Open Call for artworks that promote a sex-positive, thoughtful, innovative, and daring approach to the lived LGBTQ+ experience in 2024, or challenge HIV-related stigma. 

Submissions are invited from artists for Out of the strong, came forth sweetness, an exhibition taking place in autumn/winter 2024, celebrating art’s role in shaking stigma, fostering inclusivity, and sparking crucial conversations about sexual health and education. 

Initiated by Gay Health Network to mark 30 years of the organisation and curated by artist Brian Teeling, the exhibition will include both historical artworks and new works that embody the LGBTQ+ experience in the present day. Gay Health Network are a leading force in advocating for sexual health, HIV prevention, and inclusive sexual education, working in Ireland across the last four decades. 

Brian Teeling (b. 1987) is an Irish multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Dublin.
Entirely self-taught and without fine art qualifications, his work explores queer working-class dynamics, memory, and psychogeography. Teeling’s expansive practice often combines portraiture and poetics to reflect on romance, melancholy and petro-masculinity. 

This open call is launched in memory of Oliver Stanley, who died in April 1995 from AIDS- related complications. Oliver designed and appears on the flyer for the club Shaft, photographed by Conor Horgan. Conor has said of Oliver, “He was a vibrant, waspishly funny and deeply kind man, who made a real difference to many people’s lives in the gay community and beyond. Remembered with love by those that knew him.” 

Submissions should be pre-existing artworks, in any art form. Please note that all selected contributors will receive an artist fee, but this does not include a production budget for the making of new work.

Please submit the following in one PDF via email to

– Artist CV (including name, contact number, email, website, social media links)
– A short bio (100 words max)
– A short artist statement (100 words max)
– Details of artwork(s), up to 5 artworks (including title, year, medium, & dimensions for each) – 1–3 images of each artwork

– Details of any technical requirements for presentation of the artwork

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Thursday, 9th May 2024.

Artists from a diverse range of national, ethnic and cultural backgrounds are welcome to apply. Applications are particularly encouraged from people who are underrepresented
in arts and cultural spaces at present, including those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, people with Asian, Black, Traveller or minority ethnic heritage, asylum seekers, refugees, working class people, and people with disabilities or long term health conditions. Nationwide involvement of artists from various regions across Ireland is strongly supported.

The exhibition team is committed to removing barriers that may prevent your participation
in this opportunity, within our limited budget. Please include details in your application of any additional supports needed. If you would like to apply for this role in another format, such
as audio or video, we are happy to accommodate this. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Artists that are selected to exhibit work will be contacted by Friday 17th May 2024. If you do not hear from us by this date, unfortunately your work has not been selected. Due to the anticipated number of proposals and the limited capacities of the team, feedback is not possible on this occasion.


This project has received funding from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

Shaft club flyer designed by Oliver Stanley
Photo of Oliver Stanley on flyer by Conor Horgan, 1990

Curatorial support by Aisling Clark