Uncertain States Open Call 2015

UCS open call 2015 final

Uncertain States are proud to announce the nine artists selected by our panel for Uncertain States Open 2015 exhibition at Four Corners Gallery from 8 – 17 October 2015.
The selected artists from the Uncertain States Open Call 2015 are Julia Fullerton-Batten selected by Paul Hill, Zoe Childerley selected by Louise Clements, Jolanta Dolewska selected by Martin Usborne, Nigel Grimmer selected by Uncertain States, Flore Gardner selected by Sharon Kivland, David Severn selected by Fiona Rogers, Rosy Martin selected by Camilla Brown, Simon Brann Thorpe selected by Christiane Monarchi and Karolina Lebek selected by Leah Gordon.Our ethos is simple. To engage with and disseminate the best of contemporary lens-based art.The success of UCS Open 2015 is thanks to our selection team, chosen for their diversity across the arts, as practicing lens-based artists, critics, academics and writers. A vast reservoir of knowledge and experience in their respective fields has resulted in a diverse and outstanding showcase of photography.

We asked each of them to champion one artist. There was no discussion, no consensual compromises, just an individuals’ passion for each of the artists chosen. We are overjoyed to see some very exciting projects from artists around the country.

UCS Issue 24 will be launched at the Uncertain States Open 2015 exhibition. The issue will feature the nine photographers and statements from our selectors accompanying the artists work, offering insight into the selection process.

UCS Open 2015 Artists

Julia Fullerton-Batten

Julia Fullerton-Batten is a fine-art photographer. The foundation of her success was ‘Teenage Stories’ (2005), an evocative narrative of the transition of a teenage girl to womanhood. Her book ‘Teenage Stories’ was published in 2007*. Fullerton-Batten was commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery in London to shoot portraits of leading people in the UK National Health Service, which are now held in a permanent collection in the Gallery. She was a winner of the HSBC Fondation pour la Photographie award, and is a Hasselblad Master. Her images were on the front covers of ‘A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography’ (Thames and Hudson, 2012) and Eyemazing Magazine. She is widely sought after as a judge for adjudicating at prestigious international photographic competitions and as a speaker at international events.


Karolina Lebek

Karolina Lebek is a London based visual artist working with photography. She graduated with First-class Honours from BA Photography and Video Art at University of Bedfordshire in 2012. She is currently studying MA Photography at the Royal College of Art, due to graduate in 2016. In her practice, Lebek has been stiving to create images that sacramentally mediate between the finite and the infinite, the general and the particular, provoking the possibility of theological reflection and inhabiting the extremes of human experience which theology seeks to articulate. Lebek’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the United Kingdom. Recently she has been shortlisted for the European Photo Prize 2015, with an upcoming exhibition in Modena, Italy in June 2016.

Zoe Childerly

I am a British artist with an MA in Photography and a strong record in community projects. I am currently a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University and I have been working as an artist using photography and mixed media for over 10 years. I have exhibited nationally and internationally and undertaken numerous commissions and residencies. My work explores new environments, is developed by interaction with different communities and is inspired by the discovery of lost histories; reflecting a vision of the world concerned with identity, belonging and our relationship to the land and its stories.


Jolanata Dolweska

Dolewska completed her MA Photography at the Royal College of Art London (2012) and BA Hons in Documentary Photography at University of Wales Newport (2007). She lives and works in Edinburgh.

Dolewska participated in exhibitions nationally and internationally: Visioni Variabli (Fiesole, Italy 2006), High Altitude, Festival de photographie de montagne in Rossinière, Switzerland (2011), Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea (2012), Belfast Photo Festival (2013) and Fresh Faced & Wide Eyed at The Photographers Gallery (2013). Dolewska’s photographic works have been published in High Altitude by 5 Continents, Milan (2011) and Seeing for others by Black Dog Publishing, London (2012). She has received Constance Fairness Foundation Prize (2011) and The Photographers’ Gallery Award (2012).


David Severn

David Severn is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Nottingham, UK. His work is concerned with working class culture and the places associated with it, both historically and today. He is particularly interested in the relationship between people, work and

landscape. His current project explores life within coalfield areas of the British Midlands. David’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally. He has worked on assignments for FT Weekend, The New York Times, MONOCLE and The Times (London).


Simon Brann Thorpe

Simon’s early work explored the interplay between issues of identity and landscape. In more recent work this has extended to conceptual repositioning of issues around identity, memory, conflict and trauma.

Born in Zambia in1970, Simon Brann Thorpe studied photography at the Alberta College of Art & Design, Canada. He has exhibited widely throughout Europe and has received, or been shortlisted for, many prestigious awards including the International Photography Awards, the Aftermath Award, the Arte Laguna Prize and the Association of Photographers Awards. Thorpe now lives in London.


Flore Gardner

Half French, half Scottish, I live and work (in-)between these two countries, cultures, languages. I started studying medecine at Edinburgh University and ended up obtaining a Doctorat (Ph.D.) in Fine Art at the Sorbonne University in Paris in 2007. In-between, I opened an artists-restaurant, Les 19, in Marseilles. I have been exhibiting my work in group and solo shows in the UK, France, Finland, Norway, the United States and China since 2004.

Rosy Martin

Rosy Martin is an artist-photographer, psychological-therapist, workshop leader, lecturer and writer. She explores the relationships between photography, memory, identities and unconscious processes using self-portraiture, still life photography, digital imaging and video. From 1983, with Jo Spence, she pioneered re-enactment phototherapy. She has exhibited internationally and published widely since 1985. Her work has explored issues including gender, sexuality, ageing, class, desire, memory location, urbanism, family dynamics, mother- daughter, shame, health and disease, bereavement, grief and reparation.

Recent publications include essays in ‘The photograph and the album’ (2013), ‘Phototherapy and therapeutic photography in a digital age’ (2013) and ‘Ageing femininities, troubling representations’(2012).


Nigel Grimmer

Nigel Grimmer is a multi-media artist working primarily with photography. Grimmer produces and exhibits his work internationally.

He was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK; he lives in London.

Grimmer is Senior Lecturer in Visual Art Practice at The University of Bedfordshire. He studied at Central Saint Martins and Sheffield Hallam University. Nigel is currently working on the first major publication of his work, Anti-Portrait.



 Uncertain States Open 2015

8 – 17 October 2015

Private View:  Thursday 8 October 2015

Four Corners Gallery, 121 Roman Rd, London E2 0QN
Gallery opening Times: 11am – 6pm Monday-Saturday or by appointment.


Uncertain States Open Call 2015

UCS co-founders David George, Spencer Rowell and Fiona Yaron-Field have teamed with curator Mary George to ask you to contribute to the passion of the Uncertain States project and help us find the very best contemporary lens-based art. Following on from the incredible response to UCS 2014 Open Call we are inviting submissions from all emerging or established lens based artists for the Uncertain States Open Call 2015.

This open call uniquely makes available all submissions to the selectors. Each selector will champion one artist and respond personally to the work. There is no discussion, no consensus or compromises, just one individuals’ passion for their chosen artist’s work. The open call will culminate in an exhibition in October at Four Corners Gallery in London’s vibrant East End to coincide with Ucs‘s 6th anniversary and the opportunity to be featured in issue 24 of the Uncertain States broadsheet. This special edition will explore the curation of the Open Call, include biographies and statements from the artists, offering insight into the selection process. It will be distributed to: V&A Museum London, Turner Contemporary Margate, Arnolfini Bristol, Impressions Gallery Bradford, Ikon Gallery & Library of Birmingham, Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art Newcastle, Open Eye Gallery Liverpool & Norwich University of the Arts.

This project would not be possible without the generosity of our selection team. Chosen for their diverse skills and knowledge about the arts, as practicing lens-based artists, critics, academics and writers, they have kindly offered their time, enthusiasm and a vast reservoir of experience in their respective fields. For 2015, we have put together an autonomous group of selectors for this process. They include the art historian, curator and writer Camilla Brown, Artistic Director Quad & Format International Photography Festival Louise Clements, artist and curator Leah Gordon, fine art photographer, professor, Paul Hill MBE, Hoxton Mini Press publisher and photographer Martin Usborne, Director of Firecracker Fiona Rogers, Artist and writer Sharon Kivland, Founding editor of Photomonitor, Christiane Monarchi, and Uncertain States.

After last years fantastic response we are keen to see what this years submissions will bring. Without exception, our selectors were amazed at the range and quality of the work produced by very committed artists from around the country and all expressed a difficulty in selecting a single artist for the show. There were many others works that could have been included in this final exhibition and we hope that those people will submit work again for this years team of selectors to view.

We also wish to acknowledge and thank last years nine artists and selectors; Ellen Nolan selected by Sean O’Hagan. Georgia Metaxas selected by Richard Sawdon-Smith. Lydia Goldblatt selected by Zelda Cheatle. Freya Gabie selected by Julie Cockburn, Andrei Nacu selected by Melanie Manchot. Georgina McNamara selected by Mari Mahr. Emilia Moisio selected by Pete James. Ellie Davies selected by Dave Than and Dominic Hawgood selected by Ángel Luis González Fernández. Dominic will be showing this year have at PhotoIreland after being selected by Angel Luis González Fernández. We hope new relationships have been formed through this process.

The closing date for submissions has been extended to 2nd August 2015. The nine selected artists will be contacted by 30th August. All unsuccessful applications for the exhibition will be considered for future publication (please read submissions page).

To enter the Open Call, upload a single image (fee £15) or a series (up to five images Fee £25). Image size no larger than 2Mb please and also upload a statement and short biography.


The 2015 Selectors

Fiona Rogers

Fiona Rogers

Global Business Development Manager, Magnum Photos. Fiona studied at Surrey Institute of Art & Design, beginning her career in photography at a London gallery in 2004. She moved to Magnum Photos in 2005, and until mid-2014 worked as the Cultural & Education Manager, creating Magnum’s global Education department in 2006. Fiona has extensive experience as a project manager, producing global exhibitions, cultural projects, and photographic assignments for a variety of clients. She has worked to represent Magnum’s photographers within the contemporary art market for nearly 10 years, and has a strong knowledge of commercial sales.  In late 2014 she became Global Business Development Manager for Magnum Photos International, working to implement new business revenues and strategic partnerships.

Fiona is also the founder of Firecracker, a platform supporting female photographers. In 2012, Firecracker launched an annual grant, offered to photographers to complete a long-term documentary photography project.

Fiona has a strong interest in emerging photographers and has participated in international platforms such as Recontres D’Arles, Format Festival, Brighton Photo Biennale, FotoFreo and the Singapore International Photography Festival. She has participated as a judge for several notable competitions including the Mack First Book Award and the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography.


camillaphoto (534x800)1Camilla Brown
Camilla Brown trained as an art historian and is a curator, writer and lecturer specialising in photography. For ten years she was Senior curator at The Photographers’ Gallery, London previous to which she was Exhibitions Curator at Tate Liverpool. She regularly writes for artists monographs and history of photography books and she has also been featured in books about her curatorial practice. She is currently developing a chapter on exhibiting photography for a forthcoming book for Focal Press. She has also been developing a series of essays about contemporary women photographers published on Photomonitor.co.uk.
Since 2012 she has held an academic post as Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries at Middlesex University, and in April 2015 was appointed Visiting Fellow in Photography at the University of Derby. She regularly gives talks
at universities, museums and galleries and is on a number of panels and juries. She is also on the Board of Directors at QUAD, Derby. www.camillaebrown.co.uk
Christiane_Monarchi1Christiane Monarchi
Founding editor of the online magazine Photomonitor. She previously helped create the contemporary photography programme at James Hyman Gallery, has written on photography for a variety of magazines, conducts portfolio reviews, organises artist talks and symposia, judges art prizes and lectures on the art market.
Leah_necklace_MID1-2Leah Gordon
Artist and curator doing work on Modernism, religion, anthropology, post-colonialism, class and folk history. Gordon’s film and photographic work has been exhibited inter nationally including the National Portrait Gallery, UK; Parc de la Villette, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the Dak’art Biennale. Her photography book ‘Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti‘ was published in June 2010. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, was the co-curator of Kafou: Haiti, History & Art, at the Nottingham Contemporary and on the curatorial team for the ‘In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st Century Haitian Art’ show in 2012 at the Fowler Museum, UCLA.
 Louise Clements Headshot2Louise Clements
Louise Clements is Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art and film, as well as being the Co-Founder and Artistic Director/Curator of FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby since 2004. As a curator, she has initiated and curated many commissions, publications, mass participation art, film and photography programmes and exhibitions since 1998. She was Guest Curator at Kaunas Photofestival, Lithuania Duel/Duet; Habitat Centre and Haus Khas BlowUp, in Deli, India; Dong Gang International Photography Festival South Korea, UK Photography Now : The Constructed View, 2013; Dali International Photography Festival, China, Life Is Elsewhere 2013; Noorderlicht 20/20 2013.Louise regularly writes about photography for catalogues and magazines in both print and online media. Co-editor of several photobooks: Hijacked III UK/AUS, PHOTOCINEMA, Hungry Still and is Editor-at-Large for 1000 Words Online Photography Magazine. She is an international photography juror and nominator including WYNG Hong Kong, LensCulture France, Daylight USA, Lodz Fotofestiwal Poland, Prix Pictet, Deutsche Börse. A member of Planar Scientific Committee for Photoraphy, Italy, and portfolio reviewer at festivals and galleries extensively throughout Europe, America and across Asia.
Paul_Hill_2_MBE1Paul Hill MBE
After he worked as a newspaper reporter and climbing instructor, Paul became a freelance photographer in 1965. He photographed regularly for The Guardian and The Observer and became director of the Creative Photography course at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham in 1976 – forerunner to all current student-centred higher education courses in the medium. Another notable achievement around this time was the establishment, with his wife, Angela, of The Photographers Place– the UK’s first residential photography workshop – at their Peak District home. He has written two books on photography Approaching Photography and Dialogue with Photography and has had two monographs White Peak Dark Peak and Corridor of Uncertainty published. Exhibiting regularly since 1970 in the British Isles and internationally, Paul was the first art photographer to receive an MBE for services to photography and the first professor of photographic practice in a British university.
Sharon Kivland port#1Sharon Kivland
Artist and writer. She is Reader in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Her work considers what is put at stake by art, politics, and psychoanalysis. She is represented by Galerie Bugdahn ind Kaimer, Düsseldorf, Johan Deumans Gallery, Amsterdam, and Galerie des petits carreaux, Paris and St-Briac. Her latest book in the series Freud on Holiday, entitled A Cavernous Defile. Part I, was published in December 2013 by Cube Art Editions, Athens, and recently has been translated into Italian. Her last solo exhibition was at CGP, London, entitled Folles de leur corps / Crazy about their bodies, after a footnote in Marx’s Capital.
martin1Martin Usborne
London-based photographer, writer and founder of Hoxton Mini Press, an independent publisher dedicated to East London. His personal work is focused on man’s relationship to (other) animals and the way we silence, control or separate from the creatures that surround us. Martin often undertakes editorial or commercial commissions and his work is regularly featured in international magazines and has been seen in group and solo shows around the world as well as in the National Portrait Gallery London. He has had five books published.





Artists are required to submit the following:

1.The completed online entry form.

2. Images of up to 5 recent works, in digital format (jpg, max 2mb file size), and images of maximum of 1000 pixels resolution along the longest side at 300 dpi.

3. A 350-500 artists statement.

4. A non-refundable £15 application fee for the first submitted image and £25  for up to the maximum of 5  submitted images.

Following the selection process, all selected artists will be notified by the 30th August 2015. Uncertain States will contact the artists selected for the final exhibition with full delivery details for their work.


: 2nd August 2015: Deadline for entry.
: 30th August 2015: The nine selected artists notified.
: Am 6th Oct: Delivery of work to Four Corners Gallery.
: Thursday 8th Oct 2015: Private View and Exhibition opens to public.

The work selected for exhibition must be available from 25th September 2015



The Prize is open to all living British and international artists residing in the U.K. over the age of 18 years old on 12th July 2015.  A third party (e.g. gallery, agent or other representative) may submit work on behalf of the artist, but the third party must confirm:
1.Receipt of the artist’s permission, and have full authority and legal right, to submit the work.
2.That to provide the information regarding the artist or the artist’s work, they have first consulted with the artist and made all appropriate enquiries for the purpose of providing that information.
3. Agree to be bound by these Conditions of Entry as the artist would be had they entered. The Prize is not open to work by deceased artists.


Work that does not fit within the Conditions of Entry will not be admissible and will not be considered for exhibition.


The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.  All works will be judged anonymously and there will be no segregation by, genre or style etc.


All selected artists will be contacted after the selection with full delivery details and dates.  The delivery of the work to and from the exhibition is the responsibility of the artists. All work should be delivered unwrapped, when delivering in person to the gallery. Framing or mounting of works, if required for exhibition, is also the responsibility of the artist and must be carried out prior to delivery. Works not requiring framing or mounting must be suitably protected to avoid damage in transit and clear indication should be given as to how the work could be presented.
The return of work after the exhibition is also the responsibility of the artists. Uncertain States reserves the right to dispose of any works after the exhibition that have not been collected by the artists or the artists have made no attempt to collect their work within 3 months of the collection date. The organisers will endeavor to retain packaging for all work where possible.  Artists are reminded to clearly mark their packaging with their name. While every endeavor will be made to keep your work safe from damage it is highly recommended that the exhibiting artists insure with a reputable insurance company their works of art for their market value.


All artists selected for exhibition will be invited to the Private View.


During the exhibition, the artists will be contacted by the organisers to make arrangements for the collection or return of their work. Any works not collected by the artists will be subject to storage charges.


Each artist by entering the Uncertain States Open confirms that they hold all intellectual property rights in the work and that they have obtained prior written approval for the use of any third party copyrighted material contained in the submitted work.
Artists will allow the work to be reproduced by Uncertain States and Four Corners Gallery for the purposes of promoting the exhibition including; press and publicity and websites in all territories. Copyright of all works remains the property of the artist. Any enquiries for copyright will be referred to the artist.


In accordance with the Data Protection Act Uncertain States will hold the personal data of artists supplied on the Entry Form securely. The data will only be used in the process of administering and will not be transferred to any third party not directly involved in this Exhibition.

By entering the Uncertain States Open artists are agreeing to all of the above Conditions of entry.

 Open Call Submission Form

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone Number

Short bio. ( 50 -100 words)

Description of your work (size media

Artists statement (350 - 500 words)

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