Chichester Open Studios Art Trail: what to see as final weekend beckons

A remarkable range of talent will be there to savour on the concluding weekend of  this year’s Chichester Open Studios Art Trail

Tia Rolfe
Tia Rolfe

Tia Rolfe (Venue 81) trained in goldsmithing and jewellery making at Kent Institute of Art and Design in Rochester and demonstrates a technique using cuttle fish.

“I’m very inspired by the sea and spend a lot of time on our local beach, beachcombing and litter picking. The casting process involves cutting and shaping the cuttlebone so that molten silver can be poured inside; each bone can only be used once as the heat involves turns it to ash. The natural pattern inside the cuttlebone is transferred onto the silver and gives each item made this way a unique texture, almost like a fingerprint! I like to add another eco-friendly touch to each piece by using recycled silver.”

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Ali Warner (Venue 36) is on her third Open Studios Trail.

“I’m self-taught, with a deep interest in the zones where people interact with the sea.

“This interest in the marine ecological communities we are a part of stems from a PhD in environmental geography. I have a studio between Bosham and Emsworth and live on the harbour in Bosham where I breathe the sea air and follow the light every day.

“During lockdown I holed up in my studio and dug deep into two alternative photography processes (Cyanotype, salt printing). Containing my imagination is my biggest challenge. I find myself enjoying the process of print making just as much as taking the photograph. You’re never exactly sure how what the outcome will be which adds a layer of excitement to the experience.”

Jeremy Williams (Venue 26) has been printmaking for the last seven years.

“I take my inspiration from my surroundings. I am lucky to live close to Chichester Harbour. This gives me plenty of options with landscape, seascapes, wildlife, buildings and boats! My printmaking process usually begins with a good walk and a camera. I will photograph a subject of interest. The photo later on is then turned into a sketch.

“Using the reduction process, the lino is gradually carved away with each layer of ink printed. You do have to plan your layers carefully as there is no going back once carved. I rarely fully plan what the finished image will be. It kind of evolves throughout the process. I just have an idea of it being something!”

Terry Merritt (Venue 106), studied fine art with sculpture at the University of Chichester: “I begin with sketching ideas, then choose and carve a maquette from a household bar of soap before upscaling in stone. I use an angle grinder to remove bulk of unwanted stone, then use hand chisel and mallet to work towards the desired form.

“Next, I use grinders and riffler files to finalise and detail work, and finally I polish using diamond blocks and wet and dry sandpaper. I am inspired by the natural beauty of the human anatomy, human gestures and movement. I explore the human form combining curves, lines and negative voids in the form of abstraction. Some rotate on their bases, experimenting different themes, medium, and styles.”

You can find more information on these and other artists all year round on chichesterarttrail.org with links to artists social media and websites.

Chichester Open Studios Art Trail concludes Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 from 10.30am-5pm.

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