Sussex Guild Designer Makers 2014

Professional designer makers of contemporary and traditional crafts. Summer 2014 programme of events.

Professional designer makers of contemporary and traditional crafts.

Parham House and Gardens 7-8 June

Michelham Priory 31 July – 3 August

Pashley Manor Gardens 23-25 August

Ditchling Village Hall and Church 6-7 September

Hurstpierpoint College 2-3 November

Midhurst Rother College 29-30 November

Brighton and Hove 2014: Fourth weekend

Our fourth weekend’s art trailing

Saturday 24th May

Graham Fletcher
Graham Fletcher

Rottingdean + Downs 4: The Grange Art Gallery
A threatening weather forecast and torrential rain this morning, but we decided to strike out to Rottingdean by bus for the art exhibition at the Grange. Just as we arrived the sun came out, so naturally our first stop was the old walled garden for apple cake, ice cream and a pot of tea. Upstairs for the exhibition in the William Nicholson Art Gallery – my favourites:
Julie Elliott – Quiet, delicate watercolours – the purple-toned seascape ‘After the Storm’
Philip Sugg – miniature theatres
Graham Fletcher – gutsy oil paintings of men at work, farriers, shire horses and ‘real’ people. ‘Iron, Lead, Wood, Stone and Light’ especially struck a chord
Jan Mnich – detailed botanical watercolour ‘Shannopin Iris’
Zan Stevenson – oil painting ‘Pooh Sticks’ escaping onto the frame
Amanda Davidson – dreamy pen and wash ‘The Old Fortress Kassiopi Corfu’

Back onto the bus to Brighton’s Lewes Crescent, a work of art in itself, and round to

Kemptown 10: Rock Apartment
The brochure calls it this a ‘fabulous apartment’, and it’s justified. Prolific artists Ethne Greenfield Clarke and Lyndsey Pearson’s exhibition illustrate their travels and love of dance, and their sketchbooks are just fascinating to leaf through. Belle Hamilton’s jewellery, too – a real joie de vivre at this venue.

Kemptown 9: Number 3
A house with a history, hosting Maggie Barradell’s striking oils – loved the appropriately threatening clouds of ‘Push on Through’
Downstars for an unexpected Mad Hatter’s tea party – tea and miniature cakes for a donation to Rockinghorse appeal.

Tony Mills
Tony Mills

Kemptown 8: Tony Mills and Friends
To this great corner apartment on the seafront, next.
Emma de Polnay – dancers’ movement and poses captured with a swift, deft touch.
Tony Mills – impressions of his travels in Britain and the USA; dark and stormy skies, a twister, angry clouds and redeeming light.

Fringe Venue 178: Jay Collins
We spotted a helpful banner and followed it to this venue, showcasing Jay Collins paintings of Brighton, especially the pub series always painted from life, never from photos. Gouache, watercolours and woodcuts.

Sunday 25th May

Caia Matheson
Caia Matheson

Star venue: Beyond the Level 10: Glass in Fusion
Always a treat and one of my star venues, this pair of working artists’ studios again features:
Brighton Artist of the Year Caia Matheson – enter this oil painter’s studio and you’re instantly surrounded by paint, including floor, ceiling and sofa, and fascinating multi-layered colours and tones – especially liked ‘Wisdom Lies Beneath the Light’ and Caia’s new series of petite sun-dappled green forests ‘Shimmer’, ‘Manifesting’ and ‘All That Glitters.’
Stephanie Else – my favourite glass designer, showing wall panels and platters, jewellery and dishes, in her glorious trademark colour and metallic sheen so often inspired by the sea.
Ptolemy Elrington – imaginative hub cap creatures
Chocadyllic – chocolate art

Beyond the Level 9: 99
Enter an idyllic English crafty world, a hive of activity with dainty, quirky fun stuff everywhere: fairies, ceramics, jewellery and clothes and and the best cake of the month – lime and coconut cake in the tea garden, complete with utterly charming his and her sheds. Particularly attractive:
Helaina Sharpley – 3D wire ‘drawings’ of cups and spoons on their own little hooks

Beyond the Level 8: Jennifer Beresford
Jennifer Beresford – meticulously observed Dungeness and Brighton scenes in incredible detail
Chris Burchell Collins – garden sculptures in rusted metal and weathered wood

Fiveways 12: David Williams and Guest Artists
Landscapes, sea and sky in hyper-realistic colour-enhanced acrylics.
Through the sculpture and ceramic garden to the studio for sketchbook works in progress.

Fiveways 11: Rex Matthews
Elegant house showing painting, sculpture and ceramics. Favourites here:
Claire Morris – sculptures in Portland stone and white Carara marble in the garden
Peta Taylor – delicate brush and pen studies of woodland scenes

Fiveways 10: Sylph Baier
A smaller, more intimate show than in previous years, featuring Sylph’s 50’s-toned tableware and a selection of guest ceramicists.

Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell

Beyond the Level: 12 Ravenswood
A great selection of visual arts here, and for me the highlight was the chance to see Chris Riddell’s children’s book illustrations beside some of his published books. Liked the idea of selling black and white prints for £1 for charity for children to colour.

We finished our day passing several hours back at Caia Matheson’s closing Pimms party.

Monday 26th May

A few venues, notably Hove Arts, were still open today.

Hove Arts 1: Dion Salvador Lloyd
A return visit to Dion’s accomplished show and the news that two of his paintings, Lullaby and Totora, have been accepted for the Royal Academy’s 2014 summer exhibition.

An accomplished show, as ever, from this nationally-exhibited artist. The natural palette of muted tones are inspired and echoed by arrangements of shell, flint, driftwood and bone throughout Dion and Emma’s home, recently featured in the new book, ‘Home for Now’ by Joanna Thornhill.

Donating a painting on a postcard to Martlets Hospice and Rotary Club mystery art auction in June 2013 inspired Dion to create more swift, of-the-moment smaller scale oils on paper, a terrific contrast to his established style of oils layered and built up over time. ‘Hibernia,’ a hefty moody stormy oil on canvas, deserves its centre stage.

Ceramic pieces by Gilles le Corre and Ian Gregory complement the painting.

Margrit Clegg
Margrit Clegg

Hove Arts 10: 9a Hove Place
A spacious apartment with a real wow factor. Ceramic that looks like wood, painting that looks like stone – a harmonious blend of texture and tone referencing the ancient world and a range of different cultures. Particularly loved Margrit Clegg’s multi-media paintings in earth tone and texture, with a feel of Ancient Greek temples and sunbaked stone.

Hove Arts 9: Unseen Splendour
Sadly, this venue was unable to open this year – hope to see the show next Festival.

Hove Arts 8: Boxbird Studios
Another welcoming working studio, home to printers and illustrators, opening for the first time. We bought a copy of Wishing for Tomorrow, by Hilary McKay [a sequel to ‘A Little Princess’], illustrated by exhibitor Nick Maland. Also noticed Graham Carter’s gold foil owl print and ‘Yeti Hibernation’

Star Venue: Brunswick Town 10: George Douglas at 14 Sillwood
And appropriately we end our 2014 Artists’ Open House festival with a return visit to our favourite venue, for us, the hit of the festival.

After my first visit, I wrote:

‘The house tells the extraordinary story of Speedy George Douglas, one of the photography greats, whose archive has been preserved, restored and now shown in its rightful place; his own home. A highly desirable house, showing fascinating monochrome imagery of some of the most famous faces of the 20th century. Film stars, writers and fashion icons, starlets, showgirls and Goons – he photographed them all. Enjoy the photograph of Mary Quant while you sit on her very own leather sofa.

Helpful descriptions and quotations, all looking as if they have been bashed out on a vintage typewriter, his own cameras and faded hand-prints add to the atmosphere, amid spanking new prints from the original negatives.

It seems his heirs have only scratched the surface of the story and the archive – the tantalising news is that they are still digging more out of boxes and that there will be more pictures coming for the final weekend. We’ll be back to this major discovery of international importance in social and artistic history.’

We returned to see twelve more new pictures to complete May’s show – just a fraction of the work waiting to be revealed.

A must-see.

And on that note …. see you at Christmas 2014.


Brighton and Hove 2014: Third weekend

Our third weekend art trailing through Brighton and Hove

Bob Lazell
Bob Lazell

Some venues just don’t fit the brief of weekend artist’s open house – which is fine if you have weekday lunchtimes in the centre of Brighton and the urge to look at some art, because several of the central Brighton area venues are open other than at weekends only.

Dynamite Gallery: Robert Lazell
An exhibition of science fiction book cover paintings by Robert Lazell. Although not an open house, this show advertises in the brochure so I’m including my visit here.
So interesting to note the composition to allow space for the book title and author name above images of space ships and other mysterious craft, alien planets and lifeforms. For a child of the 70s these paintings are hugely evocative, and what a pleasure to meet the artist and find that an encyclopaedia of science fiction that I still have features his work. While I did feel that some of the paintings were in need of remounting and reframing to showcase and protect the art as it deserves as a part of social and literary as well as art history, this show comes highly recommended.

Central Brighton 7: In Dreams David Nicholls
Brighton Jubilee Library foyer is hosting this contemplative show of drawings, paintings and dream-inspired imagery throughout the month.

Susan Evans
Susan Evans

Central Brighton 4: Susan Evans @ Gallery 40
This welcoming little gallery on a North Laine corner hosts two shows this Festival. I visited Susan Evans’ exhibition of oil paintings – a big canvas theme of sky, cloud and landscape, a birds eye view of the skies and was drawn to:
#6 – After Storm – boiling clouds with sun breaking through in soft focus
#16 – Low Light – apocalyptic clouds and light over a shadowy city

Central Brighton 14: The Warehouse Gallery
So sorry to see that the gallery has closed down. Hope to see a renaissance, as this looked like it would have been a great show.

Saturday 17th May

With the temperature hotting up we headed for Hove seafront to begin this afternoon’s trailing. These superb early 19th century terraces were apparently built as facades and then developed as the buyer wished, meaning that each one is different inside. Brighton may feel like a town helping police with their enquiries, but you can sense Hove’s slightly faded grandeur here, its memories of high fashion and aristocratic patronage.

Brunswick Town 6: John and Jane Weaver
Lovely to meet this couple who have lived and painted together over 50 years in this apartment just packed with painting. John creates abstract work inspired by cricket, science and Mozart, while Jane’s storytelling maze paintings invite you to gaze for some time. We left with quite a few cards.

Brunswick Town 7: Borderline Studios
So much going on here in this busy working ceramic studio tucked away behind a church opposite the Iron Duke. I liked
Halinka Tyszko – Ceramic sea horse water fountains
Kathy Laird – pierced porcelain lamps and jugs
BB – simple cut and folded ceramic bowls

Brunswick Town 9: 34 Norfolk Square
A family friendly house full of painting, photography and print, textiles and homewares with a feel of 1950’s nostalgia.
Tea and gingerbread men in the walled garden 80p.

George Douglas
George Douglas

Star Venue: Brunswick Town 10: George Douglas at 14 Sillwood
We’d begun today with only one destination in mind, having been recommended to visit by so many friends – and for me, this is the find of the festival.

The house tells the extraordinary story of Speedy George Douglas, one of the photography greats, whose archive has been preserved, restored and now shown in its rightful place; his own home. A highly desirable house, showing fascinating monochrome imagery of some of the most famous faces of the 20th century. Film stars, writers and fashion icons, starlets, showgirls and Goons – he photographed them all. Enjoy the photograph of Mary Quant while you sit on her very own leather sofa.

Helpful descriptions and quotations, all looking as if they have been bashed out on a vintage typewriter, his own cameras and faded hand-prints add to the atmosphere, amid spanking new prints from the original negatives.

It seems his heirs have only scratched the surface of the story and the archive – the tantalising news is that they are still digging more out of boxes and that there will be more pictures coming for the final weekend. We’ll be back to this major discovery of international importance in social and artistic history. A must-see.

Sunday 18th May

Independent 18: Revelation at St John’s
A return visit to this engrossing show by Anneliese Clarke – see my write up at Second Weekend.

Fiveways 4: Eva Wibberley and Friends
Painting and sculpture abound in house and garden. Tea and chunky apple cake £2.50 in the sculpture garden, surrounded by ceramic figures, clematis and herbs. Noted
Krysia Drury – Flamboyant watercolours of blowsy flowers
Eva Wibberley and and Debbie Zoutewelle – oil paintings in luminous colour

Independent 21: Jesse Leroy Smith
Jesse’s challenging and enigmatic paintings and drawings of faces and nudes are joined by fantasy Alice in Wonderland storytelling photographs by photographer Becky Netley. Part of the AOH young artist pilot project, Becky also works with the Art in Mind mental health group.

Independent 26: Artists on the Move
A family of artists welcome you to view a cool and welcoming show of contemporary painting, drawings and video.

Babara Spurr
Barbara Spurr

Beyond the Level 13: Hummingbird Studio
Another busy urban studio, usually home to working artists and courses. The festival showcases painting, ceramics, jewellery and wood, in particular:
Barbara Spurr’s energetic and vital painting, sweeps of colour and dark line evoking winter and summer landscapes.
Into the sun trap terrace garden for Bebe Bird’s tall pierced tree vases, and into the studio for her little ceramic pebble ‘fossils’, each with a miniature shell
Rather missed seeing the latest stained glass work from previous exhibitor Tim Gill, but did like Jose Heasman’s golden-toned stained glass moth.

Brighton and Hove 2014: Second weekend

Continue reading for this weekend’s reviews

Paul Tuppeny
Paul Tuppeny

Friday 9th May

We started our art weekend early with a private view of Gallitt Shaltiel’s black and white print exhibition Talking Under Water at Caffe Moksha. Paper cut-outs, light and dark, exploring depression and modern living with surprisingly engaging effect – I particularly liked the shadowed poster image.

Saturday 10th May

Crafty Old Crow Opposite 12 Seafield Road
We began with a pop up craft show, not in the brochure but as I do like a piratical air …
Hand knitted mermaids, flowers, animals and Eddie Stobart trucks and little faux leather animals.

Deryk Parkin
Deryk Parkin

Star Venue: Independent 7: Stables Studio
A previous Best Open House and Garden award winner, Deryk Parkin’s extraordinary house, garden and body of work always amazes with its range and impact. This former stable is a spacious studio below and a flat with immense oak floorboards above, rather like a captain’s cabin. Three different strands of work; great driftwood collage paintings of travels in the middle east and Europe evoking both alien planets and theatrical stage sets, with smooth carved stone sculptures and delicate pen and watercolours form a show not to be missed. Coffee and a little cake at £1.50 [powdered milk].

Paul Tuppeny
Paul Tuppeny

Brunswick 1: The Shed on the Beach
It’s a strangely blowy day in Hove; a horizontal wind means there are not many people on the seafront, and uninterrupted views of a silver sea are the perfect backdrop for this little venue, home to Paul Tuppeny’s exhibition of golden-mounted seafront oils on linen and walnut. ‘Wet Morning’ particularly appealed [bought the card…]

Independent 8: Albert Mews Studio
So many of the Hove venues are housed in the former stables that served the great terraced mansions of the early 19th century and are fascinating in themselves.
Here, there’s a real sense of friendship among this group of artists who were schoolgirls together. Handprinted hosiery, millinery and jewellery sit happily with painting, miniature blacksmithing, stationery, homeware, photography and woodcuts.

Brunswick 2: Studio323 Photography
If you like Hove architecture and classic 19th century buildings you’ll love this one – an antique lift, magnificent fireplace and staircase [and that’s just the entrance hall]. An accomplished photographic show in this elegant apartment, and some vintage cameras, each with a history worth hearing. Noticed
Francois B Stecque – Lush long-exposure landscapes
Ted Davis – iPhoneography – skewed pebble beach shot was so striking

Adrian Walker
Adrian Walker

Star Venue: Brunswick 4: Adrian Walker Arts
Adrian Walker is happy to declare himself a ‘huge Turner fan’ and the influence is clear in his large scale oils of mountains, sky and sea. Or perhaps forest – two viewers may see completely different images in one piece. Had a fascinating talk with the artist, who gave a sneak peek at some new small scale works in progress.
I preferred the muted, moody dark pieces to the paler pastel works, especially liking the Norse mythology-inspired ‘Thesan;’ mountains and sea, mist and darkness. Adrian later turned off the lights and closed the door so we could see how the daylight coming in through the skylight changed the mood and tones, each piece taking on a responsive light of its own.

Sylvaine Frouin
Sylvaine Frouin

Brunswick 3: Naked Eye Gallery and Farm Mews
Just up the road in the next mews is this secret artists’ colony of studios showing ceramics, leatherwork, painting and jewellery.
Sylvaine Frouin – unique pieces of jewellery, beautifully presented, I loved the pendant slotted into its own handpainted wooden home.
Mrs Hyde – unique leather pieces – ‘pay what your heart wants to’

Brunswick 5: 21a Brunswick Square
Down the steps to a surprise – a huge and highly desirable basement flat that might once have formed the servants’ quarters in this Hove mansion. Take a look at the garden too, especially the astonishing spiral staircase. But back to the point – highlights were
Finn Hopson – mysterious Sussex photography, especially ‘Tunnel’, shot in a sunken path with trees grown overhead at Halnaker. Eerie and slightly sinister, a Nazgul rider might just be about to come down the path …
Kate Benjamin – an old art meets a new one in vibrant scan prints of pressed flowers

Sunday 11th May

Sunday took us just north of Preston Park, concentrating on the Fiveways trail houses and independents in an area of imposing mid Victorian villas with some great gardens and, as the estate agents say, a host of original features for the cornice, fireplace and dado fan …

Independent 17: The Treasure Hunter and the Sculptress
A first-time open house hosting photography and sculpture.
Marek Olszevski – superior travel prints, I was especially taken with a shot of the Maldives in a thunderstorm
Dee Stanford – award winning sculptures that radiated a tactile, very striking and slightly scary anger: rusted screws in a ball and a series of rough hewn hearts pierced, stabbed and chained, each one, we were told, representing a real relationship.
Tea and Victoria sponge in the garden £3.

Lucy Parker
Lucy Parker

Fiveways 2: Art at 23
A house showcasing textiles, jewellery, painting and print. For me the two most interesting artists, both drawing inspiration from the ancient world:
Sara Rochelle – jewellery and figures inspired by the discovery of the body of the prehistoric man ‘Otzi’
Lucy Parker – luminous watercolours from travels in Malta and Greece, I loved the enigmatic studies of Ancient Greek helmets and the oldest house in the world.

Star Venue: Fiveways 3: John Whiting
A love of city life evident here in charcoal, pastel, pen and oil studies of Venice and Brighton and a series of stormy seafront monochrome prints. Plus a word for the chic presentation, in elegant matt black frames.
Guest photographers, sculptors and Will Turner’s delicate tiny golden 3D dragon – my overwhelming impression was that here is a big show that needs a bigger space – it must be in the air, because I learned that John will shortly be opening his own gallery at 35 North Road, Brighton. So looking forward to seeing what this artist and his contemporaries will be unveiling there.

Fiveways 7: 9 at 2: Back to Basics
Painting, pottery, jewellery and prints
Beccy Green – ‘Facial landscapes’, or moving and truthful small scale studies of real faces with all their quirks and flaws
Naomi Sack – beachcomber wall hangings composed of smooth pieces of weathered driftwood
This house always offers baby plants for sale in aid of Parkinson’s disease research.

Theresa Winchester
Theresa Winchester

Fiveways 6: Theresa Winchester and Friends
One of the busiest and most popular venues of the festival, this house always has a bustling commercial atmosphere with lots to look at, including ceramics, jewellery, cushions, mosaics and leather. Particularly striking:
Theresa Winchester – fairytale and storytelling in lino prints
Mick Hulme – wood carvings especially the tiny animals, oakleaf swags and Green Man face
Tea and cake from £1.75 on the little balcony overlooking the terraced sculpture garden

Fiveways 8: 31
Home of a rather fabulous garden with the most glamorous and distinctive pink staircase in town, I enjoyed tea and a scone with jam and cream at £2.50.
So much to see here and always an event, with a choir and demonstrations if you hit the right time. As well as ceramics, painting and print you’ll find unique leather bags, papier mache, brooches and beads and much more. Most memorable:
Jules Asch – ‘The Silvery’ – unique silvered shells, leaves and seedpod jewellery
Kate Osborne – cute little watercolour birds and bee prints.

Anneliese Clarke
Anneliese Clarke

Star Venue: Revelation at St John’s
Something extraordinary now; a project by Anneliese Clarke to illustrate the whole of the Book of Revelations, shown in the ideal backdrop of this Victorian church.
The sound of thunder and rain plays softly in the background as I walk round this terrific exhibition of paintings which are part of a major work in progress, an illuminated manuscript exploring the Book.  The seven churches are personified as Mucha-style female figures and the four horsemen loom out of the mist like cinematic characters. Ask to see the sketch book to track the artist’s thought and development of her vision for this illuminated manuscript in the making.
Marble resin horse sculptures by Linden Hamilton, all tortured intensity and vitality
To the other side of the church for Anneliese’s sea paintings and stained glass work
Green wood furniture by Carlos Gonzalez.
Tea and home made cake for a donation.

Linda Calvert
Linda Calvert

Fiveways 5: 2 Knoyle
A house celebrating the art of the ceramicist together with jewellery, painting and print.
A soft glow called me into the back room for Linda Calvert ‘s wrapped cylindrical ceramic lamps. Using the patterns left in the sand by the retreating sea, the natural impressions formed in the white clay conjure up galaxies, planets and flowing water.
Into the huge garden and the most superior shed, ceramicist Angela Evans’ studio showing vegetable ceramic tiles in jewel colours. Quite a genteel scrum round the seconds box, too.

Independent 19: Four Knoyle Road
Another first time open house, a great variety of painting and print, sculpture, ceramics and more. Most memorable:
Sarah Perry – A wall of tactile stoneware pots and platters, in sea green, turquoise and lavender tones with touches of bronze
Kara Sanches – and finally today, into the garden for a great big hippo!