Applications for the Shape Open 2022 have now closed.

The annual Shape Open is back! This year we have launched a call out for artists making work in response to the theme 'In the mirror.'

Apply now for a chance to be part of our Shape Open 2022 online exhibition.

This year’s theme for the Shape Open is 'In The Mirror'.

How is our sense of self influenced by outside forces? The way we understand ourselves is impacted by the way we feel ourselves reflected and represented around us. For disabled people, these depictions can often feel like distorted mirrors; reflecting expectations rather than reality.

How are disabled people represented in culture? They often make headlines, but are disabled people being authentically reflected in the society to which they belong? Depictions of disabled people have tended toward extremes: from pity to inspiration porn, time and time again the disabled person is cast as a fable from which ‘normal’ society should learn.

This theme can be approached in diverse ways. Mirrors have often been used by artists to explore this complex process of self-understanding; from sculpture and fine art to photography, digital media, and even meme culture, beholding themselves symbolically, not just visually. 

This symbolic role of mirrors shows that our identity can be found in many places. Not just pictures of ourselves but in the things we share online, the music we listen to, or the communities to which we belong. 

We are looking for artworks which explore self-representation. How do you feel about the way you are reflected in contemporary culture?

We strongly advise that you read the FAQs document before starting your application.

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Banner image description: Light blue, vaguely holographic cuboid shape which reads 'In the mirror' alongside the Shape logo in white.