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About the exhibition

“Beyoncé has the same 24 hours in a day that we do” - Molly Mae Hague, The Diary of a CEO Podcast

“There are now very few significant interludes of human existence … that have not been penetrated and taken over as work time, consumption time, or marketing time.”  ― Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep

The idea of a 24/7 culture of waking, work, and productivity has been a reality for some time, but in our digital age, it has seeped even into the bedroom, with our devices constantly linked to the world outside. Estimations suggest adults sleep on average 1-2 hours less per night today than in the 1960s.

Alongside this, more and more of us are choosing to live in huge cities, close to round-the-clock entertainment, opportunity, accessibility and convenience. By 2050, it’s predicted that more than two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas, leaving behind quieter, more isolated, and often more poorly-resourced areas.

And yet without this quiet, and with decreasing access to nature, we grow ever more disconnected from the turning of the planet that sustains us, to the rhythm of night and day, waking and rest, that is so deeply wired into what we are.

What is the cost of this to us? To be thought of as ‘successful’ today often means ‘productive,’ or in other words, the more you make and the faster you do so, the better you are - and this often translates into being better off. For disabled people in particular, the idea of productivity has been closely linked to those of ‘value’ or ‘worth.’ In our accelerating culture, where does this leave anyone who needs or wants more time to think, act, function, or simply exist?

Our annual Shape Open exhibition this year explores the pressurised relationship we have with time, productivity, and the pace of our modern, increasingly digital, society.

Please note, this exhibition contains flashing lights. 

With work from…

Mike Bamgbala

Eskild Beck

Uma Breakdown

Emmy Clarke

Fatma Durmush

Yasmeen Fathima Thantrey

Charlie Fitz

Paul Fletcher

Lan Florence Yee

Yarden Fudim

Carole Lee

Oliver McConnie

Tracey Payne

Jamila Prowse

Simon Raven

Samiir Saunders

Josie Rae Turnbull

Diana Zrnic

Creative team

Jeff Rowlings - Head of Programme, Shape Arts

Elinor Hayes - Creative Producer, Shape Arts

Emily Roderick - Assistant Producer, Shape Arts

April Lin 林森 - Shape Open alumnus and selection panellist 

Shape Arts is a disability-led organisation breaking barriers to creative excellence. We deliver a range of projects supporting marginalised artists, as well as training cultural venues to be more inclusive and accessible for disabled people as employees, artists and audiences. All of Shape's work is informed by the Social Model of Disability.

With thanks to Shape Open Patron Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) for his continued support.

Shape is proud to be a National Portfolio Organisation, funded and supported by Arts Council England.

Charity number 279184

Getting to the venue

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, 198 Railton Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0JT - Find us on Google Maps

The closest railway station is Herne Hill, which is a 2 minute walk from the venue.

Herne Hill station has lifts from platforms to the ticket hall and a shallow ramp to street level. The lift doors are 110cm (3ft 7in) wide and fitted with braille and tactile buttons.

Check out our visual guide to navigate from Herne Hill station to the venue.

The closest London Underground station is Brixton, which is a 20 minute walk from the venue.

Alternatively, from Brixton Underground station, you can cross over to Brixton Railway station which is one stop on the train to Herne Hill station (please note there is no lift at Brixton Railway station). You can also take bus 322 from Brixton Station stop L (towards Crystal Palace) to Regent Road, from which the venue is a 1 minute walk.

Brixton Underground station has step-free access from platform to street. Please check whether there are any issues with the lifts at the station in advance of travel.

Check out our visual guide to navigate from Brixton Underground station to the venue.

Buses service Herne Hill from across south London and central London, with the majority of bus stops located near to Herne Hill station, a 2 minute walk from the gallery.

There is no parking at the venue. On street disabled parking bays can be found on Railton Road and adjacent streets, including outside Herne Hill station, but may be limited.


For local transport accessibility information, please refer to the above section on Getting to the venue.

The gallery has step-free access from street level. There are male, female, and accessible toilets on site. The closest Changing Places Toilet is in the foyer of Lambeth Town Hall, open Mon-Fri until 8pm.

Artworks in the exhibition have been audio described, which is accessible via pre-loaded MP3 players in the gallery or by scanning accompanying QR codes with your smartphone or device. You can also find them on the exhibition website.

BSL interpretation has been provided for artworks with spoken dialogue. Scan the QR code next to the work to access the BSL film. All accompanying information has also been provided in BSL. You can access a BSL tour of the show by scanning a QR code in the entrance area. 

Large print information about the exhibition will be available during the event as well as when the exhibition is open daily to the public.

Please note several of the works in the central media room contain flashing images. We have signposted where necessary in the gallery, but we encourage you to speak to a member of staff on the night if you have any concerns.

The exhibition takes place across three gallery spaces, with one main entrance and exit. Seating will be provided and more can be offered on request. Some performances will be amplified through a microphone and make use of sound equipment, refer to the schedule for more information on timings.

We encourage guests to be conscious of the spread of Covid-19. If you are feeling unwell, please consider staying home. Mask wearing and social distancing are encouraged throughout, where possible.

If you have any questions regarding accessibility, or if you would like to alert us in advance to your individual access needs, please use the registration form to do so or email [email protected].

Banner image: 'Gluttony in the 21st Century I', by Carole Lee. 


A vivid painting of three people sat feasting in a restaurant or as part of some festivity. The scene is filled with bold colours, dynamic textures, and a background suggesting a lively atmosphere.

Booking for this event has now closed.