You are taking part for the first time in Artists Open Houses this year in a rather unusual venue. Would you like to tell us about it?
Yes! We are a family run independent funeral directors situated on the Preston Road in the Preston/Fiveways area of Brighton. We opened our office here in 2016 after major renovation works, so we are light, bright and modern – perfect to showcase art and welcome the community.
What made you decide to ‘do’ an Open House?
We want to be more involved within the community, and we couldn’t think of a better way. Most of us have been to Open Houses in the past, and we know what great events they are. To be able to open our doors every weekend gives us a fantastic opportunity to meet people and show them the fantastic office that we have here.
People are often reluctant to engage with ideas around death – even though it is the one thing we all have in common. Do you think becoming a temporary gallery will be a good way to engage people and demystify the subject a bit?
Absolutely, and this was another big reason that we wanted to open our doors. We want people to be able to walk into a funeral director, meet some of us and experience the offices without having lost a loved one, and hopefully make them realise that it’s not a scary or sad environment to be in, and that we can actually be quite cheerful and happy too!
How did you select your artists?
We found all of our artists on the AOH website in the ‘Artists seeking houses’ index and contacted them directly. It was a very simple process, and we’re excited to have a wide range of media to exhibit.
What are you most looking forward to about taking part in AOH?
Meeting everybody and showcasing the wonderful artists that we have exhibiting with us.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
We’ll be offering tea, coffee and delicious home-made cakes throughout the festival. All refreshments donations will be going to Downs Junior School art department
Bowley and Gallagher, 209 Preston Road, Brighton BN1 6SA