A brief trail report for us this weekend. Our house guest had asked for a guided tour so we’ve revisited quite a few of the houses we’ve already covered, including Wolf at the Door, Dion Salvador Lloyd, Milton House, Glass in Fusion and Cecil Rice, along with some we hadn’t been to yet this year.
Final weekend impressions … have felt a little put off by several times being told ‘there is art for sale all round the house and the garden … ‘ I understand that’s the goal for all artists, but I don’t need to be prodded quite so much.
I’ve found I most enjoy the houses that keep to the Artist’s Open House ethos. I’ve felt most at ease when I’ve clearly come into the artist’s home, have the chance to meet them and chat about their work, and don’t feel as if I’ve strayed into a gallery or department store. I do wonder if the cost of appearing in the brochure drives a need to have as many guest artists as possible?
Each year there seems to be something that pops up quite frequently, and I noticed this year the image of Frida Kahlo appearing in paintings, prints and jewellery by several artists.
The cupcake seems to have had its day …
Seven Dials venue 11: The Magic Lamp
Up to this pretty, friendly lamplit flat on Dyke Road, for small scale gifts in digital, paint and thread for friends and home.
Rubandagar’s striking shadow and flaming tree painting
Caroline Jones’s sleek wood work
Seven Dials venue 8: Salon des Sources
An engrossing exhibition, particularly strong on ceramics and wearable art jewellery
Jaq Buckeridge’s Chinese – inspired ceramics
Kate Hackett’s Brighton ceramics with a Swallows and Amazons nautical air
Caroline Smith’s Decorated Woman power pieces – confident statement necklaces
Steve Carroll’s prints with vintage spaceman style
And I absolutely loved Rosie Odette’s powerful and striking gem-dotted gold bangle
Seven Dials venue 7: Family Art Line
Ruffell and Slade and friends welcome visitors to home and garden again this year – they’re a long established family show. Visit the garden studio for paintings and prints too.
CR dynamic London oils
Frances Doherty’s garden ceramics have real presence
Beyond the Level venue 9: The Stanley Road Store
Quirky clothes and vintage jewellery, textiles, lamps, plants for sale and a fun portrait tent in the garden. A bit of an ‘everything must go’ feel with prices-slashed announcements to each visitor …
Beyond the Level venue 8: Circus at the Circus!
Curtis Tappenden’s solo residency at the Circus Coffee House documents his time spent around circus artistes, capturing moments of their performances with energy, humour and speed.
Beyond the Level venue 10: 38 Viaduct
Pausing only to admire the vintage steam roller parked outside the Duke of York, we headed up Viaduct Road next to see Judy Martin’s adventures among characters, catacombs and corpses captured in pen and ink, biro and watercolour – swift portraits of life and death. Particularly struck by the Him series – little studies of the mediaeval mummies of Palermo.
Beyond the Level venue 7: Glass in Fusion
As the last few minutes of the last day of the 2016 Artists Open Houses festival ticked away, we dropped in for a revisit and a catchup with one of our favourite venues, where Stephanie Else creates the most marvellous glass.
Next stop Christmas …