FUTURE FOCUS, organised by QUAD and FORMAT, is an Open Call for submissions aimed at graduates from UK based BA Degree courses who graduated in 2020 and 2021 - during the Covid-19 pandemic - who were unable to exhibit their final work, or were limited in opportunities to show work.
From the Open Call 5 Artists will be selected to exhibit their work in QUAD Gallery by the QUAD and FORMAT Curatorial team and a jury of industry experts.
The Open Call is aimed at graduates from UK based institutions and a range of artistic disciplines – photography, fine art, contemporary art, illustration, graphic design, animation, performance, installation, sculpture, film, and moving image.
Submissions to the FUTURE FOCUS Open Call are FREE. From the Open Call a longlist of approximately 100 artists will be selected by the QUAD/FORMAT Curatorial Team. A shortlist of 25 artists will then be selected from the longlist of 100 by the Open Call Jury, and will be featured in a slideshow on QUAD's large interactive screen that is situated by the entrance to our main gallery. From the final shortlist of 25 artists approximately 5 artists will be selected for an exhibition in QUAD Galleries that will take place from 29 January - 27 February 2022.
This is an opportunity for recent graduates to exhibit work, or perhaps realise an unmade project, to produce collaborative projects with other artists/ collectives and to submit your work for consideration by a selection panel made up of experienced curators and artists. Artists selected for exhibition will receive bursaries, with exhibition costs covered -- as well as mentoring support in developing, exhibiting and marketing your work. Exhibiting artists will also be eligible for various Awards - see the FAQ section for full details.
FORMAT Award - £1000
QUAD Award - £1000
John E Wright Print Award - £100
5 physical exhibition opportunities, with bursaries for exhibition fees and travel/accommodation costs.
Exhibiting artists will receive Portfolio reviews from the FORMAT/QUAD Curatorial Team.
25 shortlisted artists to have one image featured on a digital screen at QUAD, Derby.
Established in 2004, FORMAT is the leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media in the UK. It organises a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and internationally and welcomes over 100,000 visitors from all over the world to its biennale.
The festival and off year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice and feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary photography, mobile phone imagery to the archive and all that falls between. We are concerned with what is happening now in the scene and beyond, whilst sharing and contributing to it.
FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, through our comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly international photography portfolio review.
Established in 2008 QUAD is an international centre for engagement in contemporary art and film, based in Derby and known for its mass participation and socially engaged programmes. The arts centre is a leading UK organisation for the sharing and creative development of digital technologies including AR, VR, AI, projection mapping, interactive media, major residencies and new commissions by contemporary artists alongside workshops, public programmes, publications, education and learning.
The year-round programme focuses on major exhibitions, professional practice for artists, mass participation, commissions, independent film and the creative use of emergent digital technologies. Its cinema programme presents a diverse range of world and indie films and festivals.
QUAD is a charity focused on intercultural dialogue through supporting diverse audiences to engage, develop skills and contribute to contemporary culture. Year-round, our learning, education and participation programmes involve people and communities locally and worldwide in innovative arts programmes.
Application fee - FREE
For full details of how to apply please see our FAQ'S & Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page.
The open call is FREE to enter and an application will cover one project of up to 15 images and/or video and can include installation shots, ideas and composite images. Each individual/collective is permitted to submit ONE application only. However, references and links to other works can be included in the project description or bio.
Image size: min. 1500 px on the longest side, RGB and no bigger than 10MB, jpeg
Video: mov, mp4, mpg, m4v, m2ts
Project description, 2000 characters including blank spaces, web links to additional information if relevant
Installation description, 2000 characters including blank spaces, if relevant please include installation notes and practical details about how you like to present your work, including, size, medium, layout and any other information. If selected we cannot guarantee that all conditions will be met, but your information will be used for reference.
Biography, 2000 characters including blank spaces
CV can be uploaded as a PDF or Word Document
Country of residence
Biography with up to 1500 characters
CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)
1 project per submission
1 to 15 files per project
Allowed file types: JPG, MOV, MP4, MPG, M4V, M2TS
At least 1500px on the long edge
Videos: At least 1920px on the long edge, max 10 minutes
Image date (year)
Abbas Zahedi is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice blends contemporary philosophy, poetics, and social dynamics with performance, sound, sculpture, and moving-image. With an emphasis on how personal and collective histories interweave, Zahedi makes connections whenever possible with people involved in the particular situations which he focuses upon, inviting these others into the conversation.
Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad
The White Pube
The White Pube is the collaborative identity of Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad under which they publish reviews and essays about art, video games and food.
Curator, Writer, Artist Mentor and Consultant
Lucy Rose Sollitt is a curator, writer, artist mentor and consultant. She focuses on the intersection of art and technology and possibilities for new art economies. She led on Creative Media at Arts Council England and was an expert policy advisor to DCMS on Art and Innovation and has curated exhibitions and programmes for organisations including FACT and Goethe Institut, and worked as Associate for Rhizome.
Head of Programme at FACT (Film, Art and Creative Technology)
Maitreyi is Head of Programme at FACT (Film, Art and Creative Technology), a Liverpool-based organisation supporting and exhibiting art and film embracing new technology and explores digital culture. There she manages a wide-ranging artistic programme that connects with science and digital technologies to engage people with some of the most pressing challenges of today. She was previously Programme Director at London's Zabludowicz Collection, and before that Tate Modern and Artangel.
Artist, Writer & Researcher
Jamila Prowse is an artist, writer and researcher who uses her experiences as a mixed race, disabled person of Black parentage to understand and subvert barriers to working in the arts. She is currently working on a series of films tracing the history of her ancestry through her relationship with her late father Russell Herman, a South African jazz musician. Prowse holds a studio at Studio Voltaire and was a studio residency artist at Gasworks from January to April 2021. She has written for Frieze, Dazed, Elephant, GRAIN, Art Work Magazine and Photoworks.
Curator, Cultural Producer & Writer
Saziso Phiri is a curator, cultural producer and writer. In 2016, she launched The Anti Gallery - a pop-up art gallery exhibiting and engaging exhibitions outside of traditional gallery environments. Since launching, she has produced and co-produced almost 30 events for the platform with regional, national and international partners showcasing exhibitions, film screenings, artists talks, performances, creative workshops and residencies. Phiri is also passionate about supporting early career and emerging artists and occasionally designs and delivers development opportunities. A keen and passionate public speaker, she has participated in domestic and international talks, and panel discussions on subjects such as social practice, artist wellbeing, creative processes, career development in the arts and alternative ways of curating.
Senior Curator, QUAD
Peter has been a professional Curator for over 17 years, producing over 180 exhibitions. He co-curated the ArtSway New Forest Pavilion at the 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 Venice Biennales, and is part of curatorial team for FORMAT International Photography Festival. He studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University (1995), MFA in Art (majoring in painting) at the University of Arkansas (2002) and MA(RCA) in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art (2004).
Artistic Director, QUAD & Director, FORMAT International Photography Festival Derby
Louise has been the Artistic Director of QUAD since 2001, and the Director of FORMAT, which she co-founded in 2004. An independent curator since 1998 directing commissions, publications, performances and exhibitions. Guest Curator for international exhibitions/festivals including Dong Gang (Yeongwol) South Korea; Photoquai Biennale Musée du quai Branly Paris; Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries; Dali Photo, China; Poikkeustila 2020 Finland; Venice Biennale EM15; Photo Beijing, and LishuiPhoto China; Korea International Photo Festival. An international awards advisor, she has contributed to numerous publications as producer/writer/Editorial Team and a juror, portfolio reviewer, speaker in Europe, America, Africa & Asia.
Niamh Treacy is the coordinator for FORMAT International Photography Festival. She has reviewed for international portfolio reviews such as Belfast Photography Festival and Uganda Press Photo, and is part of the FORMAT curatorial team and has curated shows for FORMAT and internationally for Dali International Photography Festival. Niamh holds a BA (Hons) in Photography from University of Derby and is a graduate of the MA Fine Art course at Central Saint Martins.