Artists Open Houses
A busy weekend on the Brighton art scene.

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© Murray Ballard,Charcoal burning, Saddlescombe Farm, 2014

There’s a lot happening in Brighton this weekend and we wouldn’t want you to miss out. So to help you navigate and plan the next few days, here’s a guide to what’s on.

The Brighton Photo Fringe, The Photo Biennial, The Lantern Fayre will all be taking place, with craft fairs and events a-plenty in between.

And if you’re unsure of what to do, or overwhelmed with the choice, head to Brighton Open Market on London Road which is hosting all manner of events and will definitely be the place to see and be seen this weekend. The Open Market reopened for business in July this year after a major redevelopment and is now home to over 50 of Brighton’s most talented and knowledgeable local producers and creators.

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Photo courtesy of What You Sow

While you’re there, pop in to visit some of the permanent stallholders, Foodshed, a social enterprise selling locally produced foods and gifts, Objet D’art who offer a wide range of antiques and collectables and Shaboutique, a working studio where local artists create home interiors, clothing and accessories made from materials rescued from the local waste stream.

So without further ado, here are some ideas of the things to see, do, eat and buy this weekend

Friday Oct 3rd

Street Diner is open this Friday 11-3 in the Brighthelm Gardens Queen’s Road, Brighton. If you’re coming in to Brighton station, just follow the road down to the seafront and it’s halfway down on your left. 

Cornershop by the sea by Lucy Sparrow is launching in Brighton on Friday night 6-9pm fresh from its resounding success in the East End. Over 4,000 handmade felt versions of familiar grocery items - from fish fingers and cans of SPAM to sanitary towels and newspapers, rocket ice lollies and oven chips to ciggies, veggies, and what is most certainly the softest loo roll ever manufactured will be exhibited at No Walls Gallery, 114 Church Street, BN1 1UD Brighton until 25th October. If you love Open Houses artist Kate Jenkins’ crochet creations, this will be a must-see for you.

Preview events for the Photo Biennial on Friday include a series of panel discussions at the Sallis Benney Theatre 2.30 – 5.30pm, a central Brighton preview trail 5.30-9pm and a launch party at the Dome bar.

The Lantern Fayre is a 3-day art, music and literature festival on The Level which centres on the themes and stories of harvest. The festivities get underway on Friday evening with a night of international short films programed by One Way Tuck into cake and nibbles, chai tea, mulled wine, mulled cider, or rum coffee and enjoy a diverse night of cinema shorts.

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Image from Design Week 

Saturday 4th October

The Photo Biennial launches officially on Saturday at venues across the city until the 2nd November, with a programme of talks, films and of course, exhibitions of stunning photgrography for the duration. The Opening weekend is set to be a good one, with tours arranged around town and dozens of other events. We’re particularly excited about the FotoDocument exhibit One Planet City project in which ten emerging and established photographers, such as Brighton’s fantastic Murray Ballard, whose series The Prospect of Immortality gained him international recognition, have created ten photo essays in response to each of the ten principles of sustainability framework One Planet Living. These will be exhibited at 10 locations all around the city.

The Brighton Photo Fringe also launches this weekend, their programme is here and includes over 80 exhibitions and events, including pop-up displays, panel discussions, workshops, talks, guided tours, participatory events and a book fair. Launch day celebrations on Saturday will include a party at Al Campo Lounge on London Road, entry costs £4 and proceeds from ticket sales go to supporting early-career photographers.

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© Peter Watkins

The Unforgetting by Peter Watkins is one Photo Fringe exhibition not to be missed, and you can catch a first glimpse this Saturday at the Regency Townhouse 11am to 6pm this Saturday or 12pm to 5pm on Sunday. The exhibition will run throughout the duration of the festival.

Launching at Fabrica this weekend is Reef by Simon Faithfull. For REEF, Simon has sunk a boat at the end of its working life off the coast of Southern England to create a new artificial reef. Five cameras placed on the boat will capture and report back its slow transformation. The exhibition will run from Saturday 4th October – 23rd  November and you can view it Weds-Saturday, 12–5pm and on Sundays, 2–5pm.

The Book Bathing Hut is a Victorian style bathing hut which will be set up at Brighton Open Market this weekend. Visit the hut to create a four-frame comic strip to tell the world something you want to share. 8 years and up including adults! 2- 5pm on Saturday as part of The Lantern Fayre

The Brighton Lindyhoppers will be performing in the market plaza at Brighton Open Market between 11 and 12.

The Brighton Craft Alliance will also be at the Open Market holding a craft market this Saturday 10-8pm, with a number of Open Housers taking part and selling their beautiful wares.  

Saturday sees the return of the Maker’s Boutique to Brighton Unitarian Church showcasing the talents of Brighton’s maker community who will be selling their contemporary handmade goods. Free entry 11-5pm.

Two days of arts, crafts and music centred around traditional skills and eco living are taking place at Stanmer Organics this Saturday and Sunday. At Craft in the woods you can take the family along and get involved in horse riding, whistle making, stone carving, herbal tea tasting, green wood working, food foraging, happy zumi and story telling and see demonstrations of chain saw carving, wood steaming, basket making, wood turning, herbal medicine making and apple pressing. While you’re there, we thoroughly recommend you go and visit the Brighton Earthship, constructed using waste car tyres and other recycled materials, this fascinating building uses the planets natural systems to provide all utilities - it heats and cools itself, harvests its own water and uses plants to treat its sewage.

Sunday 5th October

See our recommended exhibitions to visit as per Saturday plus a talk by Nick Waplington at the Sallis Benney 3 – 4.30pm  and An afternoon of analogue photography for the whole family at Hove Museum on Sunday from 2-4.30.

The Brighton Vintage and Antiques Market launches at The Open Market showcasing a range of vintage and antique goods from over 40 of the best dealers from all over Brighton, Lewes and London. 11-5pm Brighton Open Market.

Have fun and let us know what you get up to. 

How to make an Open House work for you

Emma troy of Polish & Pin open house, shares her insights into how to make an Artists Open House work for you

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This post will anger your bank manager

By Harriet Barratt Dorling, 13th May 2012

With the sun came AOH’s busiest weekend yet – and once again I’ve been clearing out my purse and wearing out my shoe soles catching some excellent open houses.

Polish & Pin (venue h4, 23 Wilbury Gardens, Hove) is a treat all round – a wide range of innovative artwork and wonderful food from Fruition Foods to boot. I loved Emma Troy’s prints and collages, such as the butterflies each made of a particular day’s newspaper (click to enlarge):

Elsewhere in Polish & Pin, Boboho’s fun lighting and Treacle Furniture’s brightly-coloured armchairs (complete with cat when we visited) gave me dreams of grandeur for our house. I came away with some of Dana Leigh’s lovely jewellery (silver hoops with pale green stones) and a stomach full of homemade pesto and roasted vegetable gnocchi – oh yes. A real front-runner for best house of the year in my book.

I really enjoyed the Wolf at the Door (venue h3, 49 Hove Park Villas), not least for a rare chance to see the excellent Sharon Hannah’s prints and paintings. Less often exhibited than her equally talented  husband Jonny Hannah, also exhibiting here, Sharon’s work is endearing and highly skilled:

Do catch the difficult but rewarding exhibition at Harebell House (venue i23, 1 Florence Rd). Brian Mander’s wife, Sarah, died of cancer in 2006. He has undertaken a series of bone china incorporating her ashes in commemoration of both her life and her work as a ceramicist (see www.fortheloveofsarah.co.uk for more context). A thought-provoking and brave piece of work, and one that will stay with you for some time.

While you are there, pop next door for Sylph Baier’s ceramics and Sarah Lock’s wooden lighting at 3 Florence Road. Ravenswood (venue b16, 28 Florence Rd) is also a delight - I especially liked Chanchala’s recycled jewellery, made out of old watch mechanisms, and Jo Riddell’s etchings (not to mention Kate Helmer’s cake!):

Finally, if you are a garden-lover then don’t miss The Garden House (venue b9, 5 Warleigh Road), selling plants, textiles, jewellery, vintage garden tools, tin cookware, garden metalwork and kinetic outdoor sculptures – opening the garden only is an interesting concept and it’s one that works. A lovely place to while away a sunny afternoon.

Have a good week – pip pip and keep AOhing!