Artists Open Houses 2019 – third and forth weekends

Our third and fourth weekends on the 2019 AOH trail


Building our strength right now – we’re heading over to Fiveways Artists Open Houses trail this morning.

Seasoned trailers’ advice:

Comfy shoes.

Weather awareness.

A bag for carrying any must-have finds.

Plenty of cash – though some do credit cards, they may not always.

A huge appreciation of a cup of tea and some home made cake in a nice urban garden that you could do yourself.

A pen and your brochure.

Instagram, hashtag and @ the houses you visit – ask permission to photograph.

Have fun!

Artist’s Open House Dyke Road Arts Venue 4 56 Tivoli Crescent


A suprise – this TARDIS house built at the top of an impressive rise has a secret extra flat underneath leading to a sculpture garden with great views over Brighton.


Keith Pettit’s magnetically attractive wood engravings, inspired by Sussex woodland, countryside and town

Jill Leaney’s clever jewellery transformed from vintage silver cutlery and displayed on a collection of perfume bottles – presentation’s so important!

Moira Wills’ elegant printmaking

Artists Open House Seven Dials Venue 1 Birds and Blossom


Welcome to this new open house!

We loved Heidi Langridge’s charming, fresh studies of birds among flowers

Artists Open House Seven Dials Venue 2 Alizeti Creative


A secret garden discovery, and an intriguing show

Renee Graham Adriano’s delicate cut outs over cool, complex print

Natalia Stevenson-Oake’s tactile books

Jon Wilmington’s stone work and silver and bronze jewellery produced by the ancient casting method

Artists Open House Fiveways Venue 8 Theresa Winchester and Friends


A long established confident venue, Theresa’s fabulous animal character prints tell stories from childhood. Many friends too – Phoebe Sherwood’s woodland silver and wood jewellery, Carol Gilbert’s ceramics rainbow

Into the sculpture garden for a gorgeous courgette and lime cake and tea £3.50

Artists Open House Fiveways Venue 4 Eva Wibberley and Friends


Energy, sea and sky with a relaxed windswept feel and an outdoorsy freshness in house and garden. Paintings, sculpture, wood carving and jewellery, a sense of the seen and found

Tea and apple cake in the sculpture garden £3 (I’m aware there’s a lot of cake involved …)

Artists Open House Fiveways Venue 6 Stewart and Mark and Friends


Well this was fun! Brighton’s a city of hills, terraces and steps and this lovely sculpture garden’s well worth the clamber.

Life drawing focus on the male nude, ceramics, jewellery, painting – a fine art theme.

Artists Open House Fiveways Venue 6 20 Fabulous Years!


I’m definitely in pursuit of the wow factor on this year’s trailing, and if you’re a fan of spectacle in sculpture and ceramics you’ll find both here.

Frances Doherty’s moving house soon – but just down the road, so hope to see her fabulous hot house ceramic flora again next year.

And Alan Williams’ mega metal sculptures, especially the flying fish, must be seen.

Artists Open House Seven Dials Venue 10 Salon des Sources


There’s a fun buzz as ever at this super-popular venue, hosting an exuberant show by female makers and artists. Emphasis on ceramics and jewellery, and a great welcome from Jaq Buckeridge.

Artists Open House Seven Dials Venue 12 The Family Line


Artist family Colin Ruffell, Fran Slade and Shyarma Ruffell together host a long established go-to AOH. Each sure in their own style, their paintings sit harmoniously together and make striking solo statements.

Robyn Neild’s small, deceptively airy and delicate-seeming solid bronze sculptures, and Dungeness-inspired boat relics

Pot of tea, scone (and generous butter and jam) in the garden, £5

Artists Open House Seven Dials Venue Cecil Rice


The master of water, colour and light, whose inspirations include travels in Venice and India, as well as around Sussex, delivers another superb show – his 20th.

Artists Open Houses Seven Dials Venue 16 Brighton and Beyond 111


St Michael and All Angels looks quite a plain, forbidding Victorian church. From the outside. Inside, it’s something else; all marble, gilt and Burne Jones windows. Must be seen.


Engrossing, atmospheric oils by Paula Dickinson feature huge skies and glittering seas, with photography by Harry Norbury. Brighton seen through paint and lens.

Artists Open Houses Seven Dials Venue 15 Subterranean


From imposing church to basement flat – two fascinating glimpses into the Victorian world. Stop and stare at the under-pavement cool larder, a two centuries old mini brick vault now home to a sculpture installation.

Matt Noir’s large scale paintings of vintage gadgets

Theatrical models reminiscent of miniature lit stage set designs

It’s mysterious and totally engrossing

Artists Open Houses Seven Dials Venue 18 Zorian Artworks Home and Garden


One of the guilty pleasures of visiting an artist’s open house is enjoying their home and garden as well as the work.

First time opening Zorian Matthew’s home showcases a whole gallery’s worth of his bright, vibrant celebrations of nature and life. Animals, forests, landscape and cosmic skies, all burst into energy and life. There’s a great sense of ancient ways and spirituality throughout the venue. The wow factor right here.

And into the garden for a busy nursery featuring baby plants for sale. They’ll be hosting special events later on in the year – we’re keeping an eye out for news.

Artists Open House Hove Venue 14 51 Wilbury Road


A harmonious show blending accomplished painting, ceramics, photography, silver and glass.

Alain Guy’s imposing ceramic heads, their elongated form conjuring up thoughts of Easter Island, Pharaohs and the bronze giant Telos


Campoli and Nelson’s glass and silver pieces – especially the irridescent blue glass bowl and C bangle with subtle green toned glass gems

Artists Open House Hove Venue 8 The Claremont

An imposing Victorian villa – a great place for bed, breakfast and special events. Every year it’s an art gallery, hosting a wide range of work throughout public buildings and sometimes bedrooms too.

A friendly, relaxed and bohemian air, with guests checking in and art lovers strolling round the show and enjoying complimentary tea in the walled garden


El Glinoer’s light touch breezy paintings


Rosie Odette’s gold and gem jewellery, evoking both contemporary and ancient styles

Artists Open House Hove Venue 4 9a Hove Place


THE place for serious ceramics. From the tiniest porcelain miniature pots to a stonking great waist-high urn, stoneware, raku, hand-thrown, hand-modelled, conceptual pieces, practical home ware – you name it, you’ll find it. And the paintings, jewellery and wood complements this house that respects and celebrates the art of clay.

Impossible to settle on favourites here – the variety and the curation are terrific.

Artists Open House Hove Venue 2 Dave Streeter and Friends


A fresh, attractive house and decked garden.

Dave Streeter’s meticulously observed photography

Rowena Park Design acrylic jewellery in glowing tones

Artists Open House Beyond The Level Venue 6 Archipelago Studio @archipelago

A busy working studio, a small space where a community of jewellery makers work and create together.

Evening courses are available.


Chris Hawkins sleek jewellery – and a surprise, a display of new hand-napped flint tools. Just try to resist holding one. Ancient arts, natural materials and forms coming together in metal and stone.

MayaH jewellery, especially the tiny branch pendants


And another Brighton and Hove Artists’ Open Houses festival closes. I’ve visited around forty houses, enjoyed the work of hundreds of artists, had rather a lot of tea and cake in some lovely gardens, and come home with photos, earrings and cards, which will join my prints, painting, glass, jewellery, ceramic and other buys from previous years.

Thank you to all the house, studio and gallery owners, the artists, craftspeople and makers of all things art, and the people who make the world’s biggest artists open house festival happen.

Looking forward to Christmas!


Artists Open Houses 2019 – first and second weekend

Our first two weekends on the 2019 Artists Open Houses trail

For the last year we’ve mostly been blogging our Artists Open Houses adventures at Instagram.

You can follow our trailing finds, picks, buys and likes as they happen at

Then each weekend we’re collating our responses here.

Aaaaaaaand … We’re off!

2019 Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses kicks off early for us.
Looking forward to a fabulous @brightonfringe month of art, theatre and events, our Sussex Playwrights Fringe-time event and Chelsea Flower Show on TV – my favourite month is about to launch.

Hove Arts Venue 18 Dion Salvador Lloyd

Shortlisted Best Painter 2019 Awards



Our first Brighton & Hove Artists’ Open House preview party sees us at Dion Salvador Lloyd’s consummate show, always our opening event, and always a highlight.

Dion and Emma and a team of nibbles-&-fizz bearers welcomed us to their 19th AOH year.

If you’re a regular, you’ll know his signature enigmatic sea and skyscapes style, and pallette of natural-world stone, shell and bone.

But Dion’s long year turns, and elegant winter is slowly softening her grip. There’s a drift towards the spring, allowing fresh pinks and greens, yellows and blues to turn up the colour. There’s a tumble of dried flowers and soft toned seaglass here now, and a suggestion of heat on the horizon. But not yet. This exploration of a new season feels like it’s only just begun.

We loved: Secret Place and Chamomile

Dyke Road Arts Venue 5 The Trojan House




This well established @artistsopenhouses essential offers expertly curated variety – painting, print, ceramics, glass, silver, iron and stone in a calm, civilised setting.

We loved:

Host Troy Ohlson’s fascinating wildlife-inspired painting and print. Odessey Blacksmiths’ twisted iron hairpin – imagine a warrioress pulling that spike out ready for battle!  Tracy Steel’s handcarved stone lettering – small pieces channelling an ancient art.


Dyke Road Arts Venue 6 For The Man I Love


If pretties and frills are not for you, step inside a cosy den full of tasty treats, spicy scents and wantable finds for anyone (like me!) who also loves gentlemanly things.

Sleek silver jewellery, dog beds, chutney and chocs, plus Brighton Wick Candles – there’s a sense that this is how the nicer bits of Regency Brighton might have smelt – all sea, tobacco, chocolate, spices and wood. Tasty.

Dyke Road Arts Venue 2 Art at The Good Shepherd


I’ve always loved children’s books. The writing, the storytelling, the illustrations and so often the powerful sense of place that had my family holidaying all over the country in the footsteps of the Famous Five and the Lone Pine Club.

This show sends me straight back there – it’s a traditional, mature celebration of the locations and natural world that mean so much to us. Sea and cliffs, woodland and country churches – so many of these images seem to want an adventure to be happening there.

David Diplock’s meticulous, delicately observed watercolour studies of winter and Riverside, plus the most fascinating Artists’ notebooks.

Dan Woods’ Early One Morning series called up JM Barrie and Michael Bond’s tales from a world where a nursery just might be a thing.

Dyke Road Arts Venue 1 Art At Zerb’s

Shortlisted Best Artist’s Open House 2019 Awards


Welcome to this brand new house with the wow factor – a fab Edwardian villa and sculpture garden.

A great mix of ceramics, painting, wood, leather and glass … something for all, and with the departure of Wolf at the Door to Yorkshire, Si Uwins has found a new space for his sinuous wood sculptures right here.

Hove Arts Venue 19 Collectors’ Selection


If you only have limited time, here’s the first of a pair of ‘must-see’ venues on the Hove Arts trail

An elegant, cultured show featuring spectacular sculpture on a domestic scale.

A pagan beast theme runs through this show; bull-headed and goat-legged beings in ceramic and metals.

Contemporary sculpture with an ancient world memory.

Supporting @Hoveplinth

Hove Arts Venue 20 Art In Bloom

My personal pick for Best Artist’s Open House 2019


And if you only have limited time, here’s the second of a pair of ‘must-see’ venues on the Hove Arts trail

@artinbloom has definitely burst into flower since their first bud showed at last year’s Artists’ Open House festival!

We loved:

Karen Hollis’ high impact floral paintings bring the glamour to this jaw-dropper house. So lush you can smell the scent – ah no, that’s the vase of white lilies. Maybe.

Jill Tattersall (now a York resident) night skies and silvered river paintings, Tessa Wolfe Murray’s distinctive and assured ceramics … well, everything. Possibly the best curated house I’ve seen so far; a superb blend of medium, colour, shape and setting.

Artists Open Houses Hove Arts Venue 15 Axios


We loved:

Ade Stacey’s darkly glowing oil paintings, all sullen intrigue, conjure up volcanic inferno visions and a sense that the Balrog may appear any second now …

Central Venue 7 Brighton Sussex County Arts Club


This long-lived arts club’s annual Fringe exhibition is always worth a visit. See the fruits of the year’s drawing, painting and sculpture practical guided sessions with life, costume and portrait models. It’s the ideal studio setting for those looking to give focussed attention to developing their skills in like-minded company.

Accomplished work this year included

Helen D’Arcy’s Lady Peacock

Bill Donohue’s Mark

Beyond the Level Venue 5 Glass In Fusion


Another of my regular must-see venues, this studio is open throughout the month. Stephanie Else presents her glowing collection of glass pieces – from tiny earrings, fridge magnets and hangings, to important statement pieces fit to grace the most imposing boardroom or boutique hotel. Her use of colour is gorgeous – I’m particularly drawn to her turquoise, teal and white sea and sky inspired work with glass bubbles and foam effects.

And another pair of earrings (turquoise glass studs) has found its way into my AOH jewellery collection!

Guests Victoria Lovell’s statement rings and Graham Whittaker’s leatherwork.

Fiveways Venue 22 Rex Matthews


‘They’re just like Noggin the Nog!’ if you’re the right age, you’ll hear yourself exclaiming as you encounter Rex Matthews’ interpretation of the Lewis Chessmen.

And it’s true – I was at an exhibition at the British Museum where Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, the creators of Noggin, the Clangers, Bagpuss and other children’s TV icons, discussed the influence the chess pieces had on the design and personalities of their Viking characters. These dark, powerful and fascinating images will draw you in.

Another example of a house with a limited number of artists’ work harmonising together throughout the house and sculpture garden. I’m increasingly less engaged by too many, too much, and this confident blend of Matthews’ drawings and paintings, Margaret Massie Taylor’s paintings, David Price’s clay sculptures and Claire Morris’s stone and alabaster carvings is well worth a visit.

Beyond The Level Venue 9 11 Rugby Road

Shortlisted Best Artist’s House 2019 Awards


It’s no use … I have to confess to an ‘eeeeeeeep!!!’ reaction on entering this ever-growing favourite. Also ‘where do they LIVE?!’ From previous years upstairs, they’ve now expanded over the entire house and garden – and it’s charming. Narnia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream … Everywhere’s an Instaphoto waiting to happen, plus a few inspirations on just what I could do with that old mirror in the back room and some of those planks left over from doing the floor. Clever.

The Crunkles; pierced ceramic … sea urchins? Toadstools? Candle light flickers through in the darkened bathroom

Into the garden for a forest of ceramic mushroom picks – edge past people carrying fistfuls at just £1 each. I’ve got five …

You can follow our third weekend trail over at @philippa.hammond on Instagram, and we’ll collate our finds soon.



Artists’ Open Houses

What is Artist’s Open House? …

MorganMorgan by Thomas Everchild

Imagine … it’s a sunny Saturday afternoon, you’re standing in your kitchen, doing the washing up. You hear a sound, you turn – and there’s a complete stranger standing behind you. Your worst nightmare? Well, for some 250 Brighton householders, that’s exactly what’s wanted – for the four weekends in May, at any rate.

One of the biggest UK festivals of artists’ open houses takes place throughout May every year in Brighton, East Sussex. Other similar events happen in other areas of the UK, including Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Leicester, Manchester, Oxford, Stroud, Somerset and Worthing.

The Open House movement began in 1981 when Ned Hoskins turned his house into a gallery for that year’s festival. Thirty years later, 250 houses are opening, showcasing the work of many more artists, makers and craftspeople.

An Artist’s Open House is usually just that – art exhibited in a private house, but can sometimes have a wider meaning and include open studios, exhibiting cafés or galleries.

Fine art, ceramics, watercolours, print, etchings, wood-carving, metalwork, sculpture, computer art, embroidery, silver and stone jewellery, textiles, glass work, stone-carving, cards, prints, good conversation and a lot of cakes will be on offer over the next four weekends. You’ll find unique gifts, jewellery, original artwork and home adornments everywhere you look. Some of the houses may take credit cards, but it’s best to have a good supply of cash. If you require wheelchair access etc, it’s best to contact in advance to check, as Brighton is built on hills and incorporates a lot of steps.

Now, the idea of strangers walking into your home does take some getting used to. I tried to explain it to a European visitor to the UK, whose bemused response was ‘in my country, people come in your house, they steal your shoes…’ and imagine what a New Yorker must make of the concept?

So what’s the appeal of the Open House? If you love art and houses [and Brighton has some gems], you’ll enjoy the chance to meet the artists in their own homes, admire the ubiquitous stripped floorboards, fireplaces and sash windows, and get some ideas. The British are renowned for our love of visiting stately homes open to the public, and the Artists Open Houses give us the opportunity to enjoy a buffet of stately homes in miniature.

But shouldn’t it all be about the art? A resounding no to that, you might as well go to an art gallery instead, if that’s what you’re looking for. Edwardian terraces, Victorian villas, Regency mansion flats, high rises with spectacular views … Brighton has them all. Some venues are in shops, cafés and studios [and some of the houses do feel more like commercial galleries and shops than homes] but for me the artist’s open house is just that – meeting the artists at home surrounded by their inspiration and the fruits of their work.

Usually Victorian or Edwardian, from the tiniest terrace to the most imposing villa, there most definitely is a Brighton style. Stripped, sanded and varnished floorboards are the thing, with carpets a rarity – perhaps a wise decision, in view of the crowds that some houses attract. Fireplaces, cornices and picture rails abound, having survived the seventies and now well cared-for. Walls are universally plain painted, and paint is inevitably matt not gloss, the better to show off the work. It all makes for an elegant, simple and harmonious finish. The English garden rules; terraces, decks and sculpture, vegetable plots, afternoon tea and a lot of bunting are well in evidence. Quite a few chickens have arrived too; it seems all over Brighton artists and makers are living the good life. Perhaps this really is the future, back to a past of smaller, more personal businesses, and products on a more domestic and creative scale?

Visitors do like picking up the new brochure and planning a route for the afternoon. Some people plan according to interests and will only visit houses showing photography, for example. Others will only go to houses they are familiar with. We tend to plan a different route for each day’s trailing, combining as many houses as possible with the shortest amount of walking – ensuring that we include plenty showing the teacup and plant symbols, that guarantee home-made cake and a cup of tea in an unfamiliar garden. We hope you’ll enjoy your trailing, and if it’s your first visit to an artist’s open house, we’re pretty sure it won’t be your last.

Ask before taking photos – if you do Instagram, you may find the artist will be pleased for you to highlight their work and their name.

This website aims to promote the Artists’ Open House movement and the wider art world in which many open-house artists exhibit.

Please email images, links and news of your open house festival, event, house, exhibition and artwork to us at

The reviews at this website are the writers’ personal responses to art and houses visited



Artists Open Houses 2019

For the last year we’ve mostly been blogging our Artists Open Houses adventures over on Instagram.

You can follow our trailing finds, picks, buys and likes at @philippa.hammond


Winter Evening Hyde Park by Troy Ohlson

Venue: The Trojan House

For the last year we’ve mostly been blogging our Artists Open Houses adventures over on Instagram.

You can follow our trailing finds, picks, buys and likes as they happen at @philippa.hammond

But we’ve reviewed that – and decided to collate all our Instagram posts over here as we always used to, as Instaposts do get pushed down. So from now on we’ll be collating them all again onto the website.

#artistshouses #artist #AOH #art #craft #painting #oilpainting #watercolour #print #photography #textiles #sculpture #glass #jewellery #silversmith #blacksmith #ceramics

Artists’ Open Houses 2018

Our 2018 art trailing starts right here



And we’re off!

Two Artists’ Open Houses private views today – Dion Salvador Lloyd and 9a Hove Place.

This year we’ve finally  made the leap to Instagram so you can follow our trailing as it happens over at @philippa.hammond.

Looking forward to another season of vibrant art and open houses.

Christmas Artists’ Open Houses 2017

A trail round the 2017 Christmas Artists’ Open Houses


A shorter open houses visit for us this Christmas – but here’s a little run down of the places we’ve visited, from the fifty venues in the brochure this year:

#9: Dion Salvador Lloyd


A former Best Open House Winner, this venue is always on our must-see list. Dion and Emma welcome you with mince pies and mulled wine and the chance to catch up with Dion’s much-collected work over the last six months, including landscapes in many layered oils, inspired by the colours and textures of nature.

Pop up house: One Must Dash, Compton Road [one weekend only, not in brochure]


Scandinavian hygge style featuring throws, growing bulbs, handknits and candles, with painting, print and gold and silver jewellery. Particularly liked the sleek timeless leather designs from Wolfram Lohr, and Anneli Sandström’s cool toned paintings.

#32: Art Across the Line


A long established family and friends collaboration, in yearly alternating venues, Shyama and Colin Ruffell and Fran Slade and friends are showing painting, prints, photography, textiles and jewellery. Loved the ‘Christmas trees’ created from vintage ladders hung with utensils and fairy lights.

#34: Salon des Sources


Some powerful one off jewellery from Caroline Astrop-Smith, akaThe Decorated Woman, teaming vintage pieces sourced from round the world to create real statements with impact, and Growing Gardens’ planted ceramic pots looked terrific together.

#35: For The Man I Love


A very chappish air here, with a complimentary mulled cider or juice as you come in, and a gorgeous scent everywhere mingling Treebeard’s oils and waxes, handmade chocs and some delicious scented candles inspired by Brighton history. Pyrography, silversmithing with real presence, painting and print for everyone. Visit the naughty crocheted scene from the Brighton Belles!

#36: Milton House


A growing AOH presence, this fascinating vintage-toy-loving Arts & Craft house is offering a great mix of gifts, home decor and wearable art. DNA Bags’ soft metallic leathers, Hoity Toity’s intricate little earrings and Holly Bell’s jade green ceramics are particular highlights. For quirky pagan winterfest fun, see Karen Rao’s felt hats with horns and animal ears, too – just right to see the soltice in.

#37: The Trojan House


This long established leader on the AOH scene is home and studio to fine artist Troy Ohlson, whose painting and print work is inspired by the natural world. Troy’s guests offer stained glass, silver, turned wood, ceramics, perfumed products and games as just part of this year’s houseful of covetable pieces and presents. Mulled wine in the kitchen.

#39: 11 Rugby Road


Probably the most charming open house this year, offering a quirky Narnia / Alice in Wonderland experience [there is no such thing as too many christmas trees!] Loved the welcoming candlelit entrance – I visited at dusk, the perfect time – and the sweetshop kitchen offering sweeties and mulled wine for a donation to charity. A jewellery and ceramics fan’s dream, with cute candle ‘crunkles’ and toadstool sticks.


#41: Glass in Fusion


A favourite glass studio venue with everything iridescence, colour and gleam from little decorations, earrings and bowls to big important pieces for the boardroom by glass artist Stephanie Else

Looking forward to May 2018 Brighton and Hove Artists’ Open Houses

AOH 2017

Some of our favourite images from this year’s Brighton Artists’ Open Houses festival

You can follow our journeys round the 2017 AOH houses and studios

by checking in on our Twitter feed


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Brighton Art Fair / Made Brighton

Open all weekend 23-25 September 2016

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange


This year’s Made Brighton and the Brighton Art Fair are joining forces over the weekend. Does it dilute the brand and message? For us, it adds to the variety and attraction of these popular events to be able to enjoy everything at once.

We’re enjoying a covetable combination of art, jewellery, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, blacksmithing and print at the Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange.

We love:


Patrick O’Donnell – oils on canvas, enigmatic dark planets in endless space


Caroline Lingwood – painting mysterious impressions of fading nature,  plus delicate ceramics flowers


Leila Godden – misty muted seascapes and shore, texture and tone


Rosamund Fowler – Entrancing detailed hand printed animal etchings tap into children’s book illustration memories


Sue Gregor – unique statement acrylic jewellery with real flowers and leaves


Chris Hawkins – jewellery with a darker edge: antler and bone-influenced silver pieces


Sarah Grove – pretty quilt- and button-inspired ceramic jugs


James Price Blacksmith – epic simplicity of line, especially his steel & slate companion set


Fleur Grenier – harmonious, curvaceous wood, glass and pewter pieces


Flora McLachlan – dreamy woodland etchings, evoking mystery, legend and myth


Frances Doherty – powerful ceramic pods and flowers, alien and suggestive


Dawn Stacey – ‘Reed Reflections’ acrylic on canvas, swans in flight through the green


Bee Bowen – elegant and unique leaf printed silk garments


Phoebe Jewellery – fine silver and wood pieces with a pagan woodland feel – squirrel and acorn necklace

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Open all weekend 23-25 September 2016

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange


AOH 2016 – fifth weekend

Our visits to houses over the final weekend

A brief trail report for us this weekend. Our house guest had asked for a guided tour so we’ve revisited quite a few of the houses we’ve already covered, including Wolf at the Door, Dion Salvador Lloyd, Milton House, Glass in Fusion and Cecil Rice, along with some we hadn’t been to yet this year.

Final weekend impressions … have felt a little put off by several times being told ‘there is art for sale all round the house and the garden … ‘ I understand that’s the goal for all artists, but I don’t need to be prodded quite so much.

I’ve found I most enjoy the houses that keep to the Artist’s Open House ethos. I’ve felt most at ease when I’ve clearly come into the artist’s home, have the chance to meet them and chat about their work, and don’t feel as if I’ve strayed into a gallery or department store. I do wonder if the cost of appearing in the brochure drives a need to have as many guest artists as possible?

Each year there seems to be something that pops up quite frequently, and I noticed this year the image of Frida Kahlo appearing in paintings, prints and jewellery by several artists.

The cupcake seems to have had its day …


Seven Dials venue 11: The Magic Lamp


Up to this pretty, friendly lamplit flat on Dyke Road, for small scale gifts in digital, paint and thread for friends and home.


Rubandagar’s striking shadow and flaming tree painting

Caroline Jones’s sleek wood work

Seven Dials venue 8: Salon des Sources

An engrossing exhibition, particularly strong on ceramics and wearable art jewellery


Jaq Buckeridge’s Chinese – inspired ceramics

Kate Hackett’s  Brighton ceramics with a Swallows and Amazons nautical air

Caroline Smith’s Decorated Woman power pieces – confident statement necklaces

Steve Carroll’s prints with vintage spaceman style

And I absolutely loved Rosie Odette’s powerful and striking gem-dotted gold bangle

Seven Dials venue 7: Family Art Line

Ruffell and Slade and friends welcome visitors to home and garden again this year – they’re a long established family show. Visit the garden studio for paintings and prints too.


CR dynamic London oils

Frances Doherty’s garden ceramics have real presence

Beyond the Level venue 9: The Stanley Road Store

Quirky clothes and vintage jewellery, textiles, lamps, plants for sale and a fun portrait tent in the garden. A bit of an ‘everything must go’ feel with prices-slashed announcements to each visitor …

Beyond the Level venue 8: Circus at the Circus!

Curtis Tappenden’s solo residency at the Circus Coffee House documents his time spent around circus artistes, capturing moments of their performances with energy, humour and speed.

Beyond the Level venue 10: 38 Viaduct

Pausing only to admire the vintage steam roller parked outside the Duke of York, we headed up Viaduct Road next to see Judy Martin’s adventures among characters, catacombs and corpses captured in pen and ink, biro and watercolour – swift portraits of life and death. Particularly struck by the Him series – little studies of the mediaeval mummies of Palermo.

Beyond the Level venue 7: Glass in Fusion



As the last few minutes of the last day of the 2016 Artists Open Houses festival ticked away, we dropped in for a revisit and a catchup with one of our favourite venues, where Stephanie Else creates the most marvellous glass.

Next stop Christmas …