Cumulative Effect: Disability and the welfare state

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Assistance Act, a key pillar to the welfare state structure which still forms the framework of UK public services today. Whilst, overall, the 1948 welfare state settlement has served society well, the supposedly “cradle-to-grave” state has arguably failed to guarantee against the poverty and exclusion of millions of disabled people.  A retrospective of the past six years of the Shape Open, this exhibition re-examines a selection of key works, considering the history of disability policy and life for disabled people in a welfare state.

Whilst varying in theme every year, the Shape Open has provided artists, both disabled and non-disabled, with the platform to highlight their viewpoints on disability issues and topics which are often side-lined within artistic debate. Shape showcases their work from a new perspective, reflecting on the continuities and changes in societal attitudes towards disability in the past 70 years.

Exhibiting Artists: Jon Adams; Tony Allan; Katherine Araniello; Lizz Brady; Charles Burns; Arjun Harrison-Mann; Beth Davis-Hofbauer; Stephen Lee Hodgkins; Sophie Hoyle; Carly Jane; James Lake; Vince Laws; Scott Michael; Aidan Moesby; Kate Murdoch; Amy Louise Nettleton; Bekki Perriman; Justin Piccirilli; Jay Price; Lizzy Rose; Elinor Clare Rowlands; Dolly Sen; Aminder Virdee; Ker Wallwork; Jason Wilsher-Mills; The Vacuum Cleaner.

The exhibition will run from 2 November – 11 November (opening hours 10.00-18.00)

Please join us for a private view on Thursday 1 November 2018 from 18.00 - 21.00

at Hoxton Arches, Arch 402, Cremer St, London E2 8HD


Hoxton Arches is wheelchair accessible.

You can find a photo journey from Hoxton Station to the venue here (PDF) or here (Word).

If you would like a member of Shape staff to meet you at the station, if you have any access requirements, or would like this information in another format please contact Sara Dziadik at [email protected] or 0207 424 7330.

Travel information

Nearest station(s): Hoxton Overground [0.02 mi], Shoreditch High Street [0.6 mi], Old Street [0.8 mi], Liverpool Street [1.0 mi]

Buses: 26, 48, 55 - Hoxton Stop via Hackney Road
149, 242, 243 - Hoxton Station/Geffrye Museum via Kingsland Road

Parking: JustPark Pitfield Street St John's Church, Pitfield Street, London N1 6NP [0.4 mi]

Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Hoxton Station and 28 Hoxton Street [0.3 mi].

This exhibition and programme has been curated by Sara Dziadik, Shape Arts.

Sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page to receive updates on the next Shape Open and other events and opportunities, including calls for submissions.

We will also be running three events alongside the exhibition:

Grow Your Profile, Nurture Your Community to Thrive as an Artist - Fri 9th Nov, 14.00 - 16.00

Relaxed exhibition view and networking sessionFri 9th Nov, 16.00 - 19.00

Zine Making Workshop with Abi Palmer - Sat 10th Nov, 12.00 - 17.00

audio description icon

Audio Descriptions of the artworks are available at this link 

Banner Image: Accessible Artwork (Existential Sign) by Beth Davis-Hofbauer

Booking for this event has now closed.