OPENING LATE 2020 / EARLY 2021
VENUE: SCIENCE GALLERY MELBOURNE, corner of Swanston and Grattan Streets
OPEN CALL: 10 OCTOBER – 21 NOVEMBER 2019
Science Gallery Melbourne invites proposals from all disciplines to explore the full spectrum of mental health in our first exhibition in the new gallery.
Everyone with a brain is mental, reacting to the world in response to our own perception, biochemistry and emotional state. Almost half of us will directly experience challenges to our mental health when something is out of balance in our lives. Young people are an especially affected group with 75% of those affected first experiencing mental health stress between the ages of 15-24.
Be prepared to challenge your thinking by flexing your mental muscles, exercising your empathy and tackling your taboos. What is your ‘normal’? When is your brain betraying you? Why is mental health stigma still a thing? Can you enhance your brain? Just how much control do you have over your mind?
MENTAL is a welcoming place to confront societal bias and stigma. It will immerse audiences in new research, art and ideas that provoke, respond, and adapt throughout the show. Curated with young adults for young adults, it brings together art, science, and technology grounded in research, evidence and enquiry.
Part experiment, part exhibition - MENTAL is for everyone. Because really, we are all mental.
Potential directions and topics include but are not limited to:
CONNECTION: belonging | empathy | overload | genetics
PERCEPTION: agency | stress | thoughts | imagination | resilience | neuroscience
TECHNOLOGY: enhance | upgrade | download | data access
SEND US YOUR PROPOSAL TO BE IN THIS EXHIBITION!
Science Gallery acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as Australia’s first scientists and artists. We especially encourage submissions from all First Nations people.
Experimentation, provocation and research are at the heart of SGM’s values and programs. This exhibition will explore the continual balancing act of our own psyche through the lens of artists, psychologists, performers, neuroscientists, designers, computer scientists, nurses, engineers, musicians, mathematicians, architects and young people. The list of possibilities is endless.
Your proposal could be a new or existing artwork, performance, workshop, digital intervention, research project, or other activity. We strongly recommend that you keep our target audience of young people aged 15-25 years in mind and consider including interactive or participatory elements. We would love humour to feature in the exhibition somehow in a kind and respectful way. That means a way of laughing together rather than at anyone in particular. Check out our tips on what makes a good open call submission.
Science Gallery Melbourne creates exhibitions with young people for young people. MENTAL will be shaped by the curatorial panel which is made up of predominantly young people and Science Gallery Melbourne staff. All short-listed proposals will be reviewed and vetted by our Expert Advisory Group of mental health experts and other clever people before being notified of their inclusion in the season.
Expert Advisory Group
- Professor Sarah Wilson, Head of School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
- Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Director, Women’s Mental Health Research Division, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre.
- Jefa Greenaway, Lecturer, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne
Other members to be announced soon…
We’re open to all kinds of proposals. As a guide, the majority of our projects are funded up to around $8,000 AUD which includes all artist fees, materials, equipment, shipping, travel etc. We enthusiastically welcome proposals that come in below that budget.
We will also consider extraordinary proposals for larger installations with a budget of up to $50,000 AUD, with a focus on experimentation and interaction. These should have a genuine connection to the theme and our target audience.
Please click the “Click here to apply” button above to submit your proposal.
HANG ON, I HAVE A QUESTION….
Great. We love questions. There are overall open call FAQs and we have listed some extra bits below. Have a read through these extra bits first to see if they help.
Who can apply?
Anyone. There are no restrictions on age, education level, research background, country or any other factor. We especially encourage submissions from young people and all First Nations people.
Can individuals or groups and collaborations apply?
We welcome submissions of interest from individuals, groups, collaborative projects and productions working locally or internationally.
How big is the exhibition space?
The Science Gallery Melbourne building is going to be an amazing space with wide open areas, moveable walls, large glass windows, natural light and high ceilings. There are two dedicated gallery spaces, The Peter & Ruth McMullin Galleries; The Eastern Gallery is 800 square meters with a ceiling height of 5.5m and the Western Gallery is 300 square meters and up to 12m ceiling height. So don’t be afraid to go big. We love big.
How do you decide which projects are included?
At Science Gallery Melbourne we embed young people in every stage of the process. The projects we receive through this open call will be reviewed and hotly debated by our curatorial panel. This panel is made up of young people and Science Gallery Melbourne staff. All short-listed proposals will be reviewed and vetted by our Expert Advisory Group of experts and advocates from different areas of mental health and other industry and academic peers. If your proposal makes it to the shortlisting stage you will then meet and discuss your project with the Science Gallery team in person or on video call. This will most likely happen in early 2020.
If I’m shortlisted does it mean I am successful?
No. It means the panel really liked your idea and think it would work well in our MENTAL season. The next step is meeting with us to discuss your idea in more detail and to talk more seriously about budgets and timelines and all that jazz.
How many projects will be included?
We’re not absolutely sure as it will depend on the size of the projects that go in the gallery. The final gallery will have between 20-30 works installed in the exhibition. There are all sorts of other opportunities to collaborate with us on talks, performances, poetry battles, dance-offs, apps, outreach programs, school programs, citizen science projects, or pop-ups.
What kind of project formats are accepted?
Science Gallery isn’t a traditional gallery space. We’re not too keen about just plonking things on plinths for people to look at. We love interactivity and inviting our visitors to participate with the installations. We welcome projects across all forms - that could include digital, physical, immersive, game-based, video, sound, imagery, interactive, sculpture, web-based work, live research experimentation, data mining, medical, or natural science research – essentially we are not format-prescriptive and we love weird ideas.
Who are your audience?
Young people are at the centre of all things we do. 70% of our audience are under 30 years old and all our exhibitions will be created with young people for young people. It’s really important that you think about how this audience will connect with your work. Like super duper important.
What sort of projects are your favourite?
We’re so glad you asked. Science Gallery’s approach is interdisciplinary, so we especially love to see the creativity that erupts from the collision of different disciplines. That means:
- If you are an artist then we’d love your project to include collaboration with people from other fields – scientists or engineers or technologists or designers…. The list goes on.
- If you are a researcher we’d love your project to include collaboration with creative practitioners not in your field.
Don’t panic if you haven’t connected with a collaborator, we can hook you up if you are selected. It really is the ‘vibe of the thing’ that we are after at this point.
I don’t really have a project to pitch but I work in this area and I’d love to be involved.
Let’s gloss over that this isn’t technically a question to say: Fantastic! We want to know about your practice. Come join us as we embed research and knowledge within the fabric of all our programs. We want to connect you with the public, creative practitioners, academics and industry both locally and globally. Get in touch - melbourne.sciencegallery.com/research
When will I get an answer?
Once the open call closes we will convene the curatorial panel to review the submissions, make a short list, meet with all those people to discuss in more detail. This will most likely happen in early 2020. Science Gallery Melbourne will keep all applicants informed of the progress as the discussions evolve.
Can I receive feedback from my application if I am not shortlisted?
Sorry but it’s not possible due to the volume of applications we receive. Feedback is only available to proposals that make the shortlist when they meet with the Science Gallery team.