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.
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.
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.
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.