25.05.2024 - 02.09.2024

EAST QUAY OPEN 2024: OPEN ABOUT IDENTITYSaturday 25 May – Monday 2 September 2024

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the first East Quay Open in Watchet, in Summer 2024. We are inviting artists from Somerset and further afield to submit works which explore and reflect on the theme of identity.

An independent panel of judges will select artworks for the exhibition based on the theme, and the works will be on display in Gallery 1 at East Quay from Saturday 25 May - Monday 2 September 2024. There will be an opportunity to win a range of prizes worth £1000 each, including the Audience Favourite Award, as voted for by visitors during the course of the show.

To run alongside the Open, we are excited to be showing artist Jake Elwes’ multi-channel video installation in Gallery 2, titled: The Zizi Show - A Deepfake Drag Cabaret.


East Quay is a multi-dimensional arts venue in Watchet, Somerset. It is home to contemporary art galleries, artist studios, a paper mill, a print studio, a restaurant, an education space, and accommodation pods. East Quay is a social enterprise that seeks to signal how community-led renewal can empower people, help them to develop agency and rebuild a local economy.

Contains Art CIO runs the cultural programming at East Quay, and is founded on the belief that who you are, what you have and where you are from should not restrict access to the highest quality arts, cultural and creative opportunities and experiences.

Our aim is to share ideas, open minds, invite discussion and encourage a social, economic, and environmental conversation through culture, as well as bringing simple joy, beauty, and wonder into people’s lives. We seek to confound expectations of what visiting a gallery is like in a place like ours.


Identity & belonging is one of our three core themes for programming over the coming year. This call is intentionally not prescriptive, and we welcome your interpretation.

What does identity mean to you? What makes us who we are as individuals and/or collectively, both within ourselves and in the context of our environment? What grounds us as human beings and what is it that informs our sense of self and/otherness? Where does our sense of cultural and creative identity come from and how does this shift and morph over time? How can we reflect on the many different ways in which identity is created, challenged, and reflected?


- For our first Open exhibition, we are accepting applications from artists making two-dimensional work. Please note: we are not accepting three-dimensional/sculptural or digital/video-based works for this Open.

- Artists may submit a maximum of two artworks. Please enter up to two images of each work (no bigger than 1MB per image), along with the following work details: Title, medium, year created, dimensions in centimetres (height x width x depth) and price (if work/s are for sale).

- All works should be wall-based and not exceed 2 metres (h) x 2 metres (w), with a maximum depth allowance of 15cm from the work’s surface.

- Prior to delivery, all paper-based works, such as drawings and prints should be professionally framed by a framer. Paintings and wall collages should be stretched/mounted to allow for fixings to be attached upon delivery of the work to East Quay. Please do not attach fixings in advance.

- Artists must cover all delivery costs to and from East Quay. East Quay is not responsible for the delivery or return of any artwork/s.

- Artworks can be for sale; however this is not a requirement. Contains Art CIO will take a 25% commission for any works sold. For all sales of artworks, the purchaser will be required to cover any further shipping costs.

- All sales funds will be disseminated to the artist upon closure of the exhibition.


Artists may submit up to two works, on payment of a single entry fee:
Standard Entry: £15
Student/Under 25 Entry: £7.50 (this applies to artists in full or part-time education and/or aged under 25).

Once purchased, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the Google form application. Please complete and submit the form. You will then receive a confirmation email as receipt of your application.

To enter the East Quay Open, please purchase your application here or by following this link: https://buytickets.at/eastquay/1116193.

If you have any questions about the East Quay Open 2024: Open About Identity, please contact Assistant Curator Millie Laing-Tate via email on millie@containsart.co.uk. If you experience any issues completing your application, please contact Arts Administration & Evaluation Officer Miriam Higgs via email on miriam@containsart.co.uk


We are delighted to announce that this year's independent panel of adjudicators will be made up of Alice Workman, Amahra Spence and Simon Morrissey, whose collective knowledge and experience is threaded through with an understanding of how art reflects who we are and has the power to bring about change. ⁠

Please note, by submitting an application, there is no guarantee that your artwork/s will be selected.

All applicants for the East Quay Open will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by 5pm, Friday 29 March 2024.


- Judges’ Favourite - £1000
The winner of this prize will be chosen by our selection panel, based on their response to the theme of identity.

- Student/Under 25s Prize - £1000
This prize is for artists in full or part-time education and/or aged under 25, and will be chosen by the selection panel.

- Somerset Submission - £1000
This prize is for artists living and making art in Somerset and will be chosen by our selection panel.

- Audience Favourite Award - £1000
The winner of this prize will be voted for by visitors during the course of the show.


Online Submission Opens
Monday 15 January 2024

Online Submission Closes
5pm, Friday 1 March 2024

Panel Review
Monday 18 March 2024

Selection Results 
Friday 29 March 2024

Handing-in day/delivery deadline at East Quay
Between 10am – 5pm, on Monday 13 and/or Tuesday 14 May 2024

Exhibition Opening Event
6pm, Saturday 25 May 2024

Prize Winners Announcement
The Judge's Favourite Prize, Student/Under 25s Prize and Somerset Prize will be announced during the exhibition Opening Event on Saturday 26 May 2024. The Audience Favourite Award will be announced upon closure of the exhibition in September 2024.

Exhibition Closes
Monday 2 September 2024

Collection process
To be confirmed. Please stay tuned for updates.

We very much look forward to seeing your work!


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