Wednesday, October 28

Artists Open Houses: A World of Art

- May 2, 2017

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The Artists Open Houses Festival isn’t only a wonderful celebration of the wealth of talented local artists and makers, but also an international event, welcoming artists from all over the world.

It’s May, the sun is out and the city of Brighton and Hove is in festive mode once more! The Artists Open Houses (AOH) is an unmissable part of annual festival season. Meeting artists and makers in their own homes and studios to chat to them, maybe buy a piece of original artwork, is the perfect way to spend a May weekend afternoon.


Over 1,000 artists are exhibiting their work in nearly 200 venues across the city, eastwards along the coast to Newhaven and out to the South Downs villages of Ditchling and Hassocks. The Open Houses Festival is a wonderful celebration of the wealth of talented local artists and makers, but also an international event, welcoming artists from all over the world.

In The Ceramic House, in the Fiveways trail, don’t miss the opportunity to see the work of fifteen leading ceramicists coming all the way from South Korea, shown together with
work of host artist, Kay Aplin. Alongside them, a group of British and South Korean sound artists, led by local sound artist Joe Young, work together to produce a piece of work about the traditions of making ceramics in both Seoul and Stoke on Trent.

At the Colombian Womble House, in the 7 Dials trail, Colombian artist La Rosa exhibits work with an environmental premise, gathering and recycling materials in a way similar to the Wombles. La Rosa is showing portraits of animals as underclass, as well as looking at the damage being done to the natural environment in different parts of the world.

At the Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP), in Beyond The Level trail, Cuban artist Lester McCollin Springer is part of a multicultural group of artists. Lester uses Caribbean colours to paint a journey exploring his own culture as well as more universal human values.


In Brunswick Town trail’s 17 Adelaide Crescent, artist Ewan McDougall is traveling all the way from New Zealand to show his expressionist paintings, accompanied by poetry readings
and rock music from his musician son.

And at Encounters, in West Hove trail, European artists working in many different media, including performance and digital art, plus host Milady’s Parejo, a Venezuelan installation artist, are coming together to produce a show called Urban Sights. Encounters also offers the delights of a kitchen serving up traditional South American cuisine.

Australian born, but long time Brighton resident, Penelope Kenny, is the artist responsible for this year’s beautiful Artist Open Houses brochure cover image. Penelope’s prints use handmade inks, made from pure pigments, to look at the relationship between humans and other animals. Her resulting hybrid creatures are an exploration of how humans try to control evolution through scientific tampering with the boundaries of different species. See Penelope’s amazing work at The Old Market’s Waterloo Room and also at Open Houses: Flamingo House in the Hove trail; Peggy Poppleton’s Shop, in 7 Dials trail and The Stanley Road Store in Beyond The Level trail.


Returning to local artists, at John Constable’s Studio in the Brunswick Town trail, seven artists celebrate the one-time-home of the 18th Century artist with responses to the natural, taking Constable’s friend and contemporary William Blake as a starting point to explore the natural in painting. Artist and curator Peter Harrup, the house’s current owner, is also curator of Constable in Brighton, an exhibition of John Constable’s work being shown at Brighton Museum throughout the festival period.

Open for the first two festival weekends only, don’t miss internationally respected ceramicist Carolyn Genders’ Arthouse37, in the Coastal trail. Carolyn is opening her home and studio in Rottingdean for the first time, to show her prints and vessels made using traditional methods, to create dynamic and luminous work.


The Artists Open Houses are a veritable multicultural feast of talent – and, as an extra treat, many Open Houses also offer delicious home made tea and cake!

Look out for AOH brochures at the city’s libraries, stations and museums, or pick one up from any of the Open House venues.

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