April 10, 2018

Open Call | Syntonic State, TULCA Festival of Visual Arts 2018, Galway

Application deadline: 31 May

TULCA Festival of Visual Arts is pleased to announce details of its 2018 Open Call curated by Linda Shevlin titled Syntonic State.

‘Syntonic State’ takes dual cues from Galway’s merchant and mariner histories, and from the concept of nostalgia, with its cultural links to revelry and hedonism. The comfort we take in looking to the past – particularly during times of political and social crisis – forms the premise for multiple artistic responses.

Initially founded as a military base and urban site offering sanctuary to early colonists, Galway – derived from the Gaelic Gaillimh, meaning ‘Town of Strangers’ – ultimately became a settlement of foreign freemen. These historical developments arguably influenced the social and cultural diversity for which Galway has since become renowned. Thus, burgeoning trade routes and increased commerce influenced the evolution of Galway as a city, creating a newly-formed social stratum – that of the merchant classes.

Introduced in the seventeenth century, the term nostalgia denoted a common condition among Swiss mercenaries, who displayed symptoms of extreme homesickness, sentimental longing, or wistful affection for the past. Described then as a “disorder of the imagination”, nostalgia is now viewed as an emotion, rather than a physical condition. However, nostalgia does not always concern the past; it can be retrospective but also prospective. For many twentieth-century societies – including cultures that were globally displaced, marginalised from the cultural mainstream, or forged by eccentric traditions – a creative rethinking of nostalgia was not merely an artistic device, but a survival strategy. Such processes sought to make sense of the stateless condition, the impossibility of a homecoming, or a return to the halcyon days of a bygone era. This sense of grappling with displacement creates a desire to find one’s place in the world; to be ‘culturally syntonic’ – a psychology term denoting a person who is emotionally in harmony with their environment.

For full brief and application requirements see:

TULCA is curated through invited artistic participation and an Open Call process. The final selection of artworks will be based on thematic connection, artistic quality, and feasibility. There is no submission fee
Applications should be submitted via email to

Open Call | Syntonic State, TULCA Festival of Visual Arts 2018, Galway