Cumulative Effect: Disability and the welfare state

01 November - 11 November, 2018

Hoxton Arches, London

A retrospective of the past six years of the Shape Open, this exhibition re-examined a selection of key works, considering the history of disability policy and life for disabled people in a welfare state. 2018 marked 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.

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.

Crowd along side of room chatting to each other at art exhibition Shape Open Retrospective, Hoxton Arches, 2018

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.

Click here to download the exhibition catalogue.

Images of the private view can be seen here.

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All images c. Rachel Cherry