism. Alongside its exhibitions programme Open Eye Gallery published a magazine, ran workshops and training courses, hired out equipment, screened films, commissioned photographic, performance and moving image works, and organised campaigns and community projects.

Based in its Whitechapel location until 1988, Open Eye Gallery was one of the city’s creative and social hubs. It had the city’s main bus station on its doorstep, a popular cafe next door and the radical bookshop News From Nowhere (now on Bold Street) as a close neighbour. The gallery exhibited national touring exhibitions by established photographers and showcased the work of up-and-coming photographers based in the region. The emphasis was on UK artists with regular shows by European and American photographers. Independent documentary and art photography appeared alongside community projects and exhibitions that explored photography’s role in contemporary culture.

Bold Street: 1989-1995

In 1989, due to the building’s increasing dilapidation, Open Eye Gallery moved to 110-112 Bold Street, forming an umbrella organisation with the Women’s Independent Cinema House (WICH), Community Productions Merseyside (CPM) and the Community Arts Trust (CAT). Open Eye Gallery remained on Bold Street until 1995, placing greater emphasis in its programmes on documentary work and local artists.

Wood Street: 1996-2011

In June 1995, grappling with funding, premises and organisational problems, Open Eye Gallery left Bold Street and moved to the developing Concert Square area of Liverpool’s Ropewalks. In November 1996 the Gallery was re-launched in an architect-designed space on Wood Street as ‘Open Eye Photographic and Media Arts’. A stronger element of moving image work was introduced into exhibitions, but a diverse photography-based programme was maintained. From 2004 Open Eye Gallery’s increasingly international programme combined work by emerging and established artists, frequently presenting UK debut exhibitions. In mid-2009 Open Eye Gallery entered the main phase of a major capital relocation project, maintaining an interim programme of partnership exhibitions and pilot projects.

Mann Island: 2011-Present

In November 2011 the Gallery moved to new premises in Mann Island. A step change in audience focused exhibitions and growing relationships with local, national and international partners has ensured by 2016, the gallery attracted a 500% increase in visitors as compared to the former Wood Street gallery. Located on the Liverpool Waterfront the Gallery is near RIBA North, the Museum of Liverpool, Tate Liverpool and the Albert Dock.

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