New for 2018, the SPILL OPEN was aimed at early makers and artists whose practices may have been overlooked, regardless of age, working in between or across forms, and with something meaningful to say. It offered opportunities for exceptional artists or groups to present work as part of SPILL Festival last Autumn. We aim to support makers whose work is grounded in generosity – to audiences, peers and cultural dialogues.

The SPILL OPEN replaced the SPILL National Platform, which ran from 2009 to 2016 in London and Ipswich. When we created the SPILL National Platform it was a deliberate opening up of politicised, high-visibility space for artists creating new performance at a time when artist-led contextualised opportunities for live art were seriously limited across the country. During the years it ran the National Platform supported 148 artists and groups, to audiences of thousands.

A decade on, everything had changed. A new generation of artists are active within the field of performance who were kids when SPILL started. Some have studied live art at college or university before becoming makers, producers and commentators. Coupled with the widespread integration of social media, we observe a significant shift in what live art is and where it gets created. And Brexit has prompted us to re-question notions of nationhood and national provision.

We also observed huge potential in the hybrid results artists are achieving by deliberately working across forms, blending concerns and disciplines in new and exciting ways. As a result, we took the learning from a decade of making the SPILL National Platform and built the SPILL OPEN in its place.


The SPILL OPEN is open to artists of any age, based anywhere, undertaking considered formal experimentation and / or investigation through research, that seek to offer some new ways of looking or thinking about the world and how we are in it together. It will support work which is considered and meaningful. We are also keen to hear from people specifically developing new forms tailored to the needs of kids or teenagers.