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Uncertain States are proud to announce the nine artists selected by our panel for Uncertain States Open 2016 exhibition at Mile End Art Pavilion

Lydia Goldblatt selected by James Russell Cant, Chris Dorley Brown selected by Cathy Lomax, Klaus Thymann selected by Joy Gregory, Nick Sargeant selected by Bob and Roberta Smith, Aviv Yaron selected by Susan Derges, Stephanie Jamieson selected by Shoair Mavlian, Liz Orton selected by Sue Steward, Sam Ivin selected by Johanna Neurath and Jonty Sale selected by Uncertain States.

We asked each selector to champion one artist. There was no discussion, no consensual compromises, just an individuals’ passion for each of the works finally chosen. Our congratulations to these artists and thanks to our selectors, who are commended for offering their time to a grueling task to champion one artist each from an exceptional level of submissions. Thanks to everyone for submitting, we were over joyed to see some very exciting projects from artists around the country.

UCS Open Call 2016/ Nine

4 – 12 November 2016
Private view Thursday 3 November 2016 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Mile End Art Pavilion
Clinton Road, London
E3 4QY

The Judges

The work is curated by an exceptional panel of selectors and exhibited in the heart of the East End at Arts Pavilion Mile End. Each judge will select their own best of show and offer the reasons why the work has inspired them. The selected work will also be published in issue 27 of Uncertain States broadsheet which is distributed nationally.

Shoair Mavlian

Shoair MavlianBW

Shoair Mavlian is a curator at Tate Modern, London, focusing primarily on photography. Shoair researches acquisitions for the international collection whilst curating exhibitions and displays across Tate Modern. She co-curated the major exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography (Tate Modern, London, 2014) and the collaborative exhibition Project Space: A Chronicle of Interventions (Tate Modern, London and TEOR/éTica, Costa Rica, 2014). Shoair has also worked on many of the photography displays of the permanent collection across Tate Modern including New Documentary Forms (2011), Lewis Baltz and Carl Andre (2012), Harry Callahan (2013), Charlotte Posenenske and Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (2014) and Close Up: Identity and the Photographic Portrait (2015). Her independent writing is regularly published in journals and magazines and recent independent curatorial projects include the exhibition In flux (Kanellopoulos Cultural Centre, Greece, 2015).

Shoair has a background in fine art photography practice and the history of photography focusing on the twentieth century. She has a strong interest in photography relating to conflict and memory, Central and Latin American photography and emerging contemporary practice.

Joy Gregory

Joy Mt TiedeBW

Born in England to Jamaican parents, Joy Gregory’s work has been influenced by a combination of race, gender and aesthetics often reflecting on issues colonization and its effects on culture and identity politics.  She attended the Royal College of Art where she was awarded a Masters in Photography in 1986.  Gregory has exhibited and worked internationally featuring in many biennales and festivals as well as receiving numerous awards.

She was shortlisted for the Mary Seacole Memorial –a major sculpture commission for London and the General Election Artist Commission in 2015. In 2002, Gregory received the NESTA Fellowship, which enabled her to pursue a long-term project around endangered language. The first work from this research ‘Gomera’ was premiered at the 2010 Sydney Biennale and forms part of a major survey show and touring exhibition -Lost Languages and other stories, which opened at Impressions Gallery, Bradford.  Gregory is currently in the Kalahari working on the second part of the series. Her work is featured in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Yale University, New Haven.  She lives and works in London.

Sue Steward

Sue Steward. Byline.

Sue Steward is a writer and critic, radio broadcaster, photo-editor and mentor, lecturer, exhibition curator. Sue Steward’s focus on photography covers many years with newspapers from Observer to Telegraph to editing The Times supplement ‘Raconteur’ and magazines including BJP, Photo Monitor, Next Level, Black and White Photography and State 22.  For a decade, she was photography critic for the Evening Standard. With international Festivals and Fairs as well as Britain’s, she judges competitions and portfolio reviews, runs talks, and writes for books and magazines.

Cathy Lomax


Cathy Lomax is a London based artist, writer and curator. On completing a MA in Fine Art at Central St Martins in 2002 she set up Transition Gallery in East London. She also edits two art and culture magazines, Arty and Garageland.

Lomax was Abbey Painting Fellow at the British School at Rome in 2014 and was shortlisted for the East London Painting Prize in 2015 and 2014. Her recent solo exhibition, American Tan, was at Dolph, London SW2 (Sep 2015). Recent group exhibitions include Contemporary British Drawing, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, China (2015); British Low Culture, Honey Ramka, Brooklyn, USA (2014); Stowaway, Weekend Gallery, LA, USA (2014) and Misdirect Movies, Royal Standard Liverpool (2013).

James Russell Cant

James Russell CantBW

James Russell Cant is an artist and lecturer. He has been actively involved in Uncertain States for many years. James Russell Cant’s practice revolves around themes of subjectivity, identity, memory and time. His editorial images have appeared widely and his work has been exhibited by, amongst others, The Photographers Gallery and in The National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Prize. He is Senior Lecturer in Photography at Norwich University of the Arts.


Bob and Roberta Smith

Patrick brillBW

Patrick Brill, better known by his pseudonym Bob and Roberta Smith, is a British contemporary artist, writer, author, musician, art education advocate and keynote speaker. He is an associate professor at Sir John Cass Department of Art at London Metropolitan University and has been curator of public art projects, like Art U Need. He was curator for the 2006 Peace Camp and created the 2013 Art Party to promote contemporary art and advocacy. His works have been exhibited and are in collections in Europe and the United States. Brill co-founded The Ken Ardley Playboys and hosts the Make Your Own Damn Music radio show. Recent works include Make Art Not War, which belongs to the Tate collection; and Letter to Michael Gove. He was an Artist Trustee of Tate between 2009 and 2013, and he is currently a trustee for the National Campaign for the Arts, and a patron of the NSEAD. He has recently been elected to be a Royal Academician.

Johanna Neurath

Johanna NeurathBW

Johanna Neurath is Design Director and also a Commissioning Editor at Thames & Hudson publishers. She has worked in illustrated book publishing for 30 years, as a picture editor, designer, art director and commissioning editor.  Books recently commissioned  include: Family Photography Now, May 2016; Arcadia Britannica – British Folk Portraits, June 2015; Tokyo Camera Style, February 2015; Photographers’ Sketchbooks October 2014.

In 2015 Hoxton Mini-press published “Columbia Road” a book of her own street photographs.

When not making books, or helping others to do the same, she is an active member of London’s photography community. A founder member of London’s Photo Meet she’s also a regular portfolio reviewer at International photo festivals such as Les Rencontres  d’Arles, Houston Fotofest, Format Photo Festival and Stockholm Photography Week, She has been honorary judge at the World Photography Awards and D&AD Next Photographer.


Susan Derges

Dropbox - P128-165.JPG

Susan Derges began her career as a painter working in London and Berlin in the 1970’s and moved to Japan in 1980 where she developed the cameraless approach to photography for which she has become internationally renowned. Cycles of life, death, and change, and their relationship to physical experience are explored through visual metaphors that borrow from science, nature, psychology and art.

She is currently working on a series titled Tide Pools, which has been developed with assistance from the department of Marine biology University of Plymouth and is visiting professor of photography at the University of Plymouth.

Publications include:
“Liquid Form”, Michael Hue Williams, London.
“Woman Thinking River”, Fraenkel Gallery San Fransisco.  “Elemental”, Steidl, Gottingen.  “Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography”, V&A/Merrell, London.



Terms and Conditions

The call is open to anyone (aged 18 or over on the 12th July 2016) who is a practising photographer or lens-based artist residing in the UK.

The nine selected artists will be contacted by August 31st. All unsuccessful applications for the exhibition will be considered for future publication.


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 artist’s statement.
  4. A non-refundable £20 application fee for the first three images submitted or £25 for up to the maximum of 5  submitted images.

Following the selection process, all selected artists will be notified by the 31st August 2016

Uncertain States will contact the artists selected for the final exhibition with full delivery details for their work.


  • 14th July 2016: Deadline for entry.
  • 31st August 2016: The nine selected artists notified.
  • 31st October 2016: Delivery of work to Art Pavilion Mile End
  • Thursday 3rd November 2016: Private View and Exhibition opens to public.
  • The work selected for exhibition must be available from 20th October 2016


The Prize is open to all living British and international artists residing in the U.K. over the age of 18 years old on 14th July 2016.  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 endeavour to retain packaging for all work where possible.  Artists are reminded to clearly mark their packaging with their name. While every endeavour 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.