Open Call: Un/seen

April – July 2021

Shieldfield Art Works

Un/seen: inviting artists to explore audio and visual communication by playfully creating a sequence of artworks; a process which will examine the role of words, the need for the visual and current gallery/audience interaction.

Brief concept

An open call to be one of ten artists taking part in our Un/Seen project.

  • Artist fee of £150 to take part.
  • The full project will run from 12th April – 9th July but your participation would be over the course of 2 weeks within this period, plus taking part in a Postview at the end.
  • Application deadline: 10am, 15 Mar 2021

Full concept

During lockdown, objects in the British Museum started to crumble and break. Why? Because the lack of 17,000 visitors had altered the humidity. The breath of human beings literally stopped the art from crumbling. The museum relies on people to actually keep history alive.

So how does the gallery survive without its audience? How does our inability to see art properly, in the flesh, affect our understanding and experience of it. Do screen based galleries or word based explanations cut it? How do we interact or create when we can’t communicate visually?

These are questions we also ask within the realm of faith. In the Bible Jesus is said to be the living Word of God. How do words, which we speak or learn from, embody how we live and relate to our experience of faith, especially when we are scattered?

We will explore these questions with a playful take on a childhood game, forming a chain of whispers which moves between audio and visual description. Ten artists will collectively produce an exhibition by creating pieces in sequence. The first artist will receive an audio recording which will inspire the production of an artwork. They will in turn record themself describing their work to be given as an audio to the next artist, who will never visually see the piece, to inspire their work, and so on. We will host Wednesday lunchtime viewings with each sequential artist revealing their new piece. Un/seen will culminate in a screening, revealing all the art and audio from initial inspiration to final artwork in sequence, and a zine containing visuals, writing and commentary.

Artist role within the project

  1. You would be given an audio recording (maximum 2 minutes) to inspire the creation of a piece of work, in any visual medium (video pieces should be a maximum of 3 minutes long). You will have a maximum of 2 weeks to complete your work to the standard you think £150 is worth. You are to use only materials already in your home. 
  2. You will record a 2 minute audio describing your piece (this will in turn be sent to the next artist).
  3. You will send us a high resolution photograph(s) of your piece, to be featured in a zine of all the ten participating artists, of which you will receive a copy. 
  4. You will take part in a Wednesday lunchtime conversation (this could be live or pre-recorded depending on availability) talking about your piece and how the recording you received inspired it. 
  5. You will take part in a Postview – this will be a live/screened event that will reveal the art and audio from initial inspiration to final artwork in sequence. This will be preliminary live-screened on 9th July. 

Submitting a proposal

  • 1 A4 side containing 250 words explaining your art practice (how and why you make your art) and 2 images of art works
  • 250 words stating why you would like to be part of the project

Format: Documents in PDF format are preferred, as this will retain your formatting. 

Applications should be submitted via email to with the subject heading ‘Un/Seen application’ by 10am 15th March. You will hear if you have been successful by 19th March. 

Submissions deadline: 10am, 15 Mar 2021

Questions or queries should be directed to


10am, 15 Mar 2021: Submissions deadline

16 Mar 2021: Shortlisting. Applicants submitting a proposal may be invited to a short interview. Successful applicants will be notified this week.

24 Mar 2021: Zoom call with all artists participating in the show.

12 Apr – 30 June 2021: Ten artists participate in the project in sequence.

Open call slot 1 (only open to Newbridge artists)

  • June 7 – Artist given audio 
  • June 14 – Artist sends in audio
  • June 21 – Artist sends in high res photo of work
  • June 23 – Artist does lunchtime talk about work 

Open call slot 2

  • June 14 – Artist given audio 
  • June 21 – Artist sends in audio
  • June 28 – Artist sends in high res photo of work
  • June 30 – Artist does lunchtime talk about work 

9 July 2021: Postview screening

12 July 2021: Zines posted out to participating artists.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is for anyone. We encourage all artists to participate in our programme and opportunities, regardless of arts education experience.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

About SAW

Shieldfield Art Works is an artist-led organisation committed to creativity and community engagement. SAW believes art and creativity are integral parts of human life, and with art’s unique ability to articulate, question and enquire, we can enact positive change in our communities and the world. As a project of the Methodist Church, we are built upon Christian foundations of seeking truth, challenging injustice, social activism and operating for the common good. Anyone, of any faith or none, is welcome to participate in our programme. SAW’s broad programme includes developing high quality art exhibitions, events, workshops, conferences and publications.

Last updated: 23 February 2021