Call for Submissions | Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery | MORECAMBE | DECO PUBLIQUE | Art Jobs

Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery




Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery

Exhibition at Blackburn Museum & Gallery

Open Call to Exhibit Work

The Opportunity

This open call invites artists to submit work to be shown at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, in an exhibition launching as part of the National Festival of Making programme. Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery is a sister project to the Art in Manufacturing commissioning programme and will further explore the themes represented in this festival project.

About ‘Art in Manufacturing’

There is art at play in Lancashire’s countless, largely invisible factories: hundreds of people embark each day on creative tasks, working with remarkable attention to detail to produce the beautiful, the delicious and the complex, from the most delicate to the most durable products on earth.

In 2016 these manufacturers first opened their doors to our artists, laying bare their industry secrets and specialist machinery, their materials, staff and heritage skills in an unprecedented collaboration. Working shoulder to shoulder with factory floor staff, unearthing dead poets or delving deep into the factory records, our artists produced surprising and politically charged works which explored the unheralded skills, processes and history of our factories. Their responses to their residencies were as varied as the manufacturers they worked with: industrial workspaces were transfigured into celestial sculpture, the lives of employees were upholstered, Rudolph von Laban inspired choreography moved a team of bakers, a choral performance rang through the chambers of the Cathedral, and a waste-plastic floor installation invaded a city-centre shop.

Art in Manufacturing has continued as an annual programme, and is now embarking on its 3rd year of commissions to be showcased at the National Festival of Making. This programme is a collaboration between The National Festival of Making & Super Slow Way, and provides a unique platform for artists to make brand new work with both large and small scale manufacturers. The AIM programme facilitates exploration of heritage and contemporary making in collaboration with workforce communities; giving artists access to specialist machinery, manufacturing and crafting techniques. Artists are paired with a factory in Lancashire to produce artistic outcomes using the materials, products and/or processes used within the factory. The artistic works are shown each year as a headline feature of the NFM festival programme.

Over 40,000 people attend the event visiting placing work in both the public realm and venues in Blackburn town centre. To date, the programme has commissioned 17 artists to make new work and worked with over 20 manufacturers including Liz West, Martyn Ware, James Bloomfield, Dawinder Bansal, Lazerian, Jamie Holman, Hannah Fox, Nicola Ellis and Ruth Jones. Outcomes of residencies have included sculpture, film, dance, sound, print and installation that have been featured in the media including DesignBoom, BBC Breakfast News, Corridor 8, The Big Issue. You can find out more about all the artists, partner manufacturers and residencies by visiting Season One and Season Two on the festival website.

Art In Manufacturing Season 1

Art In Manufacturing Season 2

About ‘The National Festival of Making’

The first National Festival of Making took place in Blackburn, Lancashire in 2017. The Festival celebrates our brilliant UK making industry, from kitchen table makers to master manufacturers and in May 2018 we welcomed 40,000 visitors to Lancashire for a wonderful explosion of making activities. The third National Festival of Making will take place on the 15th & 16th June, 2019. This is an opportunity to see, make and do for residents and visitors to Blackburn town centre as The Festival of Making takes over the streets with music, art, performance, tours, talks, markets, street food and above all, an eclectic mix of making experiences for everyone. The festival aims to bring people together at this free 2 day festival and use making and creativity as a vehicle to help more people access high quality art and culture.

About the ‘Industrialised’ Exhibition

In Season Three we are introducing a gallery show of works to be exhibited in Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to celebrate work inspired by or made in / or alongside industry. We wish to extend the reach of the programme, audiences and the number of artists engaged in the programme. Opening at the festival weekend to an audience of 40,000, the exhibition will remain on public view for a period of 3 months. This is an opportunity for individual artists at any stage in their careers, to contribute work to an exciting, high profile group exhibition that will initiate a dialogue that explores what making means in a historic, contemporary and future context.

We are opening up this opportunity to artists through an open call; to further explore the themes represented in Art in Manufacturing programme. Submission is open to new works developed in line with the brief or existing works that reflect the themes below.

We are accepting submissions across all disciplines but please consider that pieces should be suitable for exhibition in a gallery context. We are interested in contemporary work that reflects one, or more of the following themes:

  • Factories and manufacturing; the fabrication, industrial processes and making methods used within them
  • Blackburn and Pennine Lancashire’s place in British manufacturing heritage and/or industrial revolution
  • Making in a heritage context - craftsmanship and traditional making
  • The changing face and future of manufacturing, advanced technologies and new digital works
  • Artworks that have been fabricated using industrial processes, machinery, techniques or making methods.
  • Manufacturing workforce histories, stories and lifestyles
  • Work that has engaged communities collaboratively in making, to create new work

Things to consider before submitting works:

Works will be exhibited in a gallery setting - we are not placing a limit on the size of submissions, however we are limited by the number of pieces over 1.5 metres sq that can be accepted, or by large installation pieces

Works should be presented / framed / mounted to a high specification

There are no entry or submission fees for applications or exhibiting; however transportation costs / delivery for successful submissions will be at the cost of the artist. We will however endeavour to make collection from areas the team work in, and support artists where possible in the transportation of works

Submission guidelines

Submission must be provided in a Word / Pages / PDF document.

Please ensure that all information our selection panel should read, are in this document and not in the body of your email, as judges will only be provided with your submission document.

In this document include a small image of each work (please limit your submission to 3 pieces) with a descriptor of the work underneath. This should be no more than 150 words per work including:

  • Dimensions of each submission
  • Medium
  • Special requirements for hang / installation

Please additionally attach each image as a jpeg into the email body, to a maximum of 10mb so we can view your work at it’s full quality.

  • Please also:
  • Include your name / email/ telephone number and website (if applicable) on your submission
  • Name all your submission files with your own name and ‘Industrialised submission’

If you have any access requirements relating to submitting works, please contact the curator who will be happy to discuss alternative methods of submitting work for the exhibition.


  1. Open call dates: 4th February - 15th April
  2. Selection: 16th - 19th April
  3. Confirmation of selected works by email: By 26th April
  4. Delivery / collections of works: 27th May - 7th June
  5. Installation dates: 10th -14th June
  6. Festival dates / opening weekend: 15th - 16th June
  7. Exhibition close  /de-install: TBC: between 8th and 18th September
  8. Return of works: 19th - 29th September




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