Open Gallery began as a collective; with a group of core artist members who wanted to challenge their practice as filmmakers and the way that video artworks were commonly experienced.


At the heart of their work was a philosophy based on the principles explored by Open Gallery’s founder Hilary Lawson in his book Closure, published in 2001. Closure presented the idea that the world is open and we close that openness with thought and language.


United by the ambition to retain as much openness in their work as possible, Sanchita Islam, William Raban, Isabelle Inghilleri, Nina Danino and Tina Keane came together to define the principles that we today call video painting.


The camera is stationary. There can be no subsequent editing or manipulation of the image and there is no dialogue or sound to enforce meaning.


From the beginning, the group sought to create artworks that conceived as a body of work and arranged into series of video paintings. Computer scientist, William Sowerbutts was able to develop this format by building a bespoke computer system named The Laluna. This unique technology allowed the artists to play their work in non-sequential and an ever-evolving order. Thus, they could break free from the usual limitation of a repetitive loop.


Since its conception is 2005, Open Gallery has collaborated with an ever-widening pool of artists and found a home for its work within a multitude of venues. The gallery gained recognition from leading art galleries and has presented exhibitions and debates at the ICA and the Hayward Gallery. Open Gallery is also behind the prestigious ‘Open Prize’ whose winners have gone on to reach international acclaim.


Open Gallery’s mission has always been to lead the way in integrating video painting artworks into the wider world. Our installations have become a beloved feature within a diverse range of environments; enlivening hospitals, hotels, restaurants, offices, banks, residential properties and even swimming pools.


To find out more about Open Gallery’s Philosophy you can access our back catalogue of publications here.