Due to a flurry of new interest- we are extending the deadline.

POST work by 22 April

Let’s keep the forest growing!

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN for 2d artwork to be included in the upcoming exhibition ‘England is a Forest’ curated by Small Works Art Gallery at Sluice [Vernacular] Colchester, 2024. Please read the following for more details and submission guidelines.

Sluice [Vernacular] Colchester, 2024

Developed in partnership with We Are The Minories, Sluice [Vernacular] Colchester 2024 will feature exhibitions, performances, screenings and talks throughout Colchester town centre utilising cultural, municipal, and unoccupied commercial sites. Sluice 2024 is an aggregation of artist and curator-led and non-profit organisations and initiatives. The three day event will launch 13 June and take place 14,15,16 June 2024.

 England is a Forest by Small Works Art Gallery (SWAG)

For this event, SWAG will be creating an illustrated forest of small paintings or drawings of trees from around England (and the wider UK) submitted through a free open call. We endeavour to accept all submissions as a democratic contrarian to the status quo of the traditional exhibition model. However, it is important to read the Submission Guidelines carefully before submitting work.

The artwork must represent an actual tree and be labelled with its geolocation, postcode or what3words, so that we may mark its territorial specificity on a map. We also ask that artists attempt to label the species of tree, if possible. See Submission form.

Taking inspiration from the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Inventory, we will create a virtual and physical map of our illustrated forest. By casting a large net and accepting as many entries as possible, we not only maximise participation but also materialise the idea of a forest- from young hands to veteran artists, the level of skill would represent new and old growth woodlands. We will also expand the exhibition into an ever-growing forest through digital archiving as a virtual map and gallery.

Vernacular refers to a regional dialect, thought to be seen as of lower status than a more codified language. This exhibition reflects the theme by reaching out to individuals across diverse regions more as a celebration of a shared love of nature than a spotlight on a particular skillset. The shared vernacular of these disparate abilities and productions is in the language of trees and pride of place. Our  hope is that this is an opportunity for individuals to take time to closely engage with their environment and inspire the same in others.

Submission Guidelines

  • Open to artists based in England and the wider UK- so long as the tree represented is an actual tree that exists in England and can be labelled with its location via geolocation, postcode or what3words. (See Submission form).
  • Artist can be at any stage of their career.
  • Only one artwork submission per artist is allowed.
  • Maximum size of artwork is A4 /20x30cm.
  • We are accepting original, unique, unframed works including painting, drawing, or mixed media. We will not accept photography, digital artworks or digital prints or editions.
  • It is free to submit, but artist is responsible for shipping costs. To keep costs to a minimum we encourage works on paper, but are open to alternative surfaces as long as it can be wall-mounted.
  • Artwork & submission form must be sent to: Small Works, PO Box 80775, London, SW2 9QU
  • Deadline to post work is 15 April 2024.  22 April! We cannot ensure that work posted after this date will be received or accepted.
  • By submitting an artwork, artist agrees to have the work included in an online exhibition, as well as digital map and archive.
  • Artist understands that while we endeavour to exhibit all submitted works that meet the criteria in our online exhibition, map and archive, we may use our curatorial discretion for the physical exhibition and publication, therefore not all work is guaranteed in the physical exhibition or publication.
  • Upon submission, artist agrees to commit their artwork to remain with SWAG for the course of the project, up to January 2025- after which, we will arrange return shipment as needed.
  • Artist is responsible for return shipping, but will have the option to offer the work for sale. See below for more information on this option and be sure to fill out the submission form accordingly.
  • Artist acknowledges that work is sent at their own risk, and while SWAG will take the utmost care of work while in our possession, ultimately we are not liable for missing or damaged work due to shipping or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Artists are responsible for insuring their work, which can be done through A-N, Axisweb or the Artists’ Union.
  • The physical exhibition will launch 13 June 2024 and run until 16 June 2024 as part of the 3 day art festival: Sluice [Vernacular] Colchester 2024.
  • Artists agree that SWAG and Sluice shall have the non-exclusive unlimited right to reproduce their artwork in the advertising and promotion of the event including on our websites, via printed promotion and/or through third-party websites or applications (such as instagram).
  • All other rights to the work are reserved by the artist. The artist retains copyright to the work.
  • Artists also agree to receive updates about the project via email, but can opt-out anytime.

 What if I want to offer the work for sale?

  • In an additional effort to offset the cost of shipping, and to contribute to your survival as an artist, we are happy to offer your work for sale, under the following circumstances. Please read carefully.
  • Artist must be over 18 years of age.
  • Selected artworks will be available for sale via our website after the physical exhibition.
  • If selected for sale on the website, artist agrees to consign artwork exclusively with SWAG for up to one year with a 60/40 commission split in favour of the artist.
  • SWAG will handle the sale and all shipping arrangements. Shipping will be at the cost of the buyer.
  • Artist will be notified of sale and asked to invoice SWAG in order to be paid in a timely manner.
  • If the artwork sells, it will remain on the virtual exhibition, map and archive.
  • If the artwork does not sell after the one year consignment, artist may have the option to pay for return shipment or extend consignment.
  • SWAG also reserves the right to return work that either doesn’t meet the criteria or isn’t appropriate to the project. SWAG may also cancel consignment at any time and return work at the cost of the artist.

Curator statement

Small Works Art Gallery is an artist-led curatorial platform led by Monica Perez Vega and Sylwia Narbutt. As artist-curators, we understand this project is experimental and takes a bit of risk and trust on the part of the artist. We are curiously excited by the gamble into the unknown and look forward to seeing the variety of work that will tumble through our post-box. Our mission is to fill the exhibition space at Sluice [Vernacular] Colchester 2024 with a wild and wonderful illustrated forest whilst simultaneously creating a virtual map and archive. We envision expanding this forest over time into future iterations of the project. If you have any questions, please email

It is vital that with your artwork, you attach the SUBMISSION FORM. 


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