The Artists Open Houses festival 2017, the largest event of its kind in the UK, will take place in Brighton, Hove and beyond over four weekends of May, starting Saturday 6th May.
The largest event of its kind in the UK, around 200 houses and studio spaces across the city open their doors to exhibit the work of over 1,500 artists and makers. Last year over 200,000 people visited the festival.
Artist Open Houses (AOH) helps artists connect with audiences in self-curated, non-traditional art spaces. This usually means visiting artists’ own homes, offering festival-goers an exclusive snapshot of how creatives live in this vibrant and creative city. From beautiful Regency-style properties to quirky and colourful cottages, many of the houses boast stunning gardens creatively landscaped by their owners.
AOH also 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.
The houses are grouped into one of 14 trails around different areas of the city and beyond, each with its own unique character and atmosphere – from the fishermen’s houses of Hanover to the urban warehouse spaces of the North Laine and cottages of the South Downs village of Ditchling.
Australian born artist Penelope Kenny has been announced as the 2017 Brochure Cover artist, beating more than 180 other artists to the coveted title, Penelope draws inspiration from Darwinism, dioramas, natural history illustration and taxidermy. She will be exhibiting her work at the at the Waterloo Room, TOM, Hove as well as 3 different open houses; The Flamingo House, Peggy Poppleton and Friends and The Stanley Road Store.
Judy Stevens, Artists Open Houses Festival Director says, “Brighton and Hove is an incredibly creative city with a wealth of talent. The festival is a fantastic platform for artists and makers and it’s a testament to its success that so many artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers choose to take part.”
Entry to the Artists Open Houses festival is free to the public.
Early Festival highlights for 2017 include:
⦁ A Curious Taxonomy – Penelope Kenny – AOH 2017 Brochure Cover Artist
Penelope Kenny, the Artists Open Houses May 2017 Brochure Cover Artist, is an Australian born artist who now lives and works in Brighton. Her work explores the relationship between humans and other animals, especially in connection to transhumanism, evolution, hybrids and biotechnology. Through her hybrid creatures she investigates the potential outcomes of humans trying to control evolution through genetic manipulation and scientific tampering with the species boundaries.
Exhibiting widely, in the UK and internationally, she creates limited edition textiles, fine art screenprints, wallpapers and books using hand-made inks made from pure pigments and metallic glazes.
Wednesday 12th April – Sunday 28th May, Waterloo Room, The Old Market, Hove
⦁ The Flamingo House – featuring Brochure Cover Artist Penelope Kenny
The Flamingo House, Best Open House Runner Up 2016, presents a must-see collection of Prints, Ceramics, Jewellery, Sculptures, Paintings, Textiles, and Cards with the added bonus of an exotic Garden Café. 16 artists in total including the 2017 Brochure Cover Artist Penelope Kenny.
14a Wilbury Road, Hove BN3 3JN
⦁ Maison de Papier
This beautiful Grade 1 Elizabethan mansion, known as Danny House, is opening as a festival Open House for the first time ever in 2017. Artist Stephanie Smart creates life-size garments and accessories using only paper and thread. This is her first historical fashion collection and is inspired by the lives of past and present residents of Danny House. The exhibition will appeal not only to lovers of art and craft but to those with an interest in Britain’s social/cultural history.
Danny House New Way Lane Hurstpierpoint West Sussex BN6 9BB
⦁ Julie Nelson – Flock
Artist Julie Nelson has created a sculpture installation called Flock for one weekend in a beautiful house on Grand Avenue, from 20th to 21st May. Flock references the long and intimate relationship the city has with birds. The multitude of elegant hand-sculpted forms that fill the space evoke themes such as migration, diversity and the interactions between nature and the built environment. Flock is a collaboration between Julie Nelson and Cameron Contemporary Art.
9 Grand Avenue Hove BN3 2LF
⦁ Encounters with John Constable – John Constable’s Studio
Sick Nature: seven contemporary artists responses to the idea of the natural at John Constable’s studio. Constable knew William Blake and they talked over drawings. Taking Blake’s poem The Sick Rose as a point of departure, artists explore the unnatural in painting. Artists include Natasha Kissell, Peter Harrap, David Freud & Debbi Mason, Alan Rankle, Gregory Smart and Amy Alderton. In collaboration with Brighton Museum, ‘Constable and Brighton’ 08 April – 08 October 2017.
11 Sillwood Road Brighton BN1 2LF
⦁ Ewan McDougall – 17 Adelaide Crescent
Literally travelling all the way from the other side of the world, New Zealand expressionist painter Ewan McDougall will showcase his vibrant artwork together with wife Sarah McDougall’s poetry. Included in what should be a lively and entertaining show, there will be a screening of a 30minute film Man Alive, which tells Ewan’s story and shows his home on the Otago Peninsula Dunedin New Zealand. Ewan has had 83 solo exhibitions in some of New Zealand’s most prominent dealer galleries as well as exhibiting internationally.
17 Adelaide Crescent, Hove BN3 2JF
⦁ TheBigForest Emporium
Enter the wondrous world of TheBigForest, two very silly artist makers – Mr Rowling and Mr Craven. Turning their front parlour into a seaside emporium of delights, expect to find Brighton Men paper dolls, beautifully detailed felt dogs, cut out camper-van and Brighton Beard cards; sailor bears, animal mobiles and work by pop-up artists too!
56 Chester Terrace Brighton BN1 6GB
⦁ The Ceramic House
Made in Korea is this year’s theme at The Ceramic House, the extraordinary home and living artwork of ceramic artist Kay Aplin. Following a research trip to Korea in 2016, Kay Aplin has selected a group of leading Korean ceramists for her most ambitious exhibition to date, which transfers to Mayfair gallery Sladmore Contemporary in July. The project evolves throughout 2017 in Brighton, London, Stoke-on-Trent and Seoul.
75 Stanmer Villas, Brighton, BN1 7HN
⦁ Glovers Yard Clinic – Remembering me
Remembering me is a photographic installation documenting the impressions of the last few years of an inspirational man and grandfather living with Alzheimer’s. Photographic installation from Bertie Taylor, paintings by Ronald Taylor, and photography by Peter Holmes.
1 Glovers Yard, 121 Havelock Road BN1 6GN
⦁ Colour Laine
For the 5th year running, Jess, Toby and Zoe will be opening the doors to exhibit for Colour Laine: a hidden gem in the North Laine for those who love colour in spadefuls. This townhouse with a vibrant interior, showcases Zoe Murphy‘s screen-printed furniture and textiles from Margate & Mexico (Liberty of London, Kirstie’s Vintage Home) and Toby ‘fotobes’ Mason‘s Lomographic film photography.
19 Queen’s Gardens North Laine Brighton BN1 4AR
⦁ Capital Landscapes
With Brexit looming, the City of London hopes to become Europe’s low-tax offshore haven, with public services disappearing as rapidly as inequality increases. Whether your response is to say “That’s capital!” or “That’s capitalism!,” Capital Landscapes responds to our changing economic system and its devastating reach, it hopes to capture your imagination and stir you to action. Original screen prints by Janet Sang, photography by Marion Macalpine and graphics by Nic Watts.
56 Hythe Road, Brighton BN1 6JS
This year Encounters presents the curated show Urban Sights. Twelve artists delight your senses through artistic encounters with the urban experience.
12 Langdale Road Hove BN3 4HN
⦁ The Handmade House – Ditchling
A unique artists house and studios nestled at the foot of the Ditchling Beacon. Explore new paintings and prints in the house and beautiful ceramic bird baths and enigmatic ceramic sculptures in the rambling garden. A selection of the Handmade House’s garden ironwork and plants will be available for sale. A beautiful space to relax and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea, with much of the food coming from the house’s own garden.
The Handmade House, Beards Place Farm, 98 Lewes Road, Ditchling, BN6 8TZ
⦁ Rebel Yarns – 50 Southover Street
A one-off chance to see a collection of knitted and crocheted works by local art activist Dani Ahrens. From intricate, personalised gifts to public and playful crocheted graffiti, these unique pieces convey mathematical and political ideas with wit and skill.
On Saturday 13th May, the house will host a Make it Happen: Homes for Refugees drop-in workshop, with the Hummingbird Project. Visitors are invited to imagine, create, design, draw, knit, paint, and make!
50 Southampton Street, Brighton BN2 9UT
⦁ Colombian Wombles House
Contemporary Environmental art exhibition by Colombian artist La Rosa. From the Nariño region of Colombia, La Rosa’s work uses a range of recycled materials to explore our relationship with the environment. The series will include an investigation of the degradation of the natural environment in Namibia, portraits of an animal underclass and a projection of our disintegrated experience onto the deer resident in the park.
17 Worcester Court, 23 Windlesham Road, Brighton BN1 3AQ http://aoh.org.uk/house/colombian-womble-house/
Full listings can be found at www.aoh.org.uk
-Notes to Editor-
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.