Whitechapel Gallery shout out to young artists

The London Open will be hosted at the Whitechapel Gallery. Pic: George Redgrave

The London Open will be hosted at the Whitechapel Gallery. Pic: George Redgrave

The Whitechapel Gallery, is once again taking applications for the gallery’s London Open exhibition, which will take place over July 2015.

Anyone over the age of 26 can send their work to the exhibition’s panel of judges. Out of everyone who applies, around 30 successful applicants will then have their work displayed at the gallery.

The gallery’s curator, Daniel Herrmann, 38, sees the exhibition as hugely important to the gallery’s history. He said: “The London Open has been a really exciting exhibition for the past 80 years”

“It really epitomises what The Whitechapel Gallery stands for; it really is the artists’ gallery for everyone.” He added.

Artist Pio Abad, 31, who took part in The London Open two years ago, urges anyone interested to apply. He said: “Open submissions are always a shot in the dark. When I found out I was one of the 30 or so artists selected from 1800 submissions, it felt like such an achievement”

With his own solo exhibition, ‘Some Are Smarter Than Others’, having just opened at Gasworks Gallery in South London, Abad reveals that The London Open helped him find his feet. He said: “It has definitely helped in making people aware of my work and I’ve been able to work as an artist full time since then”.

Candidates applying for the 2015 exhibition are asked to submit up to five pieces of work made in the past three years. The final group of successful artists will be notified by February 16 before the exhibition opening on July 15.

“It’s really important to us that people know we look very scrupulously at every single application.” Herrmann said.

He added: “We know that this is dear to a lot of people’s hearts and so we are taking it very seriously.”

Photographer Thomas Ball (www.thomasballphoto.com), 34, who was a successful applicant for the London Open in 2012, holds the competition in high regards. He said: “The Whitechapel Gallery has an amazing reputation, it was definitely a great honour to have been picked. I’ve been very proud telling people I’ve had work exhibited there”.

Offering advice to potential applicants, Ball added: “I think you have to make sure you’re fulfilling the criteria they want. Make sure you really read the application properly, and that you’re suitable to exhibit work. Really prove that you’re excited about working with The Whitechapel Gallery”.

Ball is currently exhibiting a new series of work, ‘Sustainable Water’, as part of The Brighton Photo Biennial.

Prof. Johansson from the series Outliers in a Wireless World by Thomas Ball

Prof. Johansson from the series Outliers in a Wireless World by Thomas Ball. Pic: Thomas Ball

The exhibition, which has been running since 1932, was initially only ‘for all artists living or working East of the famous Aldgate Pump’. However the former Whitechapel Open expanded its audience to the whole of London in 2012.

According to Herrmann, this enables the exhibition to “have a better representation of art in London”. He said: “It’s more widely accessible to people who live in all of London, and it really puts The Whitechapel Gallery in the focus of the modern art world.”

For those interested in applying, Herrmann revealed that the judges “are really trying to find the most interesting art in London.” He said: “We try to take each artwork at its own value; to see what each artist and each artwork is interested in.”

He added: “Artists should be enthusiastic, committed, genuine and sincere. I think that showing sincerity and seriousness about your own work is the best guideline for applicants.”

The exhibition will run from 15 July to 6 September 2015.

You can apply to be part of The London Open here. All candidates must pay a £25 application fee; applications close on 12 December 2014.

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