Agnes Chevalier’s intricate woodland scene embroidered pictures [“Green Man”] and Francoise Koestler’s fabulous stylised hand-painted silk cushions, scarves, wall hangings, bed-covers – everything textile that can be decorated with irises, leaves, birds and many more nature-inspired images [“Blue Pond”].
Loved these white coral and sea urchin pierced ceramic lamps, displayed in a dark and mysterious setting – the bathroom! And my favourite kitchen, a work of art, with its yearly growing multi-tiered cake stand and glass jugs of fruit juice serving refreshments for a donation for children’s art materials.
On an increasingly hot day the chance to sit for a while in this cool, calm gallery interior was very welcome. I admired Dodds’ rough-textured monochrome striped stoneware displayed with geometric precision, and Maggie Feeney’s strong near-abstract landscapes and skies.
More of Holly Bell’s subtle pieces as seen at Philippa Stanton’s – I most liked the pedestal jug with tree design – then to the glamorous red-walled room upstairs for Frances Doherty’s fantastical ceramic plant-inspired pieces, with real sculptural presence. I was pleased to enter the competition to win a piece of an exhibiting artist’s work here.
This Independent is about as far from the usual Brighton artist’s open house as it’s possible to get. No cushions, cupcakes or,polite watercolours here – this house has to be seen.
The charred firepit and the tale of the daemonwain tacked onto the Yeti cart in the front garden announce that you’re about to enter an artist’s world.
My notes say “mysterious, spiritual, stories, religion, death, crucifixion, skulls, installation, concrete, stylised heads, ancient people, fire pit, iron, wood, broken, film set, antlers, Viking re-enactors, rusted metal … ” and for me, this mass of impressions sums it up.
We went back that evening for the closing party and a conversation with Brian Mander which ranged around prehistoric dawn of consciousness, masked ritual and last night’s lunar eclipse – just some of Mander’s inspirations. I’d visited his previous event, For the Love of Sarah, and am intrigued to discover just what he’ll do next.
Described as ‘a vibrant house, buzzing with arts and crafts’ – suits it perfectly. The garden is transformed into a cafe [tea and cake £4] with children’s play area. Pass the shell-roofed chicken house on the way to the garden room, showing the highlights: Baier’s functional tableware ceramics are all smooth curves and fifties colours, and Jessica Coote’s creative hand-embroidered pictures are inspired by the Sussex countryside.
The original Artist’sOpen House – Ned Hoskins, creator of the idea some thirty years ago is showing a homage to Jeff Keen plus some of Hoskins’ paintings inspired by his own designs for a London Underground mural.
A little extra – previously next door to The Ceramic House, this house has moved and thanks to a helpful notice by the new owners I found their new venue just at the end of the road. Not in the brochure having only moved in a month before, they have presented a stylish and welcoming exhibition of Nick Osborne’s cicada jewellery and paintings. Lovely glass of Pimm’s, too.
Something different – here, the house itself really is a work of art. J Kay Aplin’s home is steadily being transformed into a showcase for her ceramics – to call them tiles doesn’t do them justice. Kitchen, bathroom, inside and outside walls … all display her powerful, richly coloured and three dimensional abstract images, featured in many magazine articles. The kitchen tiles look as if some great green sea creature has wrapped its tentacles round the walls.
Lots to see here; take a trip into the garden and find the Cave, a dark grotto beneath the house hung with lit ceramic pods filled with magnified miniature scenes, and up to the entirely ceramicised bathroom. Aplin and her guest ceramicists work in such varied styles; I loved Delfina Emmanuel’s white porcelain corsetry and the delicate sea creature-inspired gilded pastel ornamental teapots.
There must be something about printmakers – they all seem to love showing how they produce their work. I watched a small-scale lino cut being used on the tiny printer [a baby version of the great Victorian Columbian I saw at bip-Art] to produce a neat print, and it’s fascinating to watch the hands-on work in progress. My favourite image here is Kitty Cava’s “Heavenly Blue” flower print.