AOH 2016 feature: Philomena Harmsworth

Hanover Trail.Venue 12: Studio Q Philomena Harmsworth

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Meet the creator of the inspired body of work “Destruction for Lift – Off”.

You are invited to peruse the work which will be hung at Venue 12 Hanover Trail. There will also be sketchbooks to look through where you can delve into the artist’s mind. And of course: meet the artist herself, who has previously exhibited at Farley Farm House, East Sussex. Philomena Harmsworth has had her paintings hung in rooms where some of the giants of Modernism, such as Picasso, and Lee Miller, lived and worked.

Studio Q, 195 Lewes Rd, Brighton, BN2 3LA

7th & 14th May, 10.00am – 4.00pm

www.philomenaharmsworthart.co.uk

AOH 2016 – first weekend

Our first weekend on the trail

Brighton and Hove Artists’ Open Houses, a feature of the yearly Brighton Festival and Fringe, is one of the world’s biggest art festivals. Houses, galleries, studios and many more venues to enjoy. Each year we grab the brochure and take you with us as we explore some old favourites and highlight some great new finds.

This first weekend must be a record – five days of launches and artists’ houses and other venues on the 2016 AOH trail. Not all trails or houses were open on the first weekend in May, as the festival and fringe don’t officially open till next weekend. Some have different opening times – as always, read the brochure carefully to avoid disappointment.

Hove Venue 2: The Claremont

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We begin as ever with parties! This gorgeous Victorian villa offers luxe accommodation, great breakfasts, vintage cream teas – and an exhibition of artwork on all floors. Brighton Gin in hand, we mingled with the crowd at the launch evening, enjoying the work and the pianist too – and we’ll probably be back later on to take a turn round the garden and pick out some favourites. Their own mini brochure carries details of the artists.

Hove Venue 9: Dion Salvador Lloyd

Lloyd

This award winning Royal Academician has had another great year of successes. Come to this elegant and accomplished show and meet Dion and Emma – the art and soul of this house. Winner of the 2015 Best Artists’s Open House, it’s a tough act to follow. We’ll be back.

Hove Venue 3: Cameron Contemporary Art

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This gallery just opposite the Claremont offers an eclectic and engrossing show of painting, ceramics, pastels, solar etchings, sculpture and jewellery.

Highlights:

Matthew Draper’s dreamy pastel studies of sea and shore

Kevin Hensley’s Fashionistas – portraits of steampunk gangster gentleman style

Kirsty Wither’s glowing stlll lives

Seven Dials Venue 1: Cecil Rice

rice

Vibrant watercolour and oil painting inspired by Venice, India and Brighton

Important note: the brochure gives the wrong times. Cecil’s house is open every Saturday and Sunday 12-5.

Hove Venue 13: The Wolf at the Door

Jill Tattersall’s friendly and welcoming house hosts guest artists, a pop up cafe and Jill’s own work.

Highlights

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Deepest blue night skies, medieval history, handwriting, handmade paper, gold and silver all feature in Jill’s work – especially loved the 1066 painting, commemorating this year’s 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Calvert

Linda Calvert’s fluid textured ceramic lamps

Hove Venue 1: 9a Hove Place

This terrific apartment is well established as the house where serious paintings & ceramics merge – glossy little vessels meet cave painting, fire, smoke and earth tones.

Hove Venue 14: 8 Bishops Road

Ellis Sykes in collaboration with Mind offers an exploration of the theme of mental health. We’ll feature Ellis’s work later in the month. A thought provoking and authentic look at experiences of and attitudes towards the health of the mind.

Central Venue 11: The Brighton gARTen: My Brighton x Artfinder

A rather perplexing title this, but head into the My Brighton Hotel, up in the lift to the meeting room which has been transformed for the festival with handpainted murals and astroturf floor. Birds, flowers, trees and butterflies inspire the art on show and create a green atmosphere for the various workshops. I did think the space could host much more work that was on show – perhaps a triumph of venue over content?

Central Venue 13: The Holistic Art House

The prettiest house so far – lovely jewellery altar, permanent wall mosaic, colour saturated paintings and a welcoming terrace garden … a turquoise, silvery, sparkly haven.

Cental Venue 15: Colour Laine

A slick contemporary show featuring double-exposure traditional photography and screenprint furniture, plus an honesty box for home made refreshments.

So ends our first weekend

 

AOH 2016: Dion Salvador Lloyd

Winner of Best Open House 2015

www.dionsalvador.co.uk/profile

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to my Open House exhibition of new contemporary landscape paintings and paperworks.This will be the 16th consecutive year I have exhibited as part of the Brighton Festival’s Artist’s Open Houses. My home and exhibition will be open every weekend in May (all five) and both Bank Holiday Mondays from 10am-6pm. If you would like to come at any other time please let me know. This is a wonderful opportunity to view new paintings, see how I present my work at home/studio and to chat about what inspires me. 

18 Goldstone Villas
Hove
East Sussex
BN3 3RQ

 
01273 321 029
07718 450 745
info@dionsalvador.co.uk
www.dionsalvador.co.uk

AOH 2016: The Claremont launch party

www.theclaremont.eu

claremont-aoh-launch-poster-2016-web

Brighton and Hove will soon be buzzing with Festival fever and it couldn’t be a better time to visit the city!

We will be open to the public every weekend during the month of May between 11.30am and 6pm (including the bank holidays) as part of the Festival’s ‘Artists’ Open Houses’.

The garden is looking really lovely now and there will be plenty of ‘outdoor’ art to see so all we need is some good weather!

Visitors can browse the new art collection throughout the building or just pop in for a cup of tea and a sample of our homemade cake, or even book a cream tea – see www.theclaremont.eu/afternoon-tea.

We would be delighted to welcome you, as a valued customer, to our launch party on 28th April (see below) – just contact us on art@theclaremont.eu to be entered on our guest list.

We will also be hosting theatrical events during the weekend of the 14th and 15th and on the 21st May – see www.brightonfringe.org/box-office/shows/search/venue/1678.

If you’re looking for a venue for a wedding or a party this would be a good time to come along and have a look around and we will be running a prize draw for a stay at the Claremont with champagne.

The Claremont offers a truly relaxing and comfortable place to stay and has some great deals on offer for the summer too.

Email us on info@theclaremont.eu or pick up the phone and chat to our Executive Manager, Dan on

+44 (0)1273 735161 to discuss your requirements.

We look forward to welcoming you again and hope to see you!

Best Wishes

The Team @ The Claremont

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The Claremont, Second Avenue, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2LL
Tel: +44 (0)1273 735161 | Fax: +44 (0)1273 736836 | Email: info@theclaremont.eu

Brighton Modelworld 2016

We report from this year’s event

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We spent most of our weekend at the Brighton Centre, enjoying Brighton Modelworld 2016.

A packed centre saw exhibitors, model makers, dealers, demonstrators and clubs all drawn together by their love of making, showing and using their models.

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For the railway fans there’s everything at every scale to see, experience and buy. Vintage steam trains and layouts, a whole Lego seaside town, intricate worlds created by dedicated societies. Go up in scale and you can ride on a miniature working passenger train in the main hall, or find out how to go and visit real working lines and stations.

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It’s not just about trains. Dolls’ houses, narrowboats and caravans create entire little worlds in miniature and there’s a whole room dedicated to the sights and sounds of circus and fairground. Radio-controlled boats on a pond, planes, helicopters, racing cars, Tamiya trucks and drones are attracting the have-a-go fans, and there are plenty of comic and film figures, fantasy wargaming characters and model soldiers. Whatever your interest, there’s an amazing variety on show and certain to be something here for you.

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We were surprised there were so few Star Trek and Star Wars models represented – perhaps it’s a different crowd, served more by the Brighton Film and Comic Con? But Doctor Who was a strong presence – a full Tardis police box, console and set, with a team of Doctor cosplayers were hugely popular, the roving interactive talking Daleks a real highlight.

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Exhibitors are happy to discuss their work and to demonstrate their models – find out how to construct incredibly detailed model houses from cardboard packaging, coffee shop stirrers and Weetabix, and watch the close work involved painting intricate wargaming characters. There are painting and making workshops on offer for a few pounds.

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So who’s it all for? Traditionally it’s seen as something for boys and yes there were certainly more boys than girls represented here, and not many older teens. The little boys and girls at this weekend’s Modelworld are the future of STEM in the UK and it was great to see so many families, often three generations all out having fun together.

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Not crowded but with enough people to generate a real buzz, they’ve got the scale and venue right. We weren’t so keen on the Brighton Centre catering and pricing – we tended to pop out for some fresh air and coffee nearby, and we’d welcome more seating inside the various halls.

Must see – Titan the Robot. This huge walking, talking, singing entertainer gives three daily performances. You’ll believe he’s talking to you!

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Favourite image from the show – passing the skills from one generation to the next.

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Best memories – we waltzed with a Dalek, got squirted by Titan the Robot, and made and flew a plane.

Looking forward to Brighton Modelworld 2017

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Mummeee … I think there’s something a bit funny about the new au pair …

www.brightonmodelworld.com

Barcombe Collective at Artwave 2015

Artwave 2015

Artwave

For the first time the artists at Sewells Farm Barcombe will be opening their studios to the public for Artwave 2015.

Over the weekend of the 5/6th of September, 11 – 4, come and see why such a diverse group of artists have chosen this beautiful secluded location as a place to work, and draw inspiration.

Meet Philomena Harmsworth whose recent exhibition at Farley Farm House saw her canvases hung in rooms where giants of Modernism, such as Picasso and Lee Miller have lived and worked. Philomena views her own studio space as an extension of her intriguing, sketchbooks. Together they create the anchored point from which the narrative of her work can evolve.

In contrast Sandra Hurst Chico found paper and canvas too confining for her ideas, so she turned to Willow as a medium to create, as she says, ‘giant 3D sketches’. Growing and coppicing, dry or living, Sandra’s work explores all aspects of the weaving craft. She shares her knowledge and expertise in private tutorials, school workshops and community projects.

Mark Griffiths finds the inspiration for his furniture designs in sci-fi, and 1930’s Hollywood, which is evident in both his Shell table and Triffid lamp. Along with creating contemporary pieces, Mark’s woodworking skills have recently led him to be involved in a project to recreate an Iron Age dug out vessel discovered in an Irish bog, using simple tools from the period.

Join them at Sewells Farm for a weekend of conversation, discussion, refreshments and wonderful works of art.

The refreshments will be in aid of the leading children’s charities NSPCC and East Sussex’s Foster Carer’s Association

Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2015

A Celebration of Creativity and Invention

Saturday September 5th Corn Exchange, Brighton

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A Celebration of Creativity and Invention

Saturday September 5th Corn Exchange, Brighton

Brighton Mini Maker Faire, the festival of making, creativity and invention takes place every year in the Corn Exchange in Brighton. We bring together the most inspired, talented and ambitious makers and 3,000 excited visitors to share the fun of making – to learn, watch and get their hands dirty. There are robots, crafting, musical instruments, cosplay, electronics, weaving and more.

www.makerfairebrighton.com

About Maker Faire

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors. They are of all ages and backgrounds. Maker Faire’s mission is to entertain, inform, connect and inspire these thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers.

The inaugural Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2011 celebrated its sixth annual Bay Area event with some 100,000 people in attendance. As Maker Faire has grown in popularity and relevance, additional flagship faires were launched in 2010 in Detroit and New York City. Community-driven, independently produced Mini Maker Faire events inspired by Maker Faire are now being produced around the United States and the world, including Brighton Mini Maker Faire.

Activities for all ages include arts & crafts, robots and engineering, wood and metalwork, electronics, science, tech, music and more amazing do-it-yourself creation.

Highlights from previous Brighton Mini Maker Faires

Over 10,000 people have piled into the Dome for Brighton Mini Maker Faire since 2011, to witness the mind-boggling home-made creations of the best inventors, crafters, hackers and DIY-ers from across the UK – and they got involved: making, experimenting, playing, learning and interacting.

We’ll be there on Saturday – looking forward to it!

Made It 2015

Thoughts from a weekend visiting Made It; the 2015 University of Brighton graduate art show

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@artsbrighton #brightonshow15

Thoughts from a weekend visiting Made It; the 2015 University of Brighton graduate art show:

It’s Saturday afternoon at the beginning of the Show, yet the university isn’t Tweeting or reTweeting. For an organisation launching inexperienced artists into a saturated market, isn’t this a significant missed opportunity to promote?

And the scowling black clad security guards add an unexpected air of menace – although we did wonder if they might be an installation…

The highlights

If you’re looking for drawing, painting, print, graphic design, sculpture, 3D and illustration, you’ll find them all and more represented best in Fashion and Textiles, rather than in their dedicated courses.

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Clear, focussed research into themes and their execution – and exuberant flights of fancy in texture, colour and detail. Many of the designs, prints, swatches and experimental knits are covetable works of art in themselves.

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Tellingly, these courses also feature Business Studies – but why does the University itself describe this as ‘a rare mix’ in its prospectus entry for the course? All their courses should prepare students to survive and prosper in the real world.

Digital sound and video showcase enigmatic film, fragments and noise – the digital game, sound and SFX professionals of the future practising their scales in public.

BA Hons Architecture

Future British cityscape being created right here at the old fruit market – spectacular location!

Some fascinating models and plans

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But …

As ever, much is mysterious and enigmatic; ideas are pursued down the rabbit hole and the results and ‘outcomes’ described in the most impenetrable of artist statements.

A selfie-obsessed extended childhood stretches across the borders, making it often difficult to tell which discipline you’re in.

With the pushalong toys, budgies, pink fluffy soft fake fur, glitter, giant Quality Streets and a big straw hut, there’s an ephemeral child-like theme in the Sculpture room – at least the boat is a full size outline of a Viking longship, to add a bit of ballast.

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The back to the womb tone continues in Fine Art Painting and Performance & Visual Art, where things are happening in soft pink or dark little rooms; ballooning clown shapes and comforting wraps dominate the Fashion show and there are pompoms, a pink fluffy bathrobe and several projects about childhood bedrooms in Illustration and Graphic Design.

In something of a contrast, there’s also quite a penis fixation this year – painted, sculpted, papier mache, joky bananas and bracelet charms … I took to playing ‘where’s willy’ as we visited each room, and can’t help wondering what’s been happening here recently …

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Students are allowed to produce video and performance work of a standard that would not get them cast or hired in the real world and it’s difficult to imagine what a cinema and theatre-literate audience makes of them. They need to know how to write, use a camera, produce quality sound and speak and move on screen and it looks like they aren’t being taught how. The answer ‘but this is performance art, not theatre or film’ doesn’t cut it in the real world.

So few of the artists’ statements and name labels include Twitter, Linked In, Instagram and website details, and there are few business cards around. One student is showing a brilliant commercial idea – yet told us that he has no business plan, funding or online presence set up over his final year ready for graduation into the real world.

Preparing students for practice and business in the real world should surely include highlighting the importance of networking, personal brand and online presence, as well as the business plan and essential funds.

Utterly loved the budgies and went back to say hi again.

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AOH 2015

Our first AOH weekend is one big round of parties and private views – it starts here!

Polly Raynes

Polly Raynes
Thursday April 30th

We picked up Fiveways Artists’ very smart glossy trail magazine today; it’s a pleasure to read.

Our AOH 2015 has started early with red wine and nibbles at the first of many private views this weekend.


Fiveways 9: Polly Raynes and Friends

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This is a beautifully presented show in a fabulous Victorian house and water garden.

Highlights:

Chris Brooks’ metalworks; characterful sculpted fish, whales and crustaceans in rusted, copper and gleaming silvery tones

Polly Raynes’ vibrant watercolour and acrylic paintings of Pompeii, Venice, animals, woodlands and sea

Helen Hodson’s enigmatic little ceramic Bods

Harry Venning’s laugh-out-loud cartoons.

And Chris and Polly’s fourteen year old son Rafe’s accomplished collection of metal leaf-shaped outdoor candle holders – great to see this ancient skill continuing from father to son, and several sold while we visited.

Also showing textiles, embroidery, wildlife illustrations, fused glass, ceramics and jewellery, with talks and workshops over the Festival. There really is something for everyone, here.

A great start to our first weekend – highly recommended.

Five more private views tomorrow.

Friday May 1st

Private View Marathon

This evening we walked the rounds of five different private view parties in three hours.

Thank you to all the artists for your hospitality and our apologies to all those we couldn’t get to – we’d have needed Hermione’s Time Turner to visit them all! Meanwhile, our first impressions as the wine flowed …

Bridge of Sighs

Cecil Rice

Seven Dials 10: Cecil Rice

Rice is one of the best established artists in the festival. He’s well known as a painter of glowy watercolours celebrating light, sea and architecture of the world, especially Venice, France, India and Brighton. As ever, a busy show with a real buzz.

Highlights:

The light and airy ‘Mother of Pearl Sea’ and ‘Bridge of Sighs’

Ian Hodgson

Ian Hodgson

Brunswick 1: Naked Eye

The scent of flames from a firepit welcomes you into Farm Mews, a former stable converted into studios and a gallery.

Highlights:

Lesley Jones’ tranquil oil on canvas landscapes
Mark Thompson’s curvy and sensual platters
Ian Hodgson’s graphite on paper work; Leonardoesque architectural fragments in shadow and mist

Dion Salvador Lloyd

Dion Salvador Lloyd

Hove 5: Dion Salvador Lloyd

Lloyd must be one of the most successful professionals on the circuit today, and is highly exhibited and collected. His evening private view is the place to be, and probably the only Open House to feature a doorman at the front gate. Profoundly inspired by the natural world in shape, colour and texture, his works are complemented by displays of shells, feathers and skulls. Some epic and powerful works as ever, with smaller more intimate pieces for contrast, and now painted ceramic work to add to his portfolio.

Jill Tattersall

Jill Tattersall

Hove 4: Wolf at the Door

A relaxed and welcoming show featuring Jill Tattersall’s mixed media pieces on handmade paper, rich inks and metallics, Campoli and Nelson’s collaborative glass and silver jewellery, Judith Berrill’s landscapes and Richard Sharland’s paintings and poetry. Andrew Jones kinetic garden sculptures to be visited later! Then finally to nearly-next-door-neighbours …

Pierre Diamantopoulo

Pierre Diamantopoulo

Hove 3: Collectors’ Selection

… for a late-night last party of the evening. An elegant show truly harmonising art and home. Many painters and sculptors exhibiting here, and an enticing candlelit sculpture garden. Alberto Martinez’ homage to Lady Penelope and Parker for Thunderbirds’ fiftieth anniversary.

We’ll be back to the Wolf and the Collectors soon to visit the garden sculptures in daylight!
We hope to spend more time at the houses over the next month, when we’ll expand our reviews.

And so to bed …

Saturday May 2nd

Today we stopped off first to enjoy the Children’s Parade, announcing the beginning of the Festival. Next up …

Our Brighton Hippodrome Exhibition

Our Brighton Hippodrome Exhibition

Independent [and not in brochure] Hippodrome Past, Present and Future at 13 Powis Square

A one-weekend-only exhibition celebrating the history of the Brighton Hippodrome Theatre and raising awareness of the Theatre’s potential as a major centre for live performance for the city and beyond in the future. Playbills, programmes, souvenirs and a fabulous miniature model of the theatre.

If you’d like to know more about Our Brighton Hippodrome’s campaign to bring the Theatre back to life, please visit www.ourhippodrome.org.uk

Next to a cluster of three houses in the nearby Seven Dials trail:

Hilary Stewart

Hilary Stewart

Seven Dials 2: 3 Victoria Street

This charmingly pink house on the lovely Victoria Street features Hilary Stewart’s delicately observed nudes in watercolour, oils and solar etchings, inspired by Greek mythology.

Tiffany Lynch

Tiffany Lynch

Seven Dials 3: House of Animal Consciousness

In a friendly house packed with paintings and print, the highlights were Tiffany Lynch’s pastel paintings of animals in woodland.

Claire Arbuthnott

Claire Arbuthnott

Seven Dials 4: The Iona House

Edinburgh-resident Claire Arbuthnott is showing a collection of paintings of sea, sky and rock; powerful bold landscapes with energy and verve in enriched colour spiced with black.

Theresa Sundt

Theresa Sundt

Seven Dials 9: The Walled Garden

You may have often passed this gate, overgrown with ivy most of the year, and not realised that behind it is a welcoming walled garden leading to this Open House. Colour therapy and personality translates into silk abstract art and I loved Theresa Sundt’s textured jewel-coloured scarves.

Seven Dials 13: Art at Belmont

Always good to welcome new Houses to the festival. A deceptively spacious lower ground floor flat with a refreshing mix of glitter and gleam, paintings, drawings, textiles and print.

Kristin Lundgren

Kristin Lundgren

Seven Dials 17: The Magic Lamp

A friendly flat with good conversation and an eclectic mixture of work. Kristin Lundgren’s iridescent Italian leather bags and cases and Caroline Jones’ unusual little painted folding camping tables really caught my eye. News: Handmadebyhippo will be making mosaics in the front garden on sunny days.

Fiveways 19: 2 Knoyle

A popular private view to round off our day at this extensive family show, featuring the ceramics shed in the garden – I usually suffer from severe shed envy each year! I hope to visit again soon and have a more leisurely look around.

 

Sunday May 3rd

Beyond the Level 9: 30 Gerard Street

A glass of Bucks Fizz kicked off an early start at another private view this morning, celebrating 3D art.

Highlights

Frances Bloomfield – mixed media boxed pieces. reminiscent of storytelling theatrical, opera and film sets. Her work features trees, writing, architecture and music. Look out for ‘Prelude Inspirale’ especially.

Julie Kirk – delicate coral, lime and silver-toned jewellery pieces

Rhoda Baker – geometric paperscapes, where shadow and light are as important as shape and line

Beyond the Level 10: Glass in Fusion

Stephanie Else
Stephanie Else

Stephanie Else is artist in residence at this working glass studio, transformed each Festival into a smart exhibition of her work. Consistently one of my favourite Open Studios, she shows a great range from little fridge magnets, earrings and dishes to epic wall pieces and platters. Iridescent gleam and rich colour in distinctive designs.

Highlights: turquoise abstract ocean-inspired pictures in glass.

Note – Caia Matheson has now moved away from this studio space

Beyond the Level 8: 99

With last year’s memory of one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted strong in my mind, tea and cake from the glamorous shed in the tea garden was my first stop at this welcoming house of making and craft. I was right – their coconut and lime cake really is fabulous.

An immaculate display and a total lfestyle, offering wreaths, fairies, jewellery, throws, pickles and 40s vintage style frocks.

Highlights: Nikki Ward’s boxed paper butterfly clouds

Beyond the Level 7: Jennifer Beresford

Huge paintings and prints in a domestic setting, offering vibrant colour, a funfair theme and bags of energy and oomph.

Highlights:

Jennifer Beresford – spectacular city clusters and the Dungeness triptych

Andy Walters – exotic tropical mirrors

Walking away from the town centre now, up to Dyke Road trail…

Dyke Road 6: Nine By Nine

This house specialises in print, especially featuring letters, numbers and words, and I noticed quite a 50s vibe in colour and design throughout. Engrossing paper and textile print works, and Emma Sutherland’s gilded free-form blue and gold bowls in delicate contrast.

Dyke Road 7: Milton House

A few doors along now to an intriguing house, built into the side of the hill – pop upstairs to the garden and look down through the skylight to the kitchen. Really reminds you that Brighton is almost entirely hill! A great variety and a friendly welcome from owners and cat.
Painting, ceramics, textiles and glass on two levels.

Highlights:

Helen Shaw – satisfyingly hefty silver rings
Hoity Toity – delicate little silver jewellery pieces, quite Roman

Dyke Road 1: Trojan House

Regular visitors to artist Troy Ohlson’s open house will be intrigued – a whirl of building and decorating works has transformed the house. See the artist’s new downstairs studio and visit two smart new upstairs rooms for Troy’s painting and print, with work by guest artists in ceramics, textiles, jewellery, stone and wood. Aromatic candles and soaps scent the air.

Dyke Road 5: Art at the Good Shepherd

An eclectic show by local artists at this Dyke Road Victorian church.

Highlights:

Helen Rawlings – traditional watercolour paintings of animals and birds

Third weekend

Saturday

It’s the Festival’s third weekend but our second, having taken a break last weekend. We have guests so we’re exploring our local houses:

Dyke Road 1: The Trojan House

A return visit, a warm welcome and a glass of Pete’s Pimms at Troy Ohlson’s Trojan House, where we bought a little carved pebble – a found object beautified by stone carver Howard Young.

Dyke Road 2: 56 Tivoli Cresceont

This fresh, airy house always surprises, built on four levels on the side of a hill with the most spectacular views.

Highlights

Chris Hill – ethereal flower painting
Keith Pettitt – monochrome wood engraved studies of Sussex, in 18th century style
Riz Wallis – smoky blue ceramics with gilded frilly edges (quite a thing this year)

Down an epic set of urban steps now, proving Brighton really is carved out of the South Downs!

Dyke Road 3: The Dog House

Owner Karen Barratt’s architectural photographic collages blend with an extensive, elegant and eclectic show throughout three storeys.

Painting, glass, jewellery, furniture, ceramics, textiles and a fascinating photographic exhibition on the Stead family and the Raj.

Upstairs to the studio for refreshments in aid of Whoopsadaisy and a chat about Brighton’s Hippodrome and BOAT theatres.

Highlights

Rosamund Fowler – I absolutely loved her wildlife wood engravings, and the greetings cards are little works of art in themselves.

Hove 2: The Wolf at the Door

A return visit to see Andrew Jones’ twisty turny kinetic sculptures in daylight, displayed in the garden.

Highlights

Campoli and Nelson – collaboration in silver and glass; especially the heavy pleated silver pendant with dark glass jewel, and the rough silver cuff with pale green glass insets.

Jill Tattersall – night sky paintings in glowing blue and gold on handmade paper. Jill tells stories with her work.

Sunday

To Hove to begin with.

Hove 12: Cameron Contemporary Art

This busy gallery in the heart of Hove is specialising in the work of Sussex artists throughout the Festival. Painting and print, ceramics and sculpture.

Highlights

Kevin Hendley – oil on panel; a collection of darkly challenging stares – hipster Vettriano through a mediaeval lens

Harriet Porter – silvery serene still lives, studies in simplicity

Mike Dean – burr oak turned wooden bowls, where holes are part of the life of the original tree

Hove 11: The Claremont

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A real feature on this trail now. A gorgeous Victorian villa now five star  guest accommodation. Host exhibitions throughout the year with work throughout the building during the festival. Pick up their own little brochure for details of the many artists showing this month.

Refreshments in the study and the garden for donations in aid of the earthquake appeal.

Independent: Albert Mews Studios

Always a buzz here in one of Hove’s many atmospheric Mews, now converted into artists’ studios. Resident artists and guests transform their usual workspace into a gallery each May. Print, hats, hose, wood and lots of desirable things to wear, use and eat!

Refreshments for a donation.

Hove 6: Eve Poland

Stylish glamour girls and naughty kitties, Japanese sensibility and a sense of fun – Eve’s paintings and hand printed silkscreen prints are definitely for grown ups only!

Three venues specialising in ceramics, next:

Hove 7: Biscuit Studio Mary Penley Ceramics

A new exhibitor in Kellie’s mews studios. Wacky working teapots, Golden Snitch style winged ceramic spheres and popular birdy cane toppers.

Hove 8: Kellie Miller Studio

A long established feature of this trail, Kellie shows her distinctive blend of painting meets ceramic, creating peaceful woodlands and 3D landscapes.

Joined this year by Bruce Denny’s dynamic poised bronze nudes.

Hove 9: Tessa Wolf Murray and Guests

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Our mini ceramics trail within a trail continues with Tessa’s popular show, now expanded into the garden studio. See the travel photographs that inspire the mood, textures and tones of her work. Vases and wall pieces in restrained, enigmatic natural colours and satisfying shape, together with practical buttons, brooches and pendants.

Linda Warwick – Sleeping Birds ceramics suggest just that, with the lightest touch

Mike Topham – witty wire art 3D sketches

Cliff Wright – Fantastic opportunity to see work by the Harry Potter cover artist, who illustrates stories with an eye for detail that draws you in

Walking east to Seven Dials trail now. Ocasionally you’ll find the more far flung or isolated houses will require a car or an all-day bus ticket, but most of our trailing is easily done on foot, and there are usually a lot of houses clustered together.

Seven Dials 11: The Colbourne Collection

An immaculate scented house with the kind of kitchen you might dream about! Jewellery, painting and photography and refreshments in the garden.

Highlights

Louisa Boyd – sea and landscapes with a fantasy feel, especially ‘Here I Stand’ and ‘Morning Shallows’

Seven Dials 12: Family Art Line

The Ruffell and Slade family of artists at home and introducing the enviable new working studio in the garden. Enter the free weekly prize draw and maybe win a print.

Highlights

Shyama Ruffell’s botanical and butterfly painting. Quite a butterfly theme thus year, along with a trend for theatrical storytelling with little pieces presented in boxes, tins, books and jars. Shyama’s butterfly boxes charm.

Seven Dials 15: Salon des Sources

A house of variety, showcasing painting and print, jewellery including the most delicate silver and gold, dynamic resin and world culture inspirations, ceramic, mosaics, textiles and fairies.

Highlights:

Caroline Smith’s unique statement jewellery pieces for the woman who means business.

The chance to meet Bernard Lodge, the artist who created the iconic opening credit sequences for some of the most famous sixties TV series, including Adam Adamant and Doctor Who. Today showing new prints, Bernard’s work is the cover of this year’s AOH brochure.

Seven Dials 14: The Snug

And now for something completely different! This new open house is all theatre and flair. Oil painting, jewellery, furniture and a glamorous red dressing room for accessories and capes.

Highlights:

Mary Grant – dreamlike impressionistic oils of night, forest and sky, especially ‘A Lover of the Night’

Jessica Christie-Miller – steampunk Victorian upholstered pinboards and hats, feathers, flowers and skulls

Fourth weekend

Saturday

Central 8: Sussex County Arts Club

A long-established artists’ club in an atmospheric loft at the heart of Brighton’s North Laine. A costumed life drawing session is in progress as we visit. I’ve sat for a portrait series here, and you really get the sense that generations of artists have gathered here to exhibit and work.

The walls are closely hung with the results of these sessions – it’s  fascinating to see different views of the same model; this time our very own Michael ‘Atters’ Attree in his very own louche style!

See the prizewinning paintings of the year and pick up details of sessions and events, too. We were here for quite a long time …

Sunday

Hove Arts 1: Studio 55

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If you look at the AOH map, you can see that the quarter of the city bounded by Dyke Road and Old Shoreham Road is a virtual open house desert. So – welcome to this new venue and looking forward to more appearing in the area.

If Apple Mac designed an Artists’ Open House, this would be it! This house has to be seen to appreciate how the house, garden and den have been completely reimagined in contemporary cool clean lines.

Perspex, acrylic and graphic design throughout.

Highlights

Jana Solfronk – pinned turquoise droplets 3D piece ‘Liquid’

Pippa Leocadia – portrait painting on a huge scale, all energy and verve

Monday

Finally … Hove Arts are all open today, so a leisurely last afternoon finishes a rather pared down festival for us – next stop, Christmas!