Grab a cup of tea and highlighter because it’s time for the 2016 AOH festival Brochure. With close to 200 Houses listed this year and over 1000 participating artists, there is a lot to choose from. Where do you start. Over the last remaining weeks before the start of the festival the AOH Blog will attempt to help answer that question. This week – Space!
There are some pretty unique spaces hosting Open House events this spring. The camper home of the The Dreamliner Arts Club was already mentioned in the last post. (http://artistsopenhouses.tumblr.com). But there are few other interesting spaces calling AOH home in the Central Trail. Wander along to the end of North Road and at number 104 you’ll find Supervision HQ, a former cinema now home to artists Bonnie and Clyde and Maria Rivens and other mixed media artists during the festival. If it’s a bit of sea air you’re after, the Arches along Kings Road at the are host to three Open Houses this festival. Worth popping into the warren of activity at The Open Studios, 229 Studio and Betty and Friends: all are interesting spaces with their curved ceilings and soft light and full of creativity.
Light plays an important role in any artist’s workspace and it is a feature in the recently opened space at Atelier 51 on Providence Place (behind the Costa Coffee on London Road.) This work and exhibition space made it’s debut just in time for the Christmas festival and is home to Sarah Young, Silvia K, Rhoda Baker and Elaine Bolt as well as hosting 16 guest artists through out the festival.
Grab a coffee and head across The Level to Phoenix Brighton. Only open for the weekend of May 7-8, this is a unique opportunity to see many artists in one space. With over 100 artists and makers calling the Phoenix their studio home there will be a massive variety of works to experience.
Up the hill and into Fiveways is the Ceramic House show case for Kay Aplin and her curated selection of top ceramic artists. This year the Ceramic House will be featuring work exploring the theme of Landscape Island and includes sound art performances by Joseph Young.
On your way back down the hill in to Brighton pop in to any number of great houses in the Fiveways Trail but be sure to see the folks at 11 Rugby Road. How these guys turn a one bed flat into maker emporium is amazing. Check our Christmas post to get an idea of the transformation.
Churches are also great places to see art and the AOH Festival is a chance to see some great art in these calm and airy spaces. As well as the Brighton Sculptors at the historic Church of the Annunciation in Hanover (also noted in an earlier post) other church Houses are Dancing Shadows cast St John’s Chuch on Knoyle Road and on the Dyke Road Trail Art at the Good Shepherd (272 Dyke Road). FaithInTheCIty: Metamorphosis is at the Dorset Gardens Methodist Church in Kemptown.
Feeling hungry? You’ll have to get your food elsewhere because at Kate’s Pantry although there maybe plenty of food the you can’t eat it. Kate Jenkins will be creating a kitchen pantry where everything is crocheted and knitted. Look for Cardigan Ltd at Unit 5, Arundel Mews, 13-18 Arundel Place on the Kemptown Trail.
I do love a mews though: little hide aways, nestled behind the busy streets. Always places of work and business. There are a few mews houses on the trails this year. Over Hove way look for Oko Studio and Adrian Walker Arts at Lansdowne Mews, Naked Eye Gallery at Farm Mews, Mews Art Studio at Chapel Mews and Albert Mews Studio off Third Avenue. On the Kemptown Trail Arundel Mews is home to Thomas Rainford and bip-Art Printmaking and you’ll find new Open House One Sussex Mews at 1 Sussex Mews as well as multi media studio Cavendish Work Shop on St James Street Mews.
Westward-ho now towards Hove. Take in a bit of British Art History on the Brunswick Town Trail at John Constable’s Studio. Look for the Blue plaque on Sillwood Road. This charming terrace is home to four artists who are interpreting a work of a romantic artist for the festival. And just down the road you can find The Dog Show – a house where the work displayed is entirely devoted to dogs.
Not far from Sillwood Road, on Oriental Place is the charming Oriental Hotel. Not only is this unique boutique hotel home this festival to illustration and photography, it’s cozy bar is a prefect spot for a beverage before heading further a field.
Always worth a visit is the light and airy house of Dion Salvador Lloyd. Voted as best open house in 2015, it promises to be a highlight this year, featuring new large works, prints and watercolours.
Studio Loo on Portland Street takes it’s name from it’s venerable past as a public toilet. Now home to Claire Potter Design, during the festival it hosts an eclectic variety of art and craft for sale. And Claire will happily tell you about some of the great details of the building uncovered during the renovation like the original skylight and tiles – saved from landfill by this innovative eco designer.
There are so many great places to see on the trails – more than I can mention here. Take advantage of the fine spring weather to come and get out and explore. And be sure to mention your adventures on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook with #AOH2016.
Words by Anne-Marie Olczak