Focus on Homelessness, Recovery and Outsider Art for 2018

The Artists Open Houses festival 2018, the largest event of its kind in the UK, will take place in Brighton, Hove and beyond over four weekends of May, starting Saturday 5th May. Last year over 200,000 people visited the festival.

The festival offers the chance to buy artworks directly from the artists and makers themselves. There is a hugely diverse selection of artworks on show, from original paintings, prints, graffiti arts, ceramics and textiles to photography, sculpture, crafts, jewellery and many other media.

A key theme in this year’s festival is homelessness, recovery and outsider art.  Several homeless and recovery centres across the city will be taking part – some for the first time – and exhibiting the work of many talented artists, writers, photographers and makers who access support.

New for 2018, Pavilions and Cascade Creative Recovery will be presenting the work of artists and craftsmen in recovery or on their journey towards recovery from drug and alcohol addictions. For one day only (Saturday 19th May, 11-4 pm), Pavilions, in partnership with Cascade Recovery, will be showcasing an exhibition of drawings, paintings, writing, photography, poetry, craftwork and more. The day will feature a rolling timetable of live performances from the Recovery Choir, spoken word, live music and a drama rehearsal for Brighton Fringe performance Washing Up.

It will also feature a photography exhibition of work from some of the city’s homeless people and those in treatment for drug and alcohol misuse. The photography exhibition has been put together by Invisible Voices – a collective who are helping people who are invisible in the city due to homelessness express what’s going on in their lives via art. The day provides the opportunity to see a varied collection of art and gain insight into the experiences of people who have, or have had, drug and alcohol issues or experienced homelessness in the city.

Helene Begg, City Manager for Pavilions says, “It is amazing to see the amount of creativity hidden in the homeless population and those struggling with substance misuse in the city. A lot of people have issues relating to substance misuse and homelessness and can’t remember who they were before these issues began. The exhibition is an opportunity to show that creativity is a mean of expressing the changes that are happening in their life on their personal journey towards recovery. Through working creatively they can start to recover a new sense of self and sustain long term change.”

Judy Stevens, Festival Director says, “The Artist Open Houses has always been an inclusive festival, welcoming artists of all ages and from all areas of the community. We are particularly delighted this year to welcome a significant number of venues showing the work of artists who may otherwise be potentially excluded from the mainstream art world – those who are, or have experienced, periods of homelessness, are in recovery, or are artists with learning disabilities or metal health issues. At the core of our ethos is a belief in the great benefits of art and creativity for all, and in offering opportunities for a new and important engagement between these artists and our audiences.”

The exhibition will be at Pavilions, Richmond House Brighton BN2 3RL as part of the Beyond the Level trail.

Grace Eyre is a local charity supporting people with learning disabilities – their vision is for a society where people with learning disabilities are respected as equal citizens, are part of and contribute to their communities, and where people can fulfil their dreams and wishes. Grace Eyre encourages creativity through our textiles, mosaics, pottery, printing and photography courses. The charity’s strong links to Artists Open Houses supports artists to be able to gain confidence through public exhibitions of their work. One of their centres in Montefiore Road, Montefiore Artists, was winner of Best Open House 2017.

For the 2018 festival, Montefiore Artists will present another fantastic show celebrating their unique artists and their diverse range of artwork; to include painting, printing, textiles, photography, sculpture, mosaics, ceramics and knitted work. Artists with learning disabilities and/or mental health needs make all the work in the exhibition.

Kier, a service user for Grace Eyre says, “‘Art and creativity is important to me because making art makes you feel good about yourself and makes people feel happy. I want to take part in the festival  as it helps to spread the news of our work to as wider audience as possible”

Art From The Edge, an exhibition featuring work from the marginalised of society, will be taking place at St. Luke’s Prestonville, which hosts drop-ins for homeless and various recovery groups – the artworks on display will be work created by people from these groups.  This exhibition will be an eclectic mix of styles and formats and will give a glimpse into the world of those in our society who are often seen as being excluded or unable to contribute. Sunday 27th May will coincide with their monthly homeless drop-in with a meal and opportunity to meet some of the artists. (Sundays only).

Justlife Artists will be opening their studio space in Brighton’s Open Market providing the opportunity to see an inspiring collection of works created by a range of talented artists who have experienced homelessness. Justlife Creative Studio provides a space for artists who are homeless to practise their skills and provide peer support to develop professionally.

William Collier House, part of Brighton YMCA, house and support single men and women who have experienced homelessness with a diverse range of needs, enabling them to improve their wellbeing, gain skills and maximise their confidence so that they can go on to live independent and fulfilling lives. The gallery draws together the varied work of resident artists through all Brighton YMCA projects.

Southdown Mental Health Recovery Services will present a diverse and vibrant mix of painting, sculpture and photography showcasing the work by the many talented artists who use the Recovery Services. The work will be displayed in Preston Park Recovery Centre.


Festival Dates:

May 5/6/7

May 12/13

May 19/20

May 26/27

Interiors store Neptune Hove is the headline sponsor for the 2018 festival.

Entry to the Artists Open Houses festival is free to the public.

Full listings can be found at


For media information or images please contact:

Pandora George at Bullet PR

[email protected] 01273 775520   (office)


-Notes to Editors-

About Artist Open Houses

Brighton and Hove Artist Open Houses, the originator of the Open House movement, date back to 1981 when an artist from the Fiveways area of Brighton, Ned Hoskins opened his house to the public to view his work, and that of a group of friends. Other artists in the area followed suit to form the Fiveways Artist Group. In a city full of creatives, the idea proved popular and soon Artist Open Houses sprung up all over the city.


The Artist Open House festival is now the largest event of its kind in the UK. Around 200 houses and studio spaces across the city will be opening their doors to exhibit the work of over 1,500 artists and makers.

About Pavilions

Pavilions provide treatment and recovery services for those affected by alcohol and drugs across Brighton and Hove. Theirskilled and compassionate people work closely with services users and their families to change and save lives, combining proven expertise in treatment and recovery with innovative approaches, and actively involve those we help in improving the design of the services they provide.

Cascade Creative Recovery is a not-for-profit community centre and cafe for Brighton & Hove, run by, and for, people with experience of active recovery from drug & alcohol addiction, the charity’s aims are to provide a supportive peer-led space, informal access to information, as well as a range of other courses, workshops & social activities.

About Grace Eyre

Grace Eyre’s vision is for a society where people with learning disabilities are respected as equal citizens, are part of and contribute to their communities, and where people can fulfil their dreams and wishes.

They help families of people learning disabilities to find the right kind of support and provide range different types of support through our range of services. Around 150 people attend their two-day centres where they focus on a range of activities including many different types of art making.