Projects Culture Shifts

Where Things are Different

15 August 2017

Events

The Art of Social Mobility with Tate Liverpool

20 November - 25 October 2018

Exhibitions

She Dreams – Yan Wang Preston

24 September - 5 November 2018

Events

Homotopia: Alaska

23 November 2018

Events

Homotopia: Ancestral Constellations

26 November 2018

Events

Homotopia: Brews and Brows

27 November 2018

Future Exhibitions

Wake Up Together

15 November - 17 February 2019

Events

Homotopia: Twin Peaks

29 November 2018

Exhibitions

DISTINCTLY

19 September - 25 September 2018

Projects

209 Women Crowdfunder

6 September - 17 October 2018

Past Exhibitions

XU ZHEN: OPTIMIZING

13 July - 7 September 2018

Past Exhibitions

HIDDEN WORLDS

14 July - 16 July 2018

Past Exhibitions

New Brighton Revisited

14 July - 25 August 2018

Exhibitions

SEEING FUTURES: HUGH BAIRD PHOTOGRAPHY UNDERGRADUATES & ALUMNI

29 June 2018

Past Exhibitions

‘ELLESMERE PORT’ WHITBY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT EXHIBITION

22 June 2018

Future Exhibitions

Liverpool Biennial 2018: Beautiful World Where Are You?

14 July - 28 October 2018

Past Exhibitions

China Conversation

17 June 2018

Projects

MA Course Brief

1 September 2018

Main Exhibition

Our North

28 March - 30 March 2018

Past Exhibitions

Snapshot to WeChat: A Migration of Identity

6 April 2018

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

The Pier Head – Tom Wood

12 January - 25 March 2018

Past Exhibitions

Ferry Folk

11 January - 25 March 2018

Projects Past Exhibitions

Culture Shifts: Local

6 October - 22 December 2017

Past Exhibitions

Finding Fangorn

26 October - 26 November 2017

Past Exhibitions

Who We Are

22 June - 26 June 2017

Past Exhibitions

OPEN 3: AFFECTING CHANGE

7 July - 17 September 2017

Past Exhibitions

Tate Exchange Liverpool

27 November - 29 November 2016

Past Exhibitions

Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015

28 October - 18 December 2016

Wall Work

40 Years of Open Eye Gallery: 1977-2017

5 January 2017

Past Exhibitions

North: Identity, Photography, Fashion

6 January - 19 March 2017

Projects Past Exhibitions

Culture Shifts: Global

7 April - 18 June 2017

Projects Culture Shifts

Life Beyond Diagnosis

9 October 2016

Projects Culture Shifts

Home Is A Person/ L8: The World Lived Here

9 October 2016

Projects Culture Shifts

POSITIVE CHANGES

9 October 2016

Projects Culture Shifts

WINDS OF CHANGE

9 October 2016

Projects Culture Shifts

St Helens

9 October 2016

Projects Culture Shifts

As and When

9 October 2016

Projects Culture Shifts

Wirral: Another Language/ In The Pink Room

9 October 2016

Culture Shifts

Animator Training

9 October 2016

Past Exhibitions

Liverpool Biennial 2016

9 July - 16 October 2016

Past Exhibitions

Walter & Zoniel: Spectra

9 July - 16 October 2016

Past Exhibitions

Tromarama

9 July - 31 July 2016

Past Exhibitions

Telling Tales

6 July - 11 July 2016

Past Exhibitions

Collected Possibilities

15 June - 19 June 2016

Past Exhibitions

Open 2: Pieces of You

15 April - 5 June 2016

Past Exhibitions

Flat Death: Edgar Martins & Jordan Baseman

15 January - 3 April 2016

Past Exhibitions

Edith Tudor-Hart: Quiet Radicalism

2 March - 29 April 2013

Past Exhibitions

Mishka Henner: Precious Commodities

2 March - 29 April 2013

Past Exhibitions

A Lecture Upon The Shadow

7 December - 17 February 2013

Past Exhibitions

Kohei Yoshiyuki: Liverpool Biennial 2012

15 September - 25 November 2012

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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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