Banner image description: A digital image of a green neon sign that reads 'Open All Hours' with a pink neon border.

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Welcome to Open All Hours, 2023's Shape Open exhibition! For full information, including content and accessibility notes, please visit the exhibition website. BSL and audio described versions of Open All Hours artworks are available throughout 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.

Explore the exhibition

BSL interpretation and audio description are available throughout the exhibition on the main Open All Hours website.

Have any questions, concerns, or feedback? We're always interested in reading our audience's thoughts. Feel free to email them to [email protected]

Listen to the audio tour