Open Call Details


Under Review
Open from 
15th August 2016, 1:00pm BST to 16th October 2016, 6:00pm BST
Results by 
28th February

HOOKED is the first international, open-call gallery exhibition and event programme at Science Gallery London, opening in 2018 on the Guy’s Campus at London Bridge. It explores the neuroscience, psychology, medical and social aspects of addiction and recovery. Is everything we know about addiction wrong? Are the things that get us hooked the things that make life worth living? Do most of us feel the need to fill some kind of inner void? 

The HOOKED season delves into the complex world of addiction and recovery. Addiction can be defined as a moral problem, a disease, and even a crime. We look at addiction as a pitfall of being human, a principle of pleasure, an avoidance of pain and consider the underlying factors driving our cravings and desires.

We live in a highly addicted society. In a choice environment encompassing everything from social inequality, genetic predisposition and peer pressure, everyday things transform into addictive substances and behaviors. Our engagement with illicit drugs, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and food, or activities like gambling, work, sex, shopping - even using smartphones - has addictive potential.

When does the balance tip into a harmful cycle and how do we extract ourselves?

The exhibition will include a variety of art works exploring addiction on a personal, clinical, scientific or social level, from a number of different perspectives.  A public programme of events, activities, workshops and performances will run alongside the exhibition.



The new gallery building occupies the corner of St Thomas Street and runs down Great Maze Pond on one side, and has a Georgian courtyard on the other side. The site is opposite the Shard and London Bridge station.

The gallery spans 3 floors. The main exhibition space is on the first floor, (approximately 450 metres squared). The ground floor contains a reception, café and a flexible programming space, which covers approx. 70 metres squared). The lower ground floor contains a 150 seater theatre with retractable seating, covering approx. 80 metres squared. Plasma screens and projectors will be available within the space (number TBC).

Performances, events and other activities can occur across the space, or outside. The bulk of the exhibition will be installed by an SGL team in the first floor space.



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

  • The addiction cycle – craving, harm, recovery, relapse
  • The addicted brain – adolescent brains and brain plasticity
  • The addiction experience –  life as an addict, friends or family
  • Stigma – associated with being an addict, wider society
  • Individual and social ‘recovery’ – how do we recover from addiction?
  • Geography ­– what would an addiction map of London, the UK or the global picture look like? Does place influence addiction?
  • Policy – throughout history, evidence has often been made to fit policy, rather than the other way around. How do we build a society where people can form healthier bonds?
  • Causes of addiction – What makes people vulnerable to addiction?

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



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. 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.
  • Stimulate addictive experiences
  • Consider the full spectrum of addiction, not just substance addiction
  • Are based on strong original ideas in any media
  • Raise questions about the nature of and public perceptions surrounding addiction
  • Explore peoples' ongoing relationship with addiction

In general:

  • Relevance to 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 crowdsourced 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



Curatorial advisors help us to shape our seasons. They are expert artists, scientists and clinicians working in the field of addiction 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.

  • Katriona Beales - Artist
  • Henrietta Bowden-Jones – Consultant psychiatrist, National Problem Gambling Clinic
  • Kyle Dyer – Addictions Researcher, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London
  • Luke Mitcheson – Clinical psychologist, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
  • Mark Prest - founder, Portraits of Recovery

Submissions will be reviewed by the curatorial advisors, Daniel Glaser, Director of Science Gallery London and Jen Wong, Head of Programming, Science Gallery London. You will receive a response in early 2017.



We are looking for up to 14 exhibits and 6 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. Please note that these are maximum amounts, not targets. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking funding from elsewhere.​



Open call launches noon on 15 August 2016, closes 5pm (GMT) on 16 October 2016

Provisional exhibition dates: April – July 2018




I'd like to make a proposal which consists in an exhibit (in two parts) plus a workshop, which is related to the exhibit. Should I submit two different proposals? I've seen that I cannot click on more than one type of proposal (exhibit OR workshop). 


Hello Cristina, if the parts are connected, please just select one from the list and then explain how they link to the other part (in another format) in the description of the work section. Hope that helps,

Hello! I am attempting to plan out a delivery system for materials I was wondering if there was any way you could share the street address just for planning purposes. 

Hello Jessica, the gallery is located at the corner of Great Maze Pond and St Thomas St, in London Bridge. Hope that helps

Dear Curator 

In applying for your 'Hooked' open call, we are wondering if the image you ask for on the application form has to be previous work by the applicants or whether this could be an established art work that reflects the kind of works we would be looking to create for this exhibition. 

With best wishes 

Jo Ashby 

Hello Jo, images should reflect the type of work that you are proposing for the exhibition and will be used to give the curatorial team an idea of what the proposed project will be like. Previous work by applicants is useful if it is indicative of the work you are proposing, otherwise it's not so relevant. Hope that helps

Quick Question on Budget - does the Gallery have any speakers or projectors or do these need to be covered in the budget - needs minimal yet long term rental could be costly.thanks in advance


Hi Declan, we will have speakers and a projector in the gallery, however if possible it would be great if you include in your proposal the cost, with and without hiring equipment in case our tech does not fulfill your needs.