studios for artists and creative businesses

Nerissa Cargill Thompson – Open Call Exhibition Winner 2022, Interview

Nerissa Cargill Thompson’s was the overall winner of the inaugural AWOL Studios X Comme Ca Art Open Call Exhibition 2022!
Her work ‘explores environmental issues like climate crisis, plastic pollution and waste through textile art using recycled materials and mixed media sculptures of textiles and concrete cast in the plastic packaging that we use and discard on a daily basis’

Nerissa kindly answered a few questions about her experience with our Open Call exhibition, check out her answers below:

1 . What is the importance of events like the Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios Open Call Exhibition?

Smaller open calls with affordable entry fees are important to me as my work isn’t highly commercial so unlikely to make the fee back in immediate sales but important to get my work out there. I liked that it was specifically North West artists. It is really nice to get into the big open calls like The Manchester Open that is currently on at HOME but very easy to get lost in the sheer amount of work. At Comme Ca Art x AWOL each work chosen felt honoured and raised up. I feel the selected works in previous years have been curious, interesting works produced with a high skill level

2 . What inspired you to enter our Open Call in particular?

It was mainly that part of the prize was working/showing with Comme Ca plus the quality of the external judging panel. It was good to get my work seen by them. Of course the prize money was also great and of a level that didn’t just cover my expenses so I was able, in the spirit of Artist Support Pledge, to spend 20% on adding to my own art collection. Claire at Comme Ca has many connections, a wealth of experience and an enthusiasm for getting artists’ work seen beyond galleries.

3 . Do you have any advice to artists on entering an Open Call?

There are so many open calls that it is important to choose ones that feel like the right opportunity for you as an artist as submission fees and hanging fees can really mount up. Read the details of drop offs/pick ups and hanging requirements especially if you don’t produce standard framed works. Some open calls expect sculptors to provide their own plinth. If possible, check out who is on the judging panel as an element of people’s tastes and interests does play a part. Are these people that you aspire to working with in the future? Take a look at previous year’s to feel the vibe. Could you imagine your work in there? I entered the first Comme Ca Art x AWOL one so I had nothing to go on but thankfully I took the risk. 

The AWOL Studios x Comme Ca Art Open Call Exhibition 2024 is live! For more info and entry, head here ~ Deadline 10.03.24
Hope Mill,
113 Pollard Street,
Manchester M4 7JA
© AWOL Studios.
Registered in England and Wales.
Company No. 07394568
Design by
Candoo Creative
Photography by
Richard Tymon