The Observatory: perspectives on landscape, society and spirit



Judging panel confirmed:




Tristan Gatward: Vice President of Activities, University of Exeter Student Guild


Volkhardt Mueller: Exeter based artist working across a range of media


Melissa Percival: Associate Professor (French, Art History and Visual Culture) at the University of Exeter


Val Wilson: Arts & Events Manager at Exeter City Council


The University of Exeter is a place of learning and also a place of research. Artists are invited to submit works that respond to the idea of ‘observatory’ as a channel for exploring a certain type of vision, investigation or view. The theme is open to interpretation. It is an invitation to explore and investigate a specific area of research at the University of Exeter and create an artwork inspired by this enquiry.
The University’s research takes place in teams combining a wide variety of topics from the distant reaches of the universe, to conditions in our own localities or our own minds, bodies and societies.
What observations do artists want to share or swap with the research community at the university?
A list of the university’s interdisciplinary research themes can be found at:
Submissions of 2D works in any medium (except moving image) based on the exhibition’s theme are sought from artists working in the south west region.

Shortlisted artworks will be showcased at the University’s Streatham Campus 11th -18th June 2017.
One of the shortlisted works will receive an award of £500 chosen by the selection panel. This will be announced at the exhibition launch.

A visitors’ choice award of £200 for an artwork selected by visitors to the exhibition will be awarded at the end of the exhibition.

Outline Information

  • Artists may be emerging or professional
  • They must be 18+
  • Entrants must be living in the South West
  • There is an entry fee (non-refundable) of £8 (£5 students)
  • Each entrant may submit one piece of 2D work in any medium (excluding moving image)
  • All work submitted must be original and by the artist
  • Artwork submitted must reflect the exhibition title and relate to one of the University's Research Themes as listed above
  • All work must be appropriately presented and able to be fixed with mirror plates
  • The maximum size of work is 90cm x 90cm including frame
  • The deadline for submission of work and payment is midnight on Friday 31st March 2017
  • Work selected for exhibition may be for sale but this is not a condition for entry
  • No commission will be charged by the University for sales
Please see the section 'How to Enter' for full entry details.

How to Enter

Entry is by on-line submission only at allowing artists to upload an image of their artwork for consideration by an invited panel of selectors. The system will also take entry payments.  Please note that you will be asked to register with the online system before you can enter your artwork.

Key Dates

31 March 2017 midnight - Deadline for submissions

18 April - Selected Artists informed by email

2 - 3 June, 10am-1pm – Work delivered to  University of Exeter, Streatham Campus

11 June – Exhibition opens at University of Exeter Forum

12 June – Launch event 6-8pm

18 June – Exhibition closes 5pm

23 - 24 June, 10am-1pm – Collection of work from University of Exeter, Streatham Campus


Selected work

Shortlisted artists will be required to deliver their work to the University of Exeter (Streatham Campus) on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June between 10am – 1pm. It will not be possible to bring your work at any other time.

All selected work must be ready to hang with mirror plates positioned half-way down the frame. Work will not be accepted if it is in clip frames.

All selected work must remain on display for the duration of the exhibition including any pieces which are sold during the exhibition.

Selected work may be reproduced in a variety of media for promotional material  in connection with the exhibition and the University of Exeter.

All displayed work must be collected from the University of Exeter on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June between 10am and 1pm. The University has no provision for the storage of unclaimed work.


Programme of Activity

During the week of the exhibition, there will be a programme of associated events including an activity day on Saturday 17th June around the University campus.


Terms and Conditions

By completing the online registration process for the University of Exeter Open Exhibition 'The Observatory:perspectives on landscape, society and spirit', you acknowledge that you have read, understood and accept the Terms and Conditions of entry below:



       Image: Nanoslits by Choon How Gan