Artists all over Devon will be throwing open their doors and inviting people to look behind the scenes of an artist’s studio.
This year’s Devon Open Studios features more artists than ever, demonstrating and showcasing their work in attics, sheds, galleries and gardens and other creative spaces, including some of Devon’s most beautiful locations.
Visitors are encouraged to support local artists and makers by buying their work – whether it’s a large sculpture or a small greetings card – or even by simply helping to spread the word on social media.
Local people and visitors to the county will be able to enjoy a range of free exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, opportunities to see artists at work, and to celebrate the range of talent across the county.
The art and craft on display will include drawing, painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramics, jewellery and glasswork. Artists range from new talent to experienced professionals, all keen to share their inspiration and creativity with visitors.
Ceramicist Penny O’Brien’s What3Words pots are inspired by the app which describes each 3m square in the world with a unique combination of three words. She uses sketches of places on her Dartmoor walks to create the designs for her pots, and stamps the three-word location of each sketch onto the pot. Penny makes her own tools, and has developed her own monoprinting slip technique for the designs. She creates a texture to the pots, sometimes imprinting leaves and flowers gathered from the location. The details of the design are revealed only after the final firing of the pots.
Venue 106. Bovey Tracey
Blacksmith Matt Coe creates work of all sizes, from a toasting fork to a large sculpture. He is inspired by the natural world, and likes to use natural forms in his work, such as a tree or a feather. During Devon Open Studios, he will be working in his forge and chatting to visitors about what he is making.
Venue 160, Bow
Rosie Brewer will be showcasing handmade wooden and ceramic kitchenware in her log cabin which has beautiful views. Rosie works with the knots and quirks of the wood to create spoons, platters, dishes and other items which complement her range of ceramic mugs, dishes and goblets.
Venue 161, Bow
Amy McCarthy is a contemporary glass artist and sculptor. She is inspired by song lyrics, and by Dartmoor legends and local folklore. Amy’s ‘Late Night Bar of Bad Decisions’ is a series of 60 pieces of stained glass, each inspired by a song lyric. When Amy had artist’s block, she used Oblique Strategy – a card-based method for promoting creativity. The first card she selected said ‘do what you know’, so this work is inspired by a love of staying up late, listening to music and singing. Amy said, “I get into deep conversations with people, and on my way home, I often then think of songs to match their situations.” During open studios, Amy will be demonstrating her work at Words and Pictures Gallery in Teignmouth, where she’s exhibiting with mosaic artist Michelle Greenwood Brown.
Venue 148, Teignmouth
Avenda Burnell Walsh is fascinated by faces, bodies and the abstracted. She has been reusing old materials, discarded canvases and abandoned frames. Avenda said, “Strong Woman You, Strong Woman Me is a series of work growing out of Me Too and lockdown; the faces looking out at us, the eyes talking for so many women around the world who remain silent. I may not be able to tell their stories but I can help them ask the questions.”
Venue 139, Teignmouth
Using oils, gouache, ink and watercolour, Clare Willcocks is inspired by the North Devon coast, and is currently working on a series of paintings of waves. She’s looking forward to sharing her work with visitors, and will be running workshops for people who would like to learn more about sketching.
Venue 7, Northam
PJEJ Gray is a former dinner lady who is ‘coming out’ as an artist. Her art is a personal response to topical subjects such as identity, creation, gender, and most recently the war in Ukraine.
Venue 22, North Tawton
366 artists are exhibiting at 213 venues for this year’s Devon Open Studios from 10 to 25 September. Visitors will be able to see artists’ work, watch demonstrations and take part in activities.
Guides will be available from community venues, libraries and tourist information offices in early August. An online version will also be available, along with more information about each of the artists on the website devonopenstudios.co.uk
For further information
Gillian Taylor 07761 546075