Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: Today, Tomorrow and Somewhere In-between

10 November - 12 December 2021

Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: Make It Snappy

1 December - 12 December 2021

Exhibitions

My Message to You

1 December - 17 December 2021

Events

EXHIBITION LAUNCH: MY MESSAGE TO YOU

3 December 2021

Events

Open Rooms #19: Moral Turpitude

9 December 2021

Exhibitions Open Source Exhibitions

OPEN SOURCE 019: DREW FINDLAY

3 November - 30 November 2021

Past Events

Open Rooms #18: FireHawks

18 November 2021

Exhibitions

VR: Whose Land Is It?

8 July 2021

Projects

Mccoy Wynne to exhibit at COP26 Universities’ Innovation Showcase

18 October 2021

Past Events

Collective Matters: Meet and Greet

22 October 2021

Past Events

Holding Time: Launch Event

19 November 2021

Past Events

The Mutual Respect Manifesto by Glow Creative Learning

25 October 2021

Events

Joseph Lee: Mindful Photo Workshop

11 December 2021

Events

Who’s Left Behind? Part 2: Tadhg Devlin, staff from Community Integrated Care, and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in association with Liverpool SURF group

25 November 2021

Events

Who’s Left Behind? Part 1: Liverpool Cares and MA SEP graduate Vilija Skubute

24 November 2021

Past Events

Open Rooms # 17: Today, Tomorrow and Somewhere in between

11 November 2021

Past Events

One Day at a Time Boys: Introductory talk and workshop

6 November 2021

Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: CROSSING SECTORS

30 September - 7 November 2021

Exhibitions

Just Between Friends: Runcorn Public Realm

30 September - 12 December 2021

Past Events

LATE NIGHT OPENING: COLLECTIVE MATTERS

15 October 2021

Past Events

Holding the Baby: Banner making workshop

16 October 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Tabitha Jussa

17 October - 6 November 2021

Main Exhibition

Collective Matters

1 October - 12 December 2021

Past Events

Open Rooms #16: Agency of Women

23 September 2021

Exhibitions

Polly Braden: Holding The Baby

30 September - 31 October 2021

Projects

PLATFORM ISSUE 04: CROSSROADS

10 September 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Our Lands

23 August - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

Imagining Disaster: Essay Series

30 August 2021

Exhibitions

Rivers of the World

6 September 2021

Past Events LOOK Events

Open Rooms #15: Common Ground

8 September 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Instagram Residency: Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley

30 August - 5 September 2021

Past Events

PLATFORM: Issue 4 Launch Party

10 September 2021

Past Events

Imagining Disaster: Contemporary Art X Science Fiction

2 September 2021

Past Events

Launch Party: One Day At A Time

19 August 2021

Past Events

Open Eye Gallery book club presents: Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray

9 September 2021

Past Exhibitions

Sam Batley: ONE DAY AT A TIME

18 August - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

VR: Wirral Hospitals’ School and MaxLiteracy Award

10 June - 3 September 2021

Past Exhibitions

Return To Nature

30 July 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: First Light New Northern Graduates Exhibition

22 May - 4 July 2021

Past Exhibitions

We Are Nature

30 July - 14 August 2021

Exhibitions

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival — Jessica El Mal: Grounds For Concern

16 July - 15 August 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Who We Are

8 July - 31 July 2021

Past Exhibitions

Whose Land Is It?

8 July - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: UCEN

9 June - 13 June 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: Youth Culture by Whitby High School

23 June - 27 June 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: Arc with Hugh Baird

16 June - 20 June 2021

Past Events

First Light: Photography Writing Now – Tilt Launch Party

9 July 2021

Past Events

OPEN ROOMS #14: Separated Together

24 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Whitby High School

23 June - 27 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: UCEN

9 June - 13 June 2021

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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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