Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Swindon Open Studios 2012 Part 3 - Artsite Galleries, TWIGS, Maggie Harris and Lisa Shearing

From the Brunel Centre we came back to the Artsite complex, this was our last town centre visit. There was a feeling that we needed to see as much as possible in the time available so we concentrated on Galleries 9 and 10, the former Merlin Gallery and Oxfam shop next door where Carole Humphreys and Paul Bull representing the Booth House Art Group had their work. Carole's pictures are very beautifully worked and evoke another mystical fantasy world. www.carolehumphreys.com
The Booth House Art Group has been run by Carole Humphreys for several years; it was good to see Paul's paintings on the walls.
Here are Carole and Paul:

The 2 former shops have been transformed into excellent studio spaces, by Artsite members, studio users were on hand to show visitors around the buildings.
There were workshops held in the main Artsite building, notable Vicky Silver's drawing class on Saturday the 8th of September, photos can be found here:
 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Artsite-The-Post-Modern/193615744020945 Sue Wigmore's 'Come Melt with Me' which despite the fact she held it on 4 occasions, I wasn't able to attend, has also been well photographed:
A lot of familiar faces there!
Here is a photo with Sue's coloured glass on the walls and her melting table in the background.
From there we went to Cheney Manor Garden Centre and into the Olive Cafe where the work of Christine Dunn and Katrina Bicknell based at TWIGS were on display in the relaxed area of the cafe.

The food in the cafe looked delicious and was very reasonably priced, but we had to eat on the run and so bought sandwiches from the nearby petrol station and headed out to Vikki Loeber-Hughes' studio in Toothill, there was no mistaking Vikki's house with a minibus type van in the driveway with a portrait on the side. Inside, Vikki was working on a local view, she has keyrings, bookmarks and prints of her portraits.Below is a photo of Vikki with Tim discussing the special seat. More on Vikki's work at: www.wikkiart.co.uk
More on Vikki's work at: www.wikkiart.co.ukNext we headed to Maggie Harris' studio in St. Andrew's Ridge. Maggie's studio is ablaze with colour and different textures, she has made dyes, fabric and created amazing artefacts.She has encouraged her daughter to help in production which is great. Maggie has recently exhibited in a big exhibition at STEAM, and said 'I draw with a sewing machine rather than a pencil'. Maggie exhibits across the whole of south west of England, including Bridport Inktense, and she runs many classes each week. I think she started in a computer textile design group 21 years ago.
Maggie's blog is great but a bit of a mouthful, so I was keen to meet the Schnauzer in the name, he's a standard, but seemed like a large, a ferocious animal. See what Maggie is doing at: www.stitchingwithschnauzerandsiamese.blogspot.com
 Some photos of the studio above and Maggie below:

 Jane looking at techniques and a better shot below.
We then went to Arkells Brewery at Kingsdown to see a newcomer to SOS, Lisa Shearing. Lisa has produced commissions for Arkells Tawny Owl pub which weren't in the banqueting area where she had her work, because they were needed for the wedding party being held at the Tawny Owl.
It's great to have Lisa on board this year, hopefully this is the first of many years of involvement, and maybe we can get some of the other artists in the area to take part again in 2003.
 Here's the way in above, and below some of the wonderful exhibition space.
And above a little known clever piece of brick work seen from the car park.

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