Amy Dury tells us about her Open House – open this weekend only!
You have recently produced a series of paintings of Woman Artists. How did that come about and where can we see them?
I had painted a series of portraits of my female friends over winter on our lockdown walks which was seen on instagram by the people at the Tate, and they thought I might be a good fit to do a livestream painting session for them on International Women’s Day in March. In preparation for the event, I decided to paint a series of women artists – practicing style, size and speed! On the day, I painted from a photo of the artist Cornelia Parker whilst being watched by 45K from across the globe – in my dining room! Whilst talking!
You also have work at Cameron Contemporary in the AOH Hove trail – what can we see there?
I have been showing my work with Cameron Contemporary for a few years now. I love their space and the range of great artists they show. Currently they have four paintings of mine, all narrative pieces inspired by sunny Sussex days of times gone by – a nostalgia from a time I don’t remember – with figures and gestures that speak of other meanings and hopefully reflect on where we are now.
Your work is often about memory, sometimes about loss – can you tell us a bit about your influences, ideas and inspirations?
I have mostly worked from found imagery – I used to look at social documentary photography but my recent work has come mainly from Screen Archive South East, which is a bank of amateur videos collected by the University of Brighton, and I like to watch these and take screenshots. I prefer this as each image is going to be much more personal for me than a still photograph, already framed and chosen by the photographer.
However I do still use photos from searches – and so another favourite theme is 60’s Hippy life, and I try to find new imagery for this online. I love the sense of hope, bravery and innocence. What I see from the archive film is also times of happiness, closeness, togetherness, in saturated colour. The other angle on this is we know what happens next, and nostalgia is a curious feeling… not to be fully trusted.
You will be exhibiting in your own home this weekend with your husband, Peter Togneri, also a painter, what are his main areas of interest as a painter.
Peter is from the West Coast of Scotland and his themes are often the landscapes and beach finds of that area. He has only started painting seriously in lockdown, and is an architect by profession, but we always knew painting was a latent superpower! And now it’s clear how talented he is, especially with watercolour, which is a notoriously difficult medium. He captures texture and colour so well. He has also painted some scenes of the Downs, and my favourite, some ominous sheds.
You’ve exhibited in Artists Open Houses for many years, but not previously opened your own house. What are you most looking forward to about this experience?
I started my Open House career showing small simple patchwork-type textile pieces, after enjoying an evening class in machine embroidery. Since starting painting seriously, the Open Houses have been the most inspirational and motivating force in my journey. Almost selling out a couple of years ago gave me the confidence to get even more dedicated. We decided to open for one weekend this year to test the waters – we are not very near other houses, and our house is not huge, but we are really looking forward to welcoming those who make the effort! It will be great to get to talk to real people in real life about art! We will have some ceramics, jewellery and prints alongside the chance to grab a bargain in the studio sale. I’m hoping we meet some more of the people who live around us, and can use the opportunity to contribute to, and get to know our community even more.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
It’s fine just to come look, it’s fine to come and chat or not chat, we extend a warm welcome to all who are curious – there will be airy rooms, a one way system, controlled numbers and a friendly face when you visit! Come and encourage us to do it again next year!!!