Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses Festival - a few suggestions for a visit

Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this year (May 7-29 2022).

Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses Festival
Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses Festival

Spokeswoman Esme Lynch said: “Over the month of May (weekends only), thousands of artists will be opening their houses and studios all over the city and beyond to exhibit a dizzying array of paintings, photography, ceramics, crafts and more, giving festival goers an exclusive snapshot of how artists live and work.

“Alongside an exceptionally brilliant range of artists’ houses and studios, this year’s festival is a celebration of forty years of Brighton and Hove’s Open Houses movement. It is also a commemoration of its founder, Ned Hoskins, who, forty years ago, created a movement enabling access to art for everyone, by simply opening his Fiveways front door and inviting the public inside to view his work. Open House trails now happen all over the country and beyond, but it all began here with one man deciding to remove the invisible barriers that kept people out of art galleries and inviting them in to view art in a domestic setting.

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“The Artists Open Houses has evolved to be not only the original, but the largest, most respected event of its kind, now encompassing the entire city, reaching out to the surrounding countryside.

“For the 40th anniversary, a series of special exhibitions connect through the theme Towards the Light, taken from a title of one of Ned’s paintings and reflecting his concerns with nature and the natural world.

“Exhibitions include work of students, emerging artists, neuro-diverse and learning-disabled artists, established AOH artists and some of the earliest members of the Fiveways Artists’ Group; work is shown at Brunswick Square’s Regency Town House and Basement, at Devils Dyke Farm and The Old Market. Accompanying the exhibitions an oral-history film explores the history and legacy of the Artists Open Houses movement.

“Over the forty years, Artists Open Houses has become a major arts event that embraces the entire community, encompassing all generations, from school students to residents of a seniors’ centre, from artists just starting out on their careers, to those with national reputations. Visiting artists in their homes and studios, viewing amazing art, meeting the artists and makers, hearing about how the work is made and what inspires its makers, is always a great day out. Many Open Houses offer tea and cake in artists’ gardens. Explore the city and travel out to surrounding villages, meeting the artists, buying new artworks for your home; the Artists Open Houses offer illumination, inspiration and fun!”

· Artist Open Houses 22 Brochure Cover Artist Exhibition: Gary [email protected] Old Market

Gary Goodman is a painter and poet who works from a shed at the end of his garden. Gary has exhibited his paintings and prints and has performed his poetry around the world: from the frozen wastes of Norway and Alaska down to the warmth of New Zealand and the Southern States of USA.

Gary teaches at various colleges and universities and runs workshops in drawing, painting and printmaking. He likes animals and thunderstorms and lots of other things, often producing his best work when bored.

Gary’s work has a strength and rawness; his imagery is resoundingly direct, unbothered by artistic self-consciousness and politeness; unrefined, unmannerly yet sensitive. His art is about another world born of this world. A world you might not want to look at because it seems forever winter, cold and sad. But there is an unbearable attraction, a familiarity and a longing.

Gary will also be showing his prints and paintings at Art at 21 in the Seven Dials trail.

Waterloo Room, The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove BN3 1AS. Check website for opening times

· Figment Arts Studio Artists: An Artists Open Houses festival exhibition at new pop-up venue, Devils Dyke Farm

As part of the AOH 40th anniversary exhibitions, Figment Arts Studio artists are responding to the theme Towards the Light, a title taken from a painting by Ned Hoskins, founder of the Open Houses movement. Using different mediums the exhibition includes poetry, illustration, photography, performance art and screen-based work.

The Figment Arts Studio is a group of autistic, learning disabled and neuro-diverse artists. They worked together remotely in 2020 for an Artist Open Houses exhibition in the window of SOLD in Shoreham-by-Sea. This new chapter of the studio project brings the group together in-person, working from their new space in Lawrence’s Art Studio in Hove.

Exhibiting artists: Sarah Watson, Ryan Medlock, William Hanekom, Eleana Button, Debbie Caulfield, Richard Channer.

Devils Dyke Farm, Devils Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 8YL

Weekends May 7-29 11.00- 17.00

· Towards the Light: an exhibition of work by current AOH artists

The theme of this exhibition, Towards the Light, is taken from the title of one Of Ned Hoskins’ paintings. The exhibition invited submissions, connecting to the theme, from all artists taking part this year in the Artists Open Houses festival.

Ned was distinctly inspired by the environment, seeking out nature and places to wander whenever possible; from his early days at art school in Harrogate where he painted on the Yorkshire Moors, through to his time in California, Europe and more locally, where his work took frequent inspiration from the South Downs. As we all look towards brighter moments after recent restrictions, Ned’s work, actions and legacies offer a fabulous opportunity to remember how important it is to take risks, make art and work with your community.

Upstairs @ The Regency Town House , 13 Brunswick Square, Hove, BN3 1EH

May 7-29, Fridays 2pm – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 5pm

· AOH 40th Anniversary exhibition of work by University of Brighton students. Towards the Light

The exhibition at Regency Town House Basement features artworks by four current University of Brighton Fine Art course students. The artists employ a diversity of art practice forms when addressing the contemporary subjects of relationships, migration, workers value and considerations of identity.

Artists are Sara Paowana, Melanie Woodward, Finn Gayton and Megan Ryan.

The Regency Town House Basement, Housekeepers’ Room and Servants’ Hall

10 Brunswick Square, Hove, BN3 1EH

May 7 -29: Fridays 2pm – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 5pm

· Early Fiveways artists exhibition and oral history film

During the early 1980’s Brighton, then as now, was home to an astonishing community of visual artists. Some of these artists had opened their studios to the public as part of the 70’s Open Studios movement, but none had previously opened their homes. It was a rebellious and democratic move. Not all artists had studios, but all had a home. For artists, it was taking control of their own curation, selling their own work and provided the ability to exhibit work in a town with few such opportunities. It was a reaction against the perception of ‘high culture’ parachuted in to the town, oblivious to the quieter, maybe more personal and just as interesting work that was happening within the town.

In 1982 Ned Hoskins opened his house for the first time; he was joined by two or three other artists, living in nearby houses, the following year. Soon the Fiveways Group had formed.

This exhibition shows the work of some of those early pioneers of Open Houses who all lived in the Fiveways area of Brighton; an area quite different then from now. The accompanying oral history film hears from these artists about their reasons for inviting the public into their homes, what they learned and experienced; how their practices as artists changed as a result of a more direct dialogue with their audiences. How important a place Artists Open Houses has played in their lives.

The concept of Artists Open Houses has been described as a gallery without walls. These artists tell us what it was like in the early days, living behind those open front doors.

Downstairs @ The Regency Town House , 13 Brunswick Square, Hove, BN3 1EH

May 7-29, Fridays 2pm – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 5pm

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