For the first time I’ve managed to co-ordinate myself to the opening times of a South East Open Studio. Every June a variety of artists and makers in the South East open their doors, and you can pop round their studio (or house) and see them, talk to them, and maybe buy something.
A short walk from my house was the Shed Gallery, signposted on the gate, and down the steps into the peaceful garden, where not only the shed, but the whole ground floor, was full of art. Owner Anne Kelly makes mixed media collages, some of which are on the top shelf of the bottom photo. Starting in fine art, Anne collects all manner of materials to stitch together into her work. The collection of fabrics and print and machine stitching create unique pieces. There is a strong emphasis on birds, and Anne is currently collecting other people’s sketches, photos, poems, lyrics, musings… on sparrows, for an exhibition in September in Trinity Art Gallery, to raise money for the RSPB. She has also just co-written a book with fellow artist Cas Holmes ‘Connected Cloth’, which will be out very soon.
Cas Holmes is another of the artists whose work is on display, along with the stained glass of Gill Newson, printed textiles of Ruth Kelly and prints and collages by Jenifer Newson. I liked the work of Karl Simmons, who has used watercolour and pencils to produce intricate pictures.
I’ve come away with some greetings cards, and the SEOS brochure. Most studios will be open this weekend and next weekend, and some also open at extra days and times. As 270 artists are involved, if you are in the South East of England, there must surely be one near you… or why not make an effort and follow a trail of several?
By the way, is the PHOTO of the shed interior wonky, or is the actual shed wonky?