AOH 2016 – second weekend

Our second weekend on the open house trails

It’s rapidly hotting up this weekend; perfect for open house and garden trailing. The Festival and Fringe launched on Friday, but for many of the open houses it’s already week two in what must be the most extensive AOH yet.

Note – Cecil Rice is open Saturdays and Sundays throughout May – the brochure has printed the wrong details.

Dyke Road Venue 4: The Trojan House


First to Troy Ohlson’s Pimms-welcoming house, scented with soaps and candles. See this award winning artist’s home studio – loved the ‘A hop a step and a jump’ raven picture – and her etchings, paintings, pretty things and prints featuring animals, landscapes and beautiful blues. Guest artists and makers offer clever plant pot holders, nuggety silver rings, ceramics, glass and gifts.

Dyke Road Venue 3: For The Man I Love


A new house opposite Troy’s featuring fairly sourced and curated gifts including Linescape’s Royal Pavilion architectural prints, grooming products, chocolates and cashmere scarves for the chap in your life. The gorgeous silver cufflinks would make great wedding party presents …

Dyke Road Venue 2: Art at the Good Shepherd


The church again hosts a small traditional group show.

Highlights include

Helen Brown’s meditative prints of the rolling South Downs

Helen Rawling’s charming animal watercolour studies

Alan White’s Jazz-age prints featuring flappers and musicians

Pausing only to take in ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ at the Duke of York …

Beyond the Level Venue 7: Glass in Fusion


See Stephanie Else’s superb glass in her own studio space. Her work ranges from iridescent little bowls, jewellery and window hangings, to important plaques and platters with a great sense of scale and weight. New peacock feather and stylised gold motifs, dark fiery tones mix with turquoise blue green of sea and sky, and crisp white bubbly foam.

Commissions and courses.

We’ll be featuring Stephanie’s work later this month.

Dyke Road Venue 1: Milton House


This trail favourite has moved house and taken its name and artists with it to a new Arts and Crafts home opposite the Church of the Good Shepherd. The owners have only been in their new home two months – huge respect for showcasing such a terrific show! We arrived at dusk for the private view, enjoying prosecco and popcorn and good conversation on the terrace [apparently there’s going to be a concert for dogs at the nearby BOAT theatre …]


Hoity Toity’s delicate jewellery with an ancient world feel

Lisa Green’s watercolour paintings and prints

If you only have a short window of trailing opportunity, these next three venues all in a row would be a great selection, with quite a variety of style, art and cake to enjoy:

Independent Venue 4: Dancing Shadows


The theme really is ‘dancing shadows’ here. St John’s Church hosts Annelies Clarke’s astonishing work in progress, illustrating and illuminating the tales and mysterious Revelations prophecies. She’s joined by Jose Heasman and Beth Midgley showing glowing glass lamps and candle holders, and paintings by the children of the Cedar Centre.

We had tea and cakes for a donation.

One of the joys of the Brighton AOH is the chance to visit such a variety of design and build styles from different eras of the city’s history. This area boasts a wealth of Victorian and Edwardian terraced and detached houses – the open houses art trail must be the best property advertisement around.

Next on the same road are a pair of neighbouring houses with matching architecture and very different styles.

Fiveways Venue 14: 2 Knoyle


Outside there’s a tea party on the lawn and a real family atmosphere round the tree house in the shady bluebell garden by the ceramic studio shed. Inside, lots of ideas for gifts and souvenirs; little ceramic creatures and tiles, painted feathers, textiles and beads.

We came back and had tea and cake £3 each for charity.

Fiveways Venue 13: Four Knoyle Road


An elegant gallery of paintings, sculpture and ceramics.


Some knowing and funny Grizelda cartoons on the stresses and obsessions of modern life

Loved Olivia Ferrier’s bronze ravens perched on garden forks and wood stumps

Sarah Perry’s graceful stoneware ceramics

Fiveways Venue 12: Theresa Winchester and Friends


Theresa Winchester’s storytelling lino prints reference nursery rhymes, fairytales and legends

Linda Ayres’ intricate steampunk-style brooches, layered and embellished with pictures and charms.

Check out the terraced garden, too.

Fiveways Venue 11: Eva Wibberley and Friends

Paintings and prints, etchings and sculptures


Newspaper fragments and sawdust mix in Debbie Zoutewelle’s thought-provoking collaged painting ‘You May Record Our Decay’, a dark, textured slice of environmental concern.

As the promised heatwave had hit, I headed back to St John’s church for yet more tea and cake and the chance to relax and review my visits this weekend, put in a few tweets and write up some notes. It’s a cool, tranquil space of course, with recorded music and a sense of calm to enjoy.

There are organ recitals every Saturday evening at 5.30 throughout the festival.