County artists prepare to reveal their creative habitats

Media release 16 August 2018:

Artists across Worcestershire are busy preparing to welcome visitors into their studios, homes and shared spaces over the August bank holiday weekend (25-27 August) during Worcestershire Open Studios.

Now in its fourth year, the popular three-day event gives visitors a unique opportunity to delve into unseen creative spaces and talk directly to artists about their inspiration and creative processes.

A diverse collection of arts and crafts will be available to see and buy in a range of different media, including printmaking, painting, textiles, photography, ceramics, jewellery and mixed media.

Artist and Worcestershire Open Studios co-organiser, Sally Anne Morgan, says,
“Discovering some of Worcestershire’s fantastic artistic talent is the perfect way to spend a bank holiday weekend. Entry to all venues is free and some are also offering refreshments. Whether you’re an art lover, a family looking for a trip out, a budding artist, or just fancy a day exploring our wonderful county, you’ll definitely receive a warm welcome.”

Participants are located at 81 locations across the county stretching from Bewdley to Colwall and Badsey to Redditch.

Worcester city Potter, Chris Greening and his wife, Sarah Greening are looking forward to opening their studios in Claines. Sarah, who describes herself as a creative late starter, makes beautiful pieces of colourful fused glass jewellery. Chris says, “This is our first Worcestershire Open Studios and we’re looking forward to it immensely. Bringing awareness of the creativity in the county is such an important aspect of what defines Worcestershire and having an opportunity to see it in an artist’s place of work provides an additional vibrancy to that.”

The event provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to interact with artists and makers such as expressive oil painter, Anna Cumming, who creates stunning paintings inspired by moody skies, turbulent seas, interesting reflections and the play of light. This year she will be displaying a new body of work featuring local scenes and plans to demonstrate her skills by setting up her easel outside and painting the lovely view from her Upper Colwall garden.

Droitwich Spa fine art photographer, Andrew Gurnett is also more than happy to discuss his artwork and the inspiration behind. He says, “l love the unintentional beauty and enticing stories that are told by the functional, forgotten and discarded. I really believe there is visual beauty and intrigue all around us every day if we take the time to look. Consequently, I am inspired by the most mundane things: a chair, a piece of tarpaulin, the side of a truck, a concrete floor.”

Another artist looking forward to showing visitors around the space where she creates her bold, eye-catching artwork is Bewdley painter Kate Wrigglesworth. She says, “I use colour emotionally and expressively, playing around with perspective and working from my imagination which gives my paintings a primitive and naive quality moving between abstraction and figurative elements.”

In contrast, Bromsgrove painter David Skidmore’s exquisite graphite pencil work captures the very essence of wildlife in all of its glory. David says, “I visited participating artists last year and discovered what a wealth of talent there is in this county, I want to be part of it. I exhibit my work locally, but want to invite a wider audience to see my work and to be able to discuss with them why I do what I do and to find out a few of their thoughts.”

As well as introducing you to their creative habitats, some artists are offering a chance to try out their techniques with demonstrations and have a go sessions. One such artist is Victor Kirk of Lighthouse Glass in Astwood Bank, who is ready to share some of his amazing techniques. He says, “I took part in Worcestershire Open Studios last year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the event was extremely stimulating and beneficial, which is why I am taking part again this year. Visitors can expect a warm welcome and lots of tea, coffee and cakes. In my studio they will be able to watch me demonstrating lampworking and will also be able to have a go themselves.”

Meanwhile, in a Malvern church, St Peter’s Printmakers will be showing off two new printing presses and a selection of recent work produced on them. Those venturing inside can take a turn at printing their own small letterpress pieces.

Groups taking part include members of Worcestershire Guild who will present an exciting collection of contemporary craft work including ceramics, furniture and jewellery and Portfolio 18 whose subject matter spans from traditional representational works to more contemporary conceptual approaches to art practice.

Co-sponsors of the event, Bevere Gallery and Malvern School of Art will be showcasing work by a selection of Worcesteshire artists. Elmslie House, Kestrel Gallery and Studio, Royal Porcelain Works and Worcester Arts Workshop are also taking part.

A guide containing details of all the artists, venues and opening times is available at libraries, Tourist Information Centres and other locations across the county and online at www.worcestershireopenstudios.org.uk

Worcestershire Open Studios takes place from Saturday 26 to Monday 27 August. Visitors to five or more studios will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw for £100 to spend on artwork created by one or more of the artists.

ENDS