Open Call Details


Open from 
31st July 2018, 3:00pm IST to 26th August 2018, 11:45pm IST
Results by 
31st October
Provisional Season Dates 
September to January
mental health

In 2019 Science Gallery London will explore notions of anxiety in contemporary society - what causes anxiety, and how does it affect us?

Anxiety is characterised as experiencing fear of an anticipated or non-tangible threat. It can manifest as a feeling of unease, which can be accompanied by physical discomfort such as muscular tension, restlessness, or dizziness. Feeling anxious can be an appropriate emotional response, but if a feeling of anxiety is continuous or experienced regularly it can signal a mental health problem.

Anxiety felt before and during significant moments– an exam, a speech, a performance, or a sports competition – provides us with adrenalin, enhancing our ability to perform. Conversely, philosopher Søren Kierkegaard famously said that “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” - one can feel anxious due to an overwhelming amount of possibilities in decision-making. Reflecting on an uncertain future and a seemingly constant crisis in contemporary politics can also provoke feelings of anxiety.

This season will explore the phenomenon of anxiety in 21st century life, and what the future of anxiety and mental health looks like. We are interested in works that explore the concept of anxiety from perspectives including:

  • The emotional role of anxiety in society
  • Genetics, how some of us are more prone to anxiety
  • Anxiety-provoking issues in contemporary society
  • The influence of social factors, economics, class, and ethnicity on anxiety
  • Anxiety as a political tool
  • Creative drive and performance anxiety

Other approaches and all art forms are welcome. If you have further questions or queries please feel free to contact us here.

If you are a scientist or researcher working in the field of anxiety who is interested in collaborating with Science Gallery London, please feel free to contact our Events and Research Coordinator here


The Anxiety season will be curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst. Curatorial advisers include:

  • Thalia Eley, Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics, King’s College London
  • Errol Francis, Chief Executive, Culture&
  • Colette Hirsch, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, King’s College London


Science Gallery London welcomes submissions for existing artworks, films, performances etc. as well as projects which are still at a research and development stage.

Selected candidates will be granted an appropriate fee and production costs for the realisation of their project.

Science Gallery London will cover all normal costs associated with exhibition making.

Whenever possible, we would like for candidates to be present at the launch of the season in September 2019.

Check out our tips on what makes a good open call submission here.

For further information about the Science Gallery London building and gallery space please see here




Dear Sir/Madam

I am very interested in submit my ongoing project to this open call as me and my team have been working exactly on the theme of the the exhibition. My worries and concerns are related to the ownership of the rights over my work ones I am funded by the Science Museun. If you are partially or tottaly funding my project will I loose ownership and copyrights over my work ?

Kind regards

Jeffrey Worthington.

Hello Jeffrey, if you are an artist then IP and ownership for works produced or commissioned for our shows at Science Gallery London tends to reside with the artist and is licenced to Science Gallery for the period of the show. If you are funded by the Science Museum please refer to your contract with them for details around ownership of the work produced. 

Is there a word limit for the "Fit For Theme" section of the application form?

Hello Esther, if you could aim for 200 words or less that would be great!

Hello, Please could you provide some guideance around the budget for the 'Anxiety' Open call? Thanks,