Events

ASSEMBLIES: OPEN EYE HUB

16 September 2022

VR: Visualising Pollution – Whitby High School

23 June - 28 June 2022

VR: “There is an I…” – UCEN, Manchester

2 July - 5 July 2022

Exhibitions

COMING SOON: Clickmoor on Climate

15 August - 4 September 2022

Exhibitions

COMING SOON: LOOK PHOTO BIENNIAL @ WIGAN AND LEIGH

1 October 2022

Exhibitions

Make, Mend and Sustain – Digital Window Gallery

14 July - 4 September 2022

LOOK Events Events

LOOKBOOK CLUB: THE OVERSTORY BY RICHARD POWERS, Pages 1-28

25 September 2022

LOOK Events Events

Guided Walk: Bats of Sefton Park

1 September 2022

Exhibitions

A Portrait of the High Street @ Prescot Town Centre

25 July 2022

Exhibitions

Reclaiming @ Rainbow Tea Rooms, Chester

13 August 2022

LOOK Events Events

GUIDED WALK: The Veteran Trees of Childwall Woods #2

27 August 2022

Past Events LOOK Events

Guided Walk: Bees of Sefton Park

31 July - 31 July 2022

LOOK Events Events

Guided Walk: A History of Sefton Park Landscape

21 August 2022

LOOK Events Events

GUIDED WALK: The Veteran Trees of Childwall Woods #1

6 August 2022

Exhibitions

WIGAN AND LEIGH COLLEGE STUDENTS

14 July - 4 September 2022

COMING SOON: MIMESIS: A BEAT BEFORE THE RAPTURE @ NEW ADELPI ATRIUM

19 October - 16 November 2022

Exhibitions

COMING SOON: ARE YOU LIVING COMFORTABLY? @ NEW ADELPHI EXHIBITION GALLERY

10 October - 23 December 2022

Exhibitions

Before it Melts into Solid: Carmel College Students

14 July - 4 September 2022

LOOK Events Events

Journal Launch: Coast to Coast to Coast

13 August 2022

LOOK Events Events

Writing Workshop: Listening to the River Mersey with Maria Isakova-Bennett

13 August 2022

LOOK Events Events

ROOTING FOR THE FUTURE: Growing Culture, Community and Creativity

4 September 2022

COMING SOON: Let’s Grow Preston

23 July 2022

Exhibitions

DOT-ART ANALOGUE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION WINNERS

14 July - 28 July 2022

Past Events

An evening with Guillemot Press Poets

22 July 2022

Exhibitions Open Source Exhibitions

OPEN SOURCE #24 DARAGH DRAKE: ANAM CARA

14 July - 18 August 2022

Exhibitions

MWALULA – HELLEN SONGA @ LIVERPOOL GROWING SPACES

11 July - 4 September 2022

Past Events

LOOK Photo Biennial 2022: Launch Party

14 July 2022

Past Events

Visual Studies X Open Eye Gallery Roundtable

14 July 2022

Exhibitions

LOOK PHOTO BIENNIAL 2022: CLIMATE

15 July - 4 September 2022

Past Exhibitions

Make, Mend & Sustain @ Chester Charity Shops

8 July - 5 August 2022

LOOK Events Past Exhibitions

Before it Melts into Solid @ World of Glass, St. Helens

30 June - 26 July 2022

Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: “There is an I…” – UCEN, Manchester

2 July - 5 July 2022

Past Events LOOK Events

Our Planet, Our Future! A conversation on Sustainable Futures in St Helens

9 July - 9 July 2022

LOOK Events Exhibitions

Planting for the Planet @ RHS Garden Bridgewater

27 May - 27 August 2022

Past Events

Whose High Street is it? Unlocking Creative Futures in Our Own Town Centres

29 June 2022

Events

POETRY READING: 100 Years of The Waste Land

17 November - 17 November 2022

Events

National Poetry Day Celebration: The Environment

6 October 2022

Past Exhibitions

(Re)Production: Parenthood and the Art World

16 June - 3 July 2022

Past Events

In Conversation: Mindful Photo Project

2 July 2022

Past Exhibitions

Mindful Photo Project @ HMP Thorncross

9 June - 6 July 2022

Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Whitby High School

23 June - 28 June 2022

Past 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

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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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