Shape Open 

Shape has been a major proponent of the disability arts movement for over four decades. Our organisation has been crucial in challenging and forcing to change the state of the mainstream arts industry, which remains largely inaccessible, often time confrontational, for artists with disabilities. 

Shape exists to help develop the Arts and Heritage sector by removing social boundaries that block any and all discourses surrounding disability, to empower artists and disrupt normality. Through the Open, we aim to create opportunities, tackle discrimination and provide full inclusion and accessibility for all disabled artists and art audiences. To exhibit art created by disabled artists in the context and spaces they deserve to be presented in.

The Shape Open is a group show for disabled and non-disabled artists, created in response to a disability-centred theme. Held in high-profile spaces such as Bow Arts' Nunnery Gallery, Portobello Gallery, Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects, The Ecology Pavilion and our own pop-up galleries, The Open provides a space where disabled and non-disabled artists can discuss views and ideas about issues and topics which are often sidelined within artistic discourse.

Last Years Shape Open was held at Hoxton Arches, below are some images from the exhibition.

The Shape Open Exhibition provides a fantastic platform for disabled artists to show their work. Such exhibitions offer great opportunities for artists to be discovered by institutions and large audiences. Similar exhibitions have helped to contribute to the development of my own personal career

- Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)

Your money will go towards supporting emerging and developing artists, as we strive to build their careers within mainstream spaces.

Help us to: 

  • Promote excellent, inspiring art by disabled artists.
  • Provide mainstream showcasing opportunities for artists who face disabling barriers which threaten to leave them marginalised.
  • Promote high-quality artistic works that encourage debate and critical reflection around disability-related issues.
  • Help young disabled people realise their potential and pursue their ambitions in the creative sector.
  • Train cultural institutions to be aware of accessibility needs to enable disabled people to participate fully in the arts.

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Thank you!


Banner Image: Beth Davis-Hofbauer's, 'Accessible Artwork (Existential Sign)', photographed by Rachel Cherry.

Body Images: Carly Jane’s ‘Strangers’, Aiden Moesby's ‘(in)visible’, Justin Piccirillis ‘Fuck the DWP’, photographed by Rachel Cherry.

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To speak to one of our team regarding sponsorship or fundraising in relation to this or other high quality artistic events, please call 0207 424 7330 or email [email protected]. Thank you for your generous support.