35 North Gallery launch in Brighton

We visit 35 North, Brighton’s newest art gallery, on Saturday September 6th 2014.

35 North
35 North

35 North, Brighton’s newest art gallery, launches on Saturday September 6th 2014.

Paintings by John Whiting

We guested at John Whiting’s new gallery launch – a fresh white space well situated on a North Laine corner, showing John’s Brighton-inspired paintings. Smartly-presented oils, pastels and prints, earthy tones and deep glowing colour capturing the light, the buildings and the people of the city by the sea.

All best wishes to Brighton’s newest art gallery.

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35 North Road

Brighton

BN1 1YB

www.35northgallery.com

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Press release:

35 NORTH CONTEMPORARY FINE ART
A BRAND NEW GALLERY FOR BRIGHTON’S NORTH LAINE

35 North Contemporary Fine Art opens its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday September 6th 2014 with an exhibition entitled Images of Brighton. John Whiting, the featured artist for the inaugural exhibition, will be at the gallery all day to meet visitors and talk about his work.

35 North is owned by Brighton residents John and Sharon Whiting. “Our vision is to offer a very different kind of gallery for Brighton. Each exhibition will feature the work of one, maybe two artists and will run for several weeks. We have a number of exhibitions lined up from a variety of artists of both national and international renown”.
Images of Brighton features a series of oil paintings and pastel drawings depicting both the architectural wonders of Brighton as well as powerful and atmospheric seascapes.
John Whiting spent his childhood in Bexhill-on-Sea before studying architecture in London. His interest in painting and drawing buildings evolved over time to include landscapes and life studies. Art and architecture have always been closely linked and in John’s work each discipline informs the other in a striking balance of rigour and expression. He has travelled extensively in Europe, USA and Asia and spent several years living in Hong Kong and Australia. In 1994 Hong Kong’s Wattis Fine Art Gallery staged a group show entitled ‘Figures’ where John showed his work for the first time. This was followed by further group shows ‘Windows to 95’ at Wattis Fine Art and ‘Life after work’ at the Hong Kong Fringe Club. The Fink Gallery in Sydney staged his first one-man show ‘John Whiting—recent works on paper’ which included nudes and cityscapes.
Since 1999 John has exhibited his work in his own Open House as part of the Brighton Festival. His work is held in private collections around the world.
35 North Contemporary Fine Art is situated at 35 North Road in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine. Images of Brighton runs until Saturday 11th October 2014. For more information, images and interviews please contact Sharon Whiting, sw@sharonwhiting.com 07792 058039 or visit the gallery at 35 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YB. Gallery opening hours: Thursday and Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday 11am – 6pm.

Made Brighton 2014 – The Design and Craft Fair

The Design and Craft Fair

21st – 23rd November, 2014

www.brighton-made.co.uk

Made Brighton 2014
Made Brighton 2014

The Design and Craft Fair

21st – 23rd November, 2014

www.brighton-made.co.uk

MADE BRIGHTON is the city’s annual contemporary craft and design fair which takes place in November in the historic Dome, Corn Exchange. The fair offers the public the opportunity to buy original and exceptional pieces of craft and design direct from the designer / makers and has become firmly established as a friendly, accessible and top quality event.  MADE BRIGHTON welcomes over 5500 visitors; collectors, galleries, curators and of course Christmas shoppers,  many of whom return year on year knowing that the work on show is well worth viewing.

MADE BRIGHTON showcases over 100 makers and designers; from unique glassware to luxurious textiles, functional ceramics to dazzling jewellery, beautiful furniture to quirky accessories, there is something for everyone. A full list of exhibitors can be seen here.. http://www.brighton-made.co.uk/gallery. Work is priced between £10 and £1500,  providing the perfect opportunity to Christmas shop for unique gifts as well as perhaps finding that ‘can’t live without’ item! A café provides a place for visitors to relax and take refreshment.

21st  – 23rd  November, 2014

Friday 21st November 11am – 7:30pm

Saturday 22nd November  10am – 6pm

Sunday, 23rd November  10am – 5pm

The Dome Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD

Tickets £6.50 on the door.  Children under 14 free

Travel direct to Brighton from London Victoria by train

10 minute walk from Brighton station

For more information please visit the MADE BRIGHTON website www.brighton-made.co.uk

Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2014

We visit the Interactive Festival of Creativity and Invention

Saturday 6th September 2014

Brighton Mini Maker Faire
Brighton Mini Maker Fair

IMG_20140906_141555774[1]

Brighton Mini Maker Faire took over the Corn Exchange on Saturday September 6th, where making mayhem ruled for the day.

The few cons – it was loud, very hot and oversold, with ticket holders having to wait to come in as it was at capacity, and the refreshments in the venue were incredibly expensive [almost £4 for one small cake??] We took a civilised tea and rock cakes break at the historic Pavilion Gardens Cafe nearby instead.

But in all a very successful day. Some impressions:

Lab Rat remaking sentimental items into jewellery and sculptures
Jewellery Macabre’s fantastical diesel punk creatures
Tiny wooden water and vacuum driven machines showing ancient hydraulics in action, surrounded by small children as fascinated by them as by the high tech toys
Cereal packets, corrugated cardboard, round scissors, glitter and glue … a traditional Blue Peter approach to building an entire city on the mezzanine floor
Scientific demonstrations, jewellery-making, sewing, toy-making … workshops everywhere
Crafting in wool, crochet, spinning, sewing – one group of spinners, dyers and knitters knitting a giant 18th century map of the North Laine
A table of knitted planets and felt fabric quarks, muons and bosons, created by school technicians showing some of the fun things they use for teaching
Electrically conductive paint and loads of 3D printing – a new technology at the beginning of its life, affordable and possible to DIY, its potential only beginning to be explored
A3D printed exo skeleton costume work in progress
Everything computer, internet and digital, plus the chance to play the banana piano
A friendly Dalek to hug
Children everywhere, getting stuck in and having fun

 

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The Interactive Festival of Creativity and Invention – tickets now on sale

This year’s Mini Maker Faire will take place on Saturday the 6th of September at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange. Last year’s event attracted an audience of over 3,000 to the Corn Exchange, and this year’s will continue showcasing the best in Maker culture.

http://www.makerfairebrighton.com for details of all the workshops and special attractions

Dupont Art Club Annual Exhibition

Ventnor Hall
Blatchington Road
Hove

Apples in a Bag Kate Greenaway 2013 Winning Painting
Apples in a Bag
Kate Greenaway
2013 Winning Painting

Dupont Art Club
Annual Exhibition
Ventnor Hall
Blatchington Road
Hove

21-23 August 2014

This long established art club’s summer exhibition is a Hove tradition, offering traditional representational art with an emphasis on drawing, figures, landscapes and life, wildlife, portraits and pets, costume and the nude. Dupont depicts a world of polite tranquility in pen and ink, oil, watercolour, acrylic, pastel, gouache and pencil – a digital and abstract art-free zone.

Classes and courses with professional artist teachers and models
Tea or coffee and home made cake £2
Originals, prints, cards and gifts

Vote for your favourite work – the Dupont Cup and champagne will be awarded to the winning artist on the final day.

Highlights:

Philip Baines acrylic ‘Storm Rigged’ ship under a thundery monochrome sky
SE Higgins tranquil silvery oil ‘Winter Sun’, a row of beach huts
Peter de Ritter muted dusty-toned watercolour ‘An Oil Beetle’
Victor Perkins oil ‘Windsor Fire’ a brooding contrast in light and dark, bright flame against castle walls, the title painted onto the picture gives a mediaeval feel
Kate Greenaway series of hyper realistic acrylic still lives
Judy Alexander oil ‘Between the Waves’ a turbulent turquoise and teal night time sea
Jane Jukes delicate little watercolour ‘Beach Mooring’
Janet Ballard watercolour ‘The Pier in Cloud;’ a rich, dark jewel-toned sea
Duncan Studholm fantasy-tinged moonlit mansion watercolour ‘Midnight in Croatia’ [my pick for the winner]

Brighton and Hove 2014: Fourth weekend

Our fourth weekend’s art trailing

Saturday 24th May

Graham Fletcher
Graham Fletcher

Rottingdean + Downs 4: The Grange Art Gallery
A threatening weather forecast and torrential rain this morning, but we decided to strike out to Rottingdean by bus for the art exhibition at the Grange. Just as we arrived the sun came out, so naturally our first stop was the old walled garden for apple cake, ice cream and a pot of tea. Upstairs for the exhibition in the William Nicholson Art Gallery – my favourites:
Julie Elliott – Quiet, delicate watercolours – the purple-toned seascape ‘After the Storm’
Philip Sugg – miniature theatres
Graham Fletcher – gutsy oil paintings of men at work, farriers, shire horses and ‘real’ people. ‘Iron, Lead, Wood, Stone and Light’ especially struck a chord
Jan Mnich – detailed botanical watercolour ‘Shannopin Iris’
Zan Stevenson – oil painting ‘Pooh Sticks’ escaping onto the frame
Amanda Davidson – dreamy pen and wash ‘The Old Fortress Kassiopi Corfu’

Back onto the bus to Brighton’s Lewes Crescent, a work of art in itself, and round to

Kemptown 10: Rock Apartment
The brochure calls it this a ‘fabulous apartment’, and it’s justified. Prolific artists Ethne Greenfield Clarke and Lyndsey Pearson’s exhibition illustrate their travels and love of dance, and their sketchbooks are just fascinating to leaf through. Belle Hamilton’s jewellery, too – a real joie de vivre at this venue.

Kemptown 9: Number 3
A house with a history, hosting Maggie Barradell’s striking oils – loved the appropriately threatening clouds of ‘Push on Through’
Downstars for an unexpected Mad Hatter’s tea party – tea and miniature cakes for a donation to Rockinghorse appeal.

Tony Mills
Tony Mills

Kemptown 8: Tony Mills and Friends
To this great corner apartment on the seafront, next.
Emma de Polnay – dancers’ movement and poses captured with a swift, deft touch.
Tony Mills – impressions of his travels in Britain and the USA; dark and stormy skies, a twister, angry clouds and redeeming light.

Fringe Venue 178: Jay Collins
We spotted a helpful banner and followed it to this venue, showcasing Jay Collins paintings of Brighton, especially the pub series always painted from life, never from photos. Gouache, watercolours and woodcuts.

Sunday 25th May

Caia Matheson
Caia Matheson

Star venue: Beyond the Level 10: Glass in Fusion
Always a treat and one of my star venues, this pair of working artists’ studios again features:
Brighton Artist of the Year Caia Matheson – enter this oil painter’s studio and you’re instantly surrounded by paint, including floor, ceiling and sofa, and fascinating multi-layered colours and tones – especially liked ‘Wisdom Lies Beneath the Light’ and Caia’s new series of petite sun-dappled green forests ‘Shimmer’, ‘Manifesting’ and ‘All That Glitters.’
Stephanie Else – my favourite glass designer, showing wall panels and platters, jewellery and dishes, in her glorious trademark colour and metallic sheen so often inspired by the sea.
Ptolemy Elrington – imaginative hub cap creatures
Chocadyllic – chocolate art

Beyond the Level 9: 99
Enter an idyllic English crafty world, a hive of activity with dainty, quirky fun stuff everywhere: fairies, ceramics, jewellery and clothes and and the best cake of the month – lime and coconut cake in the tea garden, complete with utterly charming his and her sheds. Particularly attractive:
Helaina Sharpley – 3D wire ‘drawings’ of cups and spoons on their own little hooks

Beyond the Level 8: Jennifer Beresford
Jennifer Beresford – meticulously observed Dungeness and Brighton scenes in incredible detail
Chris Burchell Collins – garden sculptures in rusted metal and weathered wood

Fiveways 12: David Williams and Guest Artists
Landscapes, sea and sky in hyper-realistic colour-enhanced acrylics.
Through the sculpture and ceramic garden to the studio for sketchbook works in progress.

Fiveways 11: Rex Matthews
Elegant house showing painting, sculpture and ceramics. Favourites here:
Claire Morris – sculptures in Portland stone and white Carara marble in the garden
Peta Taylor – delicate brush and pen studies of woodland scenes

Fiveways 10: Sylph Baier
A smaller, more intimate show than in previous years, featuring Sylph’s 50’s-toned tableware and a selection of guest ceramicists.

Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell

Beyond the Level: 12 Ravenswood
A great selection of visual arts here, and for me the highlight was the chance to see Chris Riddell’s children’s book illustrations beside some of his published books. Liked the idea of selling black and white prints for £1 for charity for children to colour.

We finished our day passing several hours back at Caia Matheson’s closing Pimms party.

Monday 26th May

A few venues, notably Hove Arts, were still open today.

Hove Arts 1: Dion Salvador Lloyd
A return visit to Dion’s accomplished show and the news that two of his paintings, Lullaby and Totora, have been accepted for the Royal Academy’s 2014 summer exhibition.

An accomplished show, as ever, from this nationally-exhibited artist. The natural palette of muted tones are inspired and echoed by arrangements of shell, flint, driftwood and bone throughout Dion and Emma’s home, recently featured in the new book, ‘Home for Now’ by Joanna Thornhill.

Donating a painting on a postcard to Martlets Hospice and Rotary Club mystery art auction in June 2013 inspired Dion to create more swift, of-the-moment smaller scale oils on paper, a terrific contrast to his established style of oils layered and built up over time. ‘Hibernia,’ a hefty moody stormy oil on canvas, deserves its centre stage.

Ceramic pieces by Gilles le Corre and Ian Gregory complement the painting.

Margrit Clegg
Margrit Clegg

Hove Arts 10: 9a Hove Place
A spacious apartment with a real wow factor. Ceramic that looks like wood, painting that looks like stone – a harmonious blend of texture and tone referencing the ancient world and a range of different cultures. Particularly loved Margrit Clegg’s multi-media paintings in earth tone and texture, with a feel of Ancient Greek temples and sunbaked stone.

Hove Arts 9: Unseen Splendour
Sadly, this venue was unable to open this year – hope to see the show next Festival.

Hove Arts 8: Boxbird Studios
Another welcoming working studio, home to printers and illustrators, opening for the first time. We bought a copy of Wishing for Tomorrow, by Hilary McKay [a sequel to ‘A Little Princess’], illustrated by exhibitor Nick Maland. Also noticed Graham Carter’s gold foil owl print and ‘Yeti Hibernation’

Star Venue: Brunswick Town 10: George Douglas at 14 Sillwood
And appropriately we end our 2014 Artists’ Open House festival with a return visit to our favourite venue, for us, the hit of the festival.

After my first visit, I wrote:

‘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.’

We returned to see twelve more new pictures to complete May’s show – just a fraction of the work waiting to be revealed.

A must-see.

And on that note …. see you at Christmas 2014.

 

Brighton and Hove 2014: Third weekend

Our third weekend art trailing through Brighton and Hove

Bob Lazell
Bob Lazell

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.

Susan Evans
Susan Evans

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.

George Douglas
George Douglas

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.

Babara Spurr
Barbara Spurr

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.

Brighton and Hove 2014: Second weekend

Continue reading for this weekend’s reviews

Paul Tuppeny
Paul Tuppeny

Friday 9th May

We started our art weekend early with a private view of Gallitt Shaltiel’s black and white print exhibition Talking Under Water at Caffe Moksha. Paper cut-outs, light and dark, exploring depression and modern living with surprisingly engaging effect – I particularly liked the shadowed poster image.

Saturday 10th May

Crafty Old Crow Opposite 12 Seafield Road
We began with a pop up craft show, not in the brochure but as I do like a piratical air …
Hand knitted mermaids, flowers, animals and Eddie Stobart trucks and little faux leather animals.

Deryk Parkin
Deryk Parkin

Star Venue: Independent 7: Stables Studio
A previous Best Open House and Garden award winner, Deryk Parkin’s extraordinary house, garden and body of work always amazes with its range and impact. This former stable is a spacious studio below and a flat with immense oak floorboards above, rather like a captain’s cabin. Three different strands of work; great driftwood collage paintings of travels in the middle east and Europe evoking both alien planets and theatrical stage sets, with smooth carved stone sculptures and delicate pen and watercolours form a show not to be missed. Coffee and a little cake at £1.50 [powdered milk].

Paul Tuppeny
Paul Tuppeny

Brunswick 1: The Shed on the Beach
It’s a strangely blowy day in Hove; a horizontal wind means there are not many people on the seafront, and uninterrupted views of a silver sea are the perfect backdrop for this little venue, home to Paul Tuppeny’s exhibition of golden-mounted seafront oils on linen and walnut. ‘Wet Morning’ particularly appealed [bought the card…]

Independent 8: Albert Mews Studio
So many of the Hove venues are housed in the former stables that served the great terraced mansions of the early 19th century and are fascinating in themselves.
Here, there’s a real sense of friendship among this group of artists who were schoolgirls together. Handprinted hosiery, millinery and jewellery sit happily with painting, miniature blacksmithing, stationery, homeware, photography and woodcuts.

Brunswick 2: Studio323 Photography
If you like Hove architecture and classic 19th century buildings you’ll love this one – an antique lift, magnificent fireplace and staircase [and that’s just the entrance hall]. An accomplished photographic show in this elegant apartment, and some vintage cameras, each with a history worth hearing. Noticed
Francois B Stecque – Lush long-exposure landscapes
Ted Davis – iPhoneography – skewed pebble beach shot was so striking

Adrian Walker
Adrian Walker

Star Venue: Brunswick 4: Adrian Walker Arts
Adrian Walker is happy to declare himself a ‘huge Turner fan’ and the influence is clear in his large scale oils of mountains, sky and sea. Or perhaps forest – two viewers may see completely different images in one piece. Had a fascinating talk with the artist, who gave a sneak peek at some new small scale works in progress.
I preferred the muted, moody dark pieces to the paler pastel works, especially liking the Norse mythology-inspired ‘Thesan;’ mountains and sea, mist and darkness. Adrian later turned off the lights and closed the door so we could see how the daylight coming in through the skylight changed the mood and tones, each piece taking on a responsive light of its own.

Sylvaine Frouin
Sylvaine Frouin

Brunswick 3: Naked Eye Gallery and Farm Mews
Just up the road in the next mews is this secret artists’ colony of studios showing ceramics, leatherwork, painting and jewellery.
Sylvaine Frouin – unique pieces of jewellery, beautifully presented, I loved the pendant slotted into its own handpainted wooden home.
Mrs Hyde – unique leather pieces – ‘pay what your heart wants to’

Brunswick 5: 21a Brunswick Square
Down the steps to a surprise – a huge and highly desirable basement flat that might once have formed the servants’ quarters in this Hove mansion. Take a look at the garden too, especially the astonishing spiral staircase. But back to the point – highlights were
Finn Hopson – mysterious Sussex photography, especially ‘Tunnel’, shot in a sunken path with trees grown overhead at Halnaker. Eerie and slightly sinister, a Nazgul rider might just be about to come down the path …
Kate Benjamin – an old art meets a new one in vibrant scan prints of pressed flowers

Sunday 11th May

Sunday took us just north of Preston Park, concentrating on the Fiveways trail houses and independents in an area of imposing mid Victorian villas with some great gardens and, as the estate agents say, a host of original features for the cornice, fireplace and dado fan …

Independent 17: The Treasure Hunter and the Sculptress
A first-time open house hosting photography and sculpture.
Marek Olszevski – superior travel prints, I was especially taken with a shot of the Maldives in a thunderstorm
Dee Stanford – award winning sculptures that radiated a tactile, very striking and slightly scary anger: rusted screws in a ball and a series of rough hewn hearts pierced, stabbed and chained, each one, we were told, representing a real relationship.
Tea and Victoria sponge in the garden £3.

Lucy Parker
Lucy Parker

Fiveways 2: Art at 23
A house showcasing textiles, jewellery, painting and print. For me the two most interesting artists, both drawing inspiration from the ancient world:
Sara Rochelle – jewellery and figures inspired by the discovery of the body of the prehistoric man ‘Otzi’
Lucy Parker – luminous watercolours from travels in Malta and Greece, I loved the enigmatic studies of Ancient Greek helmets and the oldest house in the world.

Star Venue: Fiveways 3: John Whiting
A love of city life evident here in charcoal, pastel, pen and oil studies of Venice and Brighton and a series of stormy seafront monochrome prints. Plus a word for the chic presentation, in elegant matt black frames.
Guest photographers, sculptors and Will Turner’s delicate tiny golden 3D dragon – my overwhelming impression was that here is a big show that needs a bigger space – it must be in the air, because I learned that John will shortly be opening his own gallery at 35 North Road, Brighton. So looking forward to seeing what this artist and his contemporaries will be unveiling there.

Fiveways 7: 9 at 2: Back to Basics
Painting, pottery, jewellery and prints
Beccy Green – ‘Facial landscapes’, or moving and truthful small scale studies of real faces with all their quirks and flaws
Naomi Sack – beachcomber wall hangings composed of smooth pieces of weathered driftwood
This house always offers baby plants for sale in aid of Parkinson’s disease research.

Theresa Winchester
Theresa Winchester

Fiveways 6: Theresa Winchester and Friends
One of the busiest and most popular venues of the festival, this house always has a bustling commercial atmosphere with lots to look at, including ceramics, jewellery, cushions, mosaics and leather. Particularly striking:
Theresa Winchester – fairytale and storytelling in lino prints
Mick Hulme – wood carvings especially the tiny animals, oakleaf swags and Green Man face
Tea and cake from £1.75 on the little balcony overlooking the terraced sculpture garden

Fiveways 8: 31
Home of a rather fabulous garden with the most glamorous and distinctive pink staircase in town, I enjoyed tea and a scone with jam and cream at £2.50.
So much to see here and always an event, with a choir and demonstrations if you hit the right time. As well as ceramics, painting and print you’ll find unique leather bags, papier mache, brooches and beads and much more. Most memorable:
Jules Asch – ‘The Silvery’ – unique silvered shells, leaves and seedpod jewellery
Kate Osborne – cute little watercolour birds and bee prints.

Anneliese Clarke
Anneliese Clarke

Star Venue: Revelation at St John’s
Something extraordinary now; a project by Anneliese Clarke to illustrate the whole of the Book of Revelations, shown in the ideal backdrop of this Victorian church.
The sound of thunder and rain plays softly in the background as I walk round this terrific exhibition of paintings which are part of a major work in progress, an illuminated manuscript exploring the Book.  The seven churches are personified as Mucha-style female figures and the four horsemen loom out of the mist like cinematic characters. Ask to see the sketch book to track the artist’s thought and development of her vision for this illuminated manuscript in the making.
Marble resin horse sculptures by Linden Hamilton, all tortured intensity and vitality
To the other side of the church for Anneliese’s sea paintings and stained glass work
Green wood furniture by Carlos Gonzalez.
Tea and home made cake for a donation.

Linda Calvert
Linda Calvert

Fiveways 5: 2 Knoyle
A house celebrating the art of the ceramicist together with jewellery, painting and print.
A soft glow called me into the back room for Linda Calvert ‘s wrapped cylindrical ceramic lamps. Using the patterns left in the sand by the retreating sea, the natural impressions formed in the white clay conjure up galaxies, planets and flowing water.
Into the huge garden and the most superior shed, ceramicist Angela Evans’ studio showing vegetable ceramic tiles in jewel colours. Quite a genteel scrum round the seconds box, too.

Independent 19: Four Knoyle Road
Another first time open house, a great variety of painting and print, sculpture, ceramics and more. Most memorable:
Sarah Perry – A wall of tactile stoneware pots and platters, in sea green, turquoise and lavender tones with touches of bronze
Kara Sanches – and finally today, into the garden for a great big hippo!

Brighton and Hove 2014: First weekend

A brace of private views: a jazz trio and champagne at Collectors Selection and Dion Salvador Lloyd begin our Brighton and Hove festival of Artists’ Open Houses 2014. We’ll be reporting back over the next month with some responses to the venues and their exhibitions.

Dion Salvador Lloyd
Dion Salvador Lloyd

A brace of private views: a jazz trio and champagne at Collectors Selection and Dion Salvador Lloyd begin our Brighton and Hove festival of Artists’ Open Houses 2014. We’ll be reporting back over the next month with some responses to the venues and their exhibitions.

We did find it difficult to locate this year’s brochure, eventually running our copy to ground at Hove Station.

Pleased to see that Hove Arts are all open on the two bank holiday Mondays – other trails could follow suit, as it does add so much to a holiday weekend.

Sometimes finding it a little difficult to read the maps – perhaps the individual trail maps could be printed bigger in future brochures, and we do ask why George Street, as Hove’s main shopping street and a landmark for visitors, has not been marked?

We see that Fiveways have once again produced their own smart A5 brochure for their trail – we wonder if this heralds another major development in the history of Artists’ Open Houses?

Some old favourites are taking a break this year, and many houses are celebrating their first year’s opening – the event grows and evolves every year, which is just as it should be.

Whatever suits you; whether you stick to following a trail, or simply go for a wander round town and spot the distinctive blue and white Open House banners – anything goes!

Some personal responses to the Open House experience …

Saturday 3rd May

Independent 12: The Magic Lamp
Along a pretty garden to our first venue this year, a newcomer to Open House world. Something for everyone here, including photography, mosaic and digital art. Particularly noticed:
Kristin Lundgren – sexy bondage boots pretty enough to hang on the wall
Fiona Hutchinson – stacking silver gemstone rings

Seven Dials 5: Fugitive Ink
A house of paintings and ceramics featuring:
Jake Spicer – currently presenting life drawing classes at New England House, shows contemplative small scale oil paintings and intricate pencil drawings
Michaela Ridgway – strong charcoal life drawings
Kate Brinsley – loved the milk-themed ceramic tableware, especially the chunky little birdy-handled jugs

Seven Dials 4: Sixes and Sevens
A friendly, welcoming house with a great variety on show, especially:
Mary Farnea – fine silver hoop earrings and bracelets
Cat Brown – dainty curved ceramic leaf ornaments and little bowls full of iridescent molten glass

Sunday 4th May

Helen Rawlings
Helen Rawlings

Independent 13: Art at the Good Shepherd
This Victorian church is a great new venue for:
Astrid Lee – Buddhism-inspired paintings
Alex Lobo – detailed ink and watercolour portraits of houses, cottages and pubs
Robert Ollerenshaw – contrasting impressionistic scenes of sunset, city and sky
Helen Rawlings – wildlife watercolours and scenes of English country life; gundogs, horses chickens and a fieldmouse on a bramble

Dyke Road1: 56 Tivoli Crescent
This multi-storey TARDIS of a home boasts some fabulous views over Brighton. Particularly noticed:
Chris Hill – cool abstract botanical paintings in acrylic and graphite, with a subtle layered finish

Pauline Findlay
Pauline Findlay

Dyke Road 2: The Gloobah House
Cute things to wear and for home and garden:
Pauline Findlay – bubbly waves captured in fused glass and transformed into bowls, pictures and sculptures

Seven Dials 11: Art Line
The Ruffell / Slade family are well established exhibitors on the art trail, and this year Colin and Frances are showing at their daughter Shyama’s home. Paintings everywhere in this gorgeous house and garden, serving tea and cake [£2.50]. Well worth a visit! Guest artist Frances Doherty’s ceramic pods and mysterious organic shapes look fabulous among the bluebells.

Monday 5th May

Half of Hove Arts today – an established and highly professional trail, obligingly open both bank holiday Mondays, we hope to visit the remainder on the final day.

Dion Salvador Lloyd
Dion Salvador Lloyd

Hove Arts 1: Dion Salvador Lloyd
An accomplished show, as ever, from this nationally-exhibited artist. The natural palette of muted tones are inspired and echoed by arrangements of shell, flint, driftwood and bone throughout Dion and Emma’s home, recently featured in the new book, ‘Home for Now’ by Joanna Thornhill.

Donating a painting on a postcard to Martlets Hospice and Rotary Club mystery art auction in June 2013 inspired Dion to create more swift, of-the-moment smaller scale oils on paper, a terrific contrast to his established style of oils layered and built up over time. ‘Hibernia,’ a hefty moody stormy oil on canvas, deserves its centre stage.

Ceramic pieces by Gilles le Corre and Ian Gregory complement the painting.

Hove Arts 6: Kellie Miller
Another well-established feature of Hove Arts trail each year is this welcoming working studio in the heart of a cobbled Victorian mews. Kellie’s painting and ceramic work flow into each other in a cool, elegant fusion of colour and line.

Hove Arts 5: 51 Wilbury Road
The original Hove Arts venue, several flats have opened together for an eclectic and absorbing event. We spent quite some time here, only partly because of the most gorgeous chocolate fudge cake with superfruits and a proper pot of tea [£3.70] in the basement flat, showing some charming paintings by Lionel Pichault.

Up to the top for a sense of fun, recycling and a fresh look at life with CassetteLord’s graffiti street art and Lawrence Latham’s re-purposed camera lamps.

Then down to the heart of the venue, showing Alain Guy’s great sculpted ceramic heads with a classical world feeling and John Beetham’s powerful land- and cityscapes. Joined this year by Campoli and Nelson’s glass and silversmithing partnership – sinuous modern jewellery pieces, using glass as precious stones.

Olivia Ferrier
Olivia Ferrier

Hove Arts 2: Collectors Selection
This venue is always a happening – a smart Victorian villa and garden, home to painting and sculpture, music and books.
Olivia Ferrier – absolutely adore her larky black bronze raven sculptures, perched on an old garden fork and salvaged pieces of wrecked beach groyne
Aksong Rukpong – pretty, dreamy paintings
Simon Royer – so detailed paintings of sea, foam and sky

Hove Arts 3: G & T
Round to another working mews studio, this time lined with Gary Jones’ and Tony Bowall’s photographs, paintings and prints of Brighton and Hove in all its snowy or sunny moods – beach huts, deckchairs and the gracefully fading West Pier.

Cliff Wright
Cliff Wright

Hove Arts 4: Tessa Wolfe Murray and Guests
And finally this weekend, to another Hove Arts stalwart. Take a look at the photographs of middle Eastern cave dwellings which show so clearly how Tessa’s travel experiences influence the shapes, smoky finishes and enigmatic markings that make her work so distinctive. Small scale and approachable, wearable works of art – brooches, buttons, necklaces and earrings, with vases, clocks and wall pieces for the home.

And another treat – work by Cliff Wright, the artist whose paintings feature on the cover of so many Harry Potter books. Prints of the Potter cover paintings are fascinating in themselves, but for me the image of the festival so far is his original watercolour “The Sword in the Stone”, inspired by the TH White tale of the boyhood of King Arthur. It’s a minutely-observed scene that will just captivate fellow lovers of this book.