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Call to Artists: Craft of Caring Exhibition

 The Arts Council England funded project, ‘ ‘The Craft of Caring Mid-Devon,’ is inviting both carers and artists to explore ways of honouring and amplifying awareness of ‘What it means to care.’

As part of this project, Significant Seams is inviting artists to explore the theme ‘Caring.’ We are inviting artists to submit work for consideration for an exhibition in the rural mid-Devon market town of Crediton, 7 miles NW of Exeter, from 10-16 June: National Culture, Health and Well-Being Week, National Carers Week, and part of regional Arts Festival ‘CredFest.’ Five selected artists will be awarded an £150 exhibition fee, and their work will be part of a ‘Care Trail’ exhibition.

We have decided on a ‘Trail exhibition’ as a creative representation of the themes behind the project. Carers are ubiquitous in our community but many people may not recognise that carers are there – and it’s our curatorial view that we must. Carer’s views, work and insights enrich our society. The artworks and the overall exhibit will interrupt the town as care responsibilities tend to interrupt carers’ plans and lives, some subtley, some not so. Like the varied experiences of caring, the works are anticipated to be wide-ranging – perhaps dark, joyful, tired, empathetic, insightful, angry, tender.

All artforms will be considered.   Art works using traditional crafts are encouraged. Selection will be taken by a committee and will necessarily consider our confirmed venues and installation considerations. Wherever possible artists should plan to actively lead the installation of their work, with sensitivity to our host venues and in positive collaboration with the exhibition organisers. 

Scale of artwork – all artworks are anticipated to be indoors and will be in busy public buildings or shops, so the artworks maximum size may be 2m high (if sculptural) and 1m x 1m as an Image. Exceptions may be made at the strict discretion of the selection committee, subject to an appropriate venue being available. There is no minimum size.

At the centre point of this exhibition will be a piece co-produced with carers from across mid-Devon. It will represent and amplify the experience of carers.

To apply, artists should submit:

  1. The application form
  2. A £10 administration fee (in response to an invoice which will follow their application)
  3. 1-3 jpg image(s) of the work(s) being proposed (following their invoice)
  4. A CV and/or exhibition history (optional with the images)

All applications must be received by 5pm 4 April 2019. All payments must be received by 5pm Monday 8 April. Applicants will be notified of the committees decision by May. Selected artists will deliver their works to mid-Devon in early June.

In Mid-Devon, 10.6% of people are believed to be carers. it is widely accepted that carers are more likely than others to experience physical and mental health problems. Their experience of such issues is a major public health consideration: A report by the University of Leeds in 2015 demonstrated that unpaid carers save the UK £132 billion a year – the cost of a second NHS. Further, social isolation is widely accepted to contribute to ill health – an avoidable strain on the NHS – which has led to the first national ‘Loneliness’ strategy. Carers are identified as a group of particular concern. Public Health England data for Devon highlights social isolation of adult carers in the region as amongst the worst nationally, and thus an issue of profound concern.