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