The Future is Loading

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View the Shape Open 2020: The Future is Loading exhibition, featuring the work of 25 marginalised artists! 

"2020 has been a paradigm shift for many, a year like no other. A time of raw hardship and sudden turmoil in the midst of which we have witnessed gestures of care and support capable of reminding us: we need each other. 

For many disabled and marginalised people, familiar with adversity, witnessing the world come to a halt in a matter of days has paradoxically generated hope. Hope that, for once, the world might take greater heed of what it means to be shut away, impoverished and excluded. 

For people who are marginalised in the present day, facing discrimination and barriers to access, imagining the future can be an act of radical defiance.

As the crisis has evolved and its shockwaves travelled, we find it acting as a catalyst for many other significant conversations, in the home, the workplace, or whilst, in the case of the Black Lives Matter movement, taking to the streets in an assertion of grief and outrage. In this time of reflection and learning, a plurality of realisations has occurred. With this, widespread unrest and demands for change have arisen.

More than our lives, entire structures have been thrown into the air by what we are living though, revealing the outlines of a starkly unequal world. In the process, a pandemic of health has radicalised mainstream debate, and we are no longer shying away from discussing the pre-existing pandemics of racism, of gender discrimination, barriers to inclusion and advancement, of gaping inequality, isolation, and disenfranchisement. The list goes on.

Set against this uncertain and restless backdrop, where risk of greater exclusion battles with unique opportunities for change, we at Shape are looking to the future as an act of hope.

For people who are marginalised in the present day, facing discrimination and barriers to access, imagining the future can be an act of radical defiance. It is the act of making a claim to a space that is otherwise denied ­– and for once, marginalised people have the agency to place themselves at its centre."

The Shape Open is our annual exhibition of artwork by disabled and non-disabled artists created in response to a disability-centred theme. The Open provides a space where disabled and non-disabled artists can discuss and exchange views and ideas about issues and topics which are often sidelined within artistic debate.

The Future is Loading / Shape Open 2020

Curated and creatively produced by Shape Arts 

Arts Council England logo.

Banner image: Still from 'The Go Fuck Yourself Choir' (2019) by Seren Metcalfe. Image courtesy of the artist.

Latest Shape collaboration: Seren contributed to the Shape Open 2020: The Future is Loading.

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Artist Statement: Seren Metcalfe is a Yorkshire-born but London-based multi-disciplinary artist and writer. Her research spans the themes of time, labour, energy, routine, and structure. Interested in the ways the body navigates space, Seren frequently mobilises parallels between cityscapes and landscapes or the Natural and the Mechanical in her work. Further exploring fame, television, consumerism, and class, Seren weaves her own memories into her work, creating her own language with which to speak about personal experience.

Seren is the founder of the Working Class Creatives Database.

About 'The Go Fuck Yourself Choir' (2019) which Seren contributed to The Future is Loading...

Guided by thorough research in much of her work, the Go Fuck Yourself Choir is the embodiment of Seren’s otherwise suppressed urge to react and respond to her immediate surroundings. Although initially envisioned as a formal choral piece, Seren’s choice to use volunteers and instruct them herself ultimately enriches the sentiment of the piece, which is not bashful in its commentary on tone policing and resource accessibility within the arts.

Watch Seren discuss 'The Go Fuck Yourself Choir' (2019), which she contributed to The Future Is Loading exhibition...

Check out Seren's website   See all the artists we work with