Open Call Details


Open from 
14th November 2016, 4:30am GMT to 8th January 2017, 12:00pm GMT
Results by 
10th February


BLOOD is the first cross-network season for Science Gallery, inspired by the original exhibition BLOOD: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED at Science Gallery Dublin in 2015.

Blood is essential for life, both medically and metaphorically. From ritual to research, artistic medium to biological fluid, the 2017 BLOOD season will evoke ideas that provoke and challenge, engage and entice. Crossing continents and connecting London and Melbourne through a public programme of events, activities, installations workshops and performances, the BLOOD season will feature a range of work from the original exhibition in Science Gallery Dublin, as well as exciting new provocative works and experiences that explore the scientific, symbolic and strange nature of blood.

BLOOD will run across both Science Gallery sites in London (on and around the Guy’s Campus, King’s College London) and Melbourne (at the University of Melbourne and CBD in Melbourne) between June – October 2017.

For our open call we’re interested in proposals addressing or exploring some of the following themes and topics:

  • Taboo – surrounding menstruation, ritual behaviour or activities involving blood, food created from blood
  • Stigma - associated with living with blood borne viruses such as HIV, or other genetic conditions affecting blood.
  • Giving – donating blood to strangers, placenta donation, the connection between a mother and foetus
  • Identity – blood type, associations with racial identity, mixed race, family, chimeras, human/animal hybrids, and eugenics
  • Health – diseases of the blood, immunity. Blood testing and the future of blood based testing etc.
  • Sport – Drugs and sport, blood doping.

Have a look at our Pinterest board for some visual inspiration:


What makes a good Science Gallery open call proposal?

We are especially looking for projects by artists, scientists, local residents and innovators that match Science Gallery’s three core aims: to Connect, Participate, and Surprise, and that are relevant to our core target audience of 15-25 year olds. We are interested in proposals for new or existing work that:

  • Has a true connection to the theme - avoid shoehorning an unrelated work.
  • Bring together art and science in a creative way. We generally avoid illustrations of science, or science that is evaluating art.
  • Invite visitors to participate, create, and that stimulate debate.
  • Are based on strong original ideas in any media
  • Raise questions about the nature of and public perceptions surrounding blood
  • We are interested in ideas that are specific to London and/ or Melbourne.
  • Explore human’s scientific and social connections with blood

In general:

  • A connection with our core target audience of 15-25 year olds is a factor in curatorial decisions.
  • Defying categories is good (“it’s kind of a hybrid sculpture, event, installation-puzzle, with a crowd-sourced edible citizen-science archive, plus a performance component that will portray a speculative future organism…”)
  • We like collaborations across different disciplines.

Ask questions! If you’re unsure about an aspect of your proposal, email or



Curatorial advisors help us to shape our seasons. They are expert artists, scientists and clinicians working in related fields to our theme of blood in different ways. Curatorial advisors will help to select the final works and ensure the season’s exhibition and event programme facilitate creative collisions in art and science.

Science Gallery London

  • Linda Barber, Senior lecturer, Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London
  • Sabrina Mahfouz, playwright, poet and screenwriter
  • David Rees, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist, King’s College Hospital, London
  • Michael Shattock, Professor of Cellular Cardiology, St Thomas’ Hospital London

Science Gallery Melbourne

  • Sharon Lewin, Professor and Director, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
  • David Prior, Deputy Director of Cardiology, St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Paul Monagle, Professor, Clinical Haematology, Royal Children's Hospital
  • Peta Clancy, Artist
  • Robert Walton, Lecturer, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne

Submissions will be reviewed by the curatorial advisors, Daniel Glaser, Director of Science Gallery London and Jen Wong, Head of Programming, Science Gallery London, Rose Hiscock, Director of Science Gallery Melbourne and Ryan Jefferies, Creative Director. You will receive a response by 10 February 2017


Some projects will be considered for both London and Melbourne and some for just one. Please consider the local area and audiences when thinking about whether your idea applies to both cities or just one.


For the London-based season we are looking for up to 9 exhibits activities, workshops or performances for this season. Proposals will be funded up to a maximum budget of £2000, which should include all artist fees, materials, equipment and travel. One outstanding original work may be commissioned with a higher budget of up to £5000.

For the Melbourne-based season we are looking for up to 12 exhibits, activities, performances or workshops. Proposals will be funded up to a maximum of AU$7,000, which includes artist fees, and material, equipment and travel costs.

Please note that these are maximum amounts, not targets. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking funding from elsewhere.​


My work relates to the theme of Taboo in that it references and documents the physical detritus of a long term addiction to drug injecting.

It encompasses the neuro science of opiate presence upon the subconscious brain and seeks to make sense of a lifelong urge to distort day to day reality.

The work will be spread out in a linear fashion along the entire length of the gallery's walls. 

My question is a query as to the practicality of installing such work in the context of a group showing.

This is the primary concern for me because I feel that there is little option for an alternative arrangement of the work.



Walter Kenyon.



Hello Walter, the display contexts of both London and Melbourne will be different, and may not be traditional gallery spaces - both Science Galleries are currently in their pre-opening phase, i.e. outside of their final gallery spaces. Should your proposal be selected for the BLOOD season, how your work fits in to the season will be up to the curators in each season location.

 I am a singer/songwriter and undergraduate university student.
I was wondering if the pieces for BLOOD could take the form of musical compositions/performances perhaps accompanied by visual art? 
Kind regards.

Hello Sharin,
we welcome music and performance-based submissions about blood, especially if they connect art and science. We will be programming events and performances alongside the exhibition. Hope this information helps.


If the proposal involves working with an expert eg. a histologist, could this relationship be facilitated by the curatorial advisors? Would the fee need to be included in the budget, and if so could the advisors give information about the appropriate rates? 

If the proposal requires specialist equipment, is there a possibility that the equipment could be loaned from a partner organisation through a relationship with a specialist or through the curatorial advisors?


Hi Eleanor, should your proposal be successful, it's likely that the curatorial teams in each location would be able to facilitate introductions to relevant experts if required, and investigate equipment loan. It might be wise to factor in costs for both expert fees and equipment hire in your proposed budget breakdown.  


please request the specific requirements to participate in the blood call.

Best regards.

Carina Ubeda Chacana

Hi Carina, the open call is open to everyone. Please use the open call submission form to apply and submit your ideas.

We would be greateful if you can write your proposal in English

Hi, can you please tell me what the deadline is for the completed project should the proposal be successful.  Thank you!

Hi Magdalena - accepted submissions will need to be completed before the start of the BLOOD season, which starts in July for both London and Melbourne.

Hello! A question about the dates and places. Is the June / October period for the two cities, or are the dates different for each city?


Hello Kina - the season will run July to October for both locations however the specific exhibition dates will be different for both London and Melbourne. Hope this helps with your question!

If proposals are accepted for both sites would they be running concurrently?  I am working to finalize the budget and determine if one would need two of everything.  If applying for both locations should one submit two separate budgets or one budget which would show some cost savings.  Thank you.

Hi Lesia - please submit a budget that includes the itemized costs for each of the locations.

 I am writing to enquire if Blood is open to multiple proposals I have a personal project I'd like to submit as well as some collaborative proposals too.
Would this be possible? 

Hi Amy - submitting multiple proposals is definitely possible!

Hi there! I'm a curator researching themes connected to magic, witchcraft and blood and am interested in commissioning work from artists surrounding my research. Is it appropriate for my to apply to this as a commissioning curator, or is the call really more about specific projects realized directly by the applicants? Thank you! xx

Hello Brenda! Many thanks for your question. The Open Call is specifically for applicants wishing to have a specific project commissioned for the BLOOD exhibition.


I have numerous ideas, both based around workshops and exhibitions. Do I have to narrow it down to the one, or is it possible to do both?  Also, is exhibitions based mostly around periods acceptable? 

Hello Kaitlyn - you are very welcome to submit more than one proposal and menstruation is a key theme that we will be exploring as part of our exhibition season.


Is it possible to submit more than one proposal ? they are completely different.

Many thanks -


Hi Natasha

Yes that is absolutely fine to submit more than one proposal.

Hello, I am just finished putting together a proposal and a couple of questions occurred, which I hope you can help me with.

1) I am looking to incorporate a performance element to accompany the release of a selection of graphic novel prints, which relate to stem cell harvesting, however as the proposal encourages you to choose a type I am not able to choose both performance and exhibit. My aim is to deliver a performance element but leave a lasting piece that continues the story to be browsed beyond the performance. From the brief it seems to encourage collaborations between disciplines and so could I have some advice on how best to proceed.

2) I am also interested in the work being displayed in both Melbourne and London and in an ideal world this would include a performance side in both locations, however I am aware this may not be possible due to the travel costs. Could the piece be considered for both locations and if so how is it best to put this forward? 

Many thanks


Hello Toby - please select the performance category for your proposal and include in the project description that this is both a performance and exhibit. We also encourage works to be included in both London and Melbourne. Please specify a budget for each location (eg - travel costs to both cities).

Hi ! 

Is it ok to submit more than one proposal? 

Thanks! Natasha

Hi Natasha - you a very welcome to submit more than one proposal.

Can artist fees be included in the budget?


Yes definitely!


If we are submitting a proposal as a duo (anthropologist and artist) are we OK to submit from just one of our accounts or should we set up a separate one specifically for this collaboration? 


Hi Jessica. It is absolutely fine to submit a proposal from one of your accounts, it is not necessary to create a new account for the collaboration.