Exhibtion Bursaries: 15 Frames Open Call

The 100 Swimmers – Attillio Fiumarella

Closing date extended until 21st November


15 Frames is an Arts Council England supported exhibition programme based at Darkroom Birmingham in Balsall Heath, South Birmingham. The project aims to expand and consolidate our existing community of photographers, to respond to their practical needs, and to make the space and facilities more accessible and sustainable.


As part of the programme, two artists will be offered cash Bursaries, studio time, and mentoring and production support, to stage exhibitions in the Old Print Works galleries. Two proposals will be selected from responses to this Open Call. Applications are welcomed from anyone working with photography, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or age.


Since 2012, Darkroom Birmingham has offered traditional analogue photography facilities to those in the West Midlands needing access to such space. We have hosted a wide range of projects and exhibitions, in collaboration with a various institutional and third sector partners. It housed Some Cities, a broad scale participatory photography project, run by Andrew Jackson and Darkroom Birmingham founder Dan Burwood, between 2013 and 2016, through which Attillio Fiumarella was commissioned to make the Swimmers, at Moseley Road Baths, one of the selected images for A Portrait of Humanity 2020. 

15 Frames will concurrent with the Moseley Road Cultural Activity Zone, and exhibitions will coincide with the 6 ‘Second Saturday’ events, between October 2021 and March 2022, when a collective of cultural organisations will coordinate activities alongside local businesses to draw people to the varied and exciting offer of Balsall Heath’s Moseley Road.


The intention of the bursaries is to provide opportunities for the exhibition of existing photographic projects, analogue or digital, in ways that might be unlikely otherwise, and that make good use of the equipment and facilities here. The selected artists will each receive a bursary of £1000, and a negotiated materials budget of up to £250. Each artist is invited to run a half day workshop relating to their exhibition, and select works for a limited edition print sale. There is no additional budget for transport or accommodation, so the bursaries are aimed at artists living and working in the West Midlands, however this is not an absolute requirement.

Darkroom Birmingham has always been intended to facilitate exhibition of diverse and progressive photographic practice, and as such contains a range of resources that allow latent projects to be actualised: analogue and digital processing facilities, frames, and presentation equipment; a network of partners and audience; project management experience, critical and curatorial input, space, and a mutually supportive network of photographers and artists. These bursaries are not to commission new work. They aim to platform and celebrate the engaged work of photographers practicing independently, to pilot efficient ways to bring grassroots work to diverse audiences, and to broaden the exhibition stage, for new artists and audiences.

Application Details:

If you’re interested in applying, please email info@darkroombirmingham.co.uk with:

– Up to 12 low resolution (1200 pixels longest edge) images of the project you’d like to show in a pdf or slide show;

-A maximum of 300 words to accompany or contextualise your work;

-A CV;

-How you’d like the work to be presented, or a curatorial rationale, maximum 200 words.

The deadline for submissions is 30th October 2021. 21st November
Successful artists will be notified by: 1st December 2021.
The exhibitions will take place between November 2021 and March 2022.

Successful artists will be selected by Nicola Shipley, (GRAIN), Jennie Anderson (Argentea Gallery) and photographers Maryam Wahid, and Dan Burwood.