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Shaping up at the Art Pavillion

SHAPE ARTS IS A disability-led arts organisation which works to improve access to culture for disabled people – and it’s bringing its annual exhibition to the Arts Pavillion at Mile End this March.

The exhibition is the Shape Open. Each year it shows artwork created in response to a disability-centred theme. It heads for high profile venues and provides a space where disabled and non-disabled artists can discuss views and ideas about issues and topics which are often sidelined within mainstream debate.

The 2018 Shape Open is titled “Collective Influence”. It will exhibit artwork created by both disabled and non-disabled artists in response to provocations such as: what influences you? how does influence go further than inspiration? what power does influence have to provoke change, and what capacity does it have to affect society?

There will be work from a wide range of art forms which, together, will investigate the interwoven influences of art, disability and the power of a collective voice. Questioning how the “collective” has the power to evoke and influence change, this exhibition is an examination of the role art plays in activating social developments, and vice versa.

This year’s exhibiting artists are: Aidan Moesby, Alice Rose Floyd, Amy Hutchings, Anahita Harding, Arjun Harrison-Mann, Arushee Suri, Ashokkumar Mistry, Attia Rashid, Brendan O’Neill, DYSPLA, Eleanor Johnson, Elinor Clare Rowlands, Ellie Collins, Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, Fae Kilburn, Grace Leigh Igoe, Helen Jones, Jack Haslam, Justin Levesque, Justin Piccirilli, Ker Wallwork, Mary Rouncefield, MH Sarkis, Mohammad Barrangi Fashtami, Nina Thomas, Oaklee Thiele, Rah Petherbridge, Ray Kathryn Radnell, Sally Booth, Sarah Carpenter, Signkid, Steph Harrison, and Susan Elaine Jones.

A winning artist, selected by a small panel including Shape Open Patron Yinka Shonibare MBE, will be awarded £1,000. A second artist will receive the People’s Choice Award of £250, as voted for by attendees of the Open throughout its duration. The People’s Choice Award is kindly supported by Crucial Colour.

The 2018 Shape Open: Collective Influence will take place at The Art Pavilion, Clinton Rd, London E3 4QY – within Mile End Park. It runs from Thursday, 22nd March until Thursday, 5th April. It will be open from 10am to 6pm every day except Mondays and Easter Sunday. There will be a Private View on Thursday, 22nd March from 6.30-8.30pm, which will also be open to the public.

Shape Arts provides opportunities for disabled artists, trains cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people and runs participatory arts and development programmes. For more information, go to:

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