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New Open Eye Gallery opens in Liverpool

  • Date: 22 December 2011
  • Area: North
Crowd standing in the entrance of the new Open Eye Gallery

Open Eye Gallery opening night. Credit: Mark McNulty

Open Eye Gallery, which has been a significant national player in photography, with an international reputation, since the late 1970s, has reopened in a brand new purpose-built space on the city’s prestigious waterfront.

With a Grants for the arts capital award of £100,000, representing 13% of the project’s budget, and further funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency via Liverpool Vision, the new gallery on Mann Island is twice the size of its former Wood Street space. Split over two floors, the ground level houses the gallery’s international programme of cutting edge contemporary photography while the first floor will showcase changing exhibitions from Open Eye’s Archive. The large covered public square outside looks onto Wall Works - large-scale graphic installations commissioned for outside of the gallery for everyone to enjoy.

Sarah Maxfield, Director: North West, Arts Council England said: ‘The Arts Council is delighted to support the opening of the new gallery space in such a high profile location. It strengthens ever further Liverpool’s claim to have the strongest visual arts sector of any English city outside the Capital. Open Eye Gallery has secured a place as one of the National Portfolio organisations for the Arts Council to 2015, bringing great art to audiences and plays a key role in the national network of photography centres.’

Patrick Henry, Director, Open Eye Gallery commented: 'The whole team at Open Eye is thrilled with how the re-launch of our gallery in its brand new space has gone. We’re delighted by the response of the public and the media to the location, gallery spaces and opening exhibitions and we’re widening our audiences in exactly the way we'd hoped, despite icy winds from the Irish sea. We were particularly pleased to be included in Sean O’Hagan’s Top 10 Photography Exhibitions of 2011 in The Observer. And this is just the beginning - already we're gearing up for our next exhibitions, planning a new Wall Work commission, and developing lots of exciting partnerships. We’re grateful to the Arts Council for their continued support as funders and partners and we look forward to working together on some exciting new projects in 2012 and beyond.'

Founded in 1977 Open Eye is an independent not-for-profit photography gallery based in Liverpool. Widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading photography spaces, the gallery supports both established and emerging artists and also offers training and development opportunities to the local community.