Tuesday, 22 May 2012

open experiences

It can be pretty daunting to open your house or work space to the public.  These are private spaces and there is a large helping of trust needed to invite Joe Public in.  But open studio events can be incredibly rewarding experiences for both those doing the opening and those doing the visiting.  

To be able to see artwork in a situation that isn’t a gallery can be a much more approachable way in for many people.  Art shown in domestic settings allows for more relaxed viewing and it gives a license for people to be a bit nosey – we all love a chance to see how other people live!  There is a chance to talk to the artists themselves and ask all sorts of questions about their process.  Seeing the kinds of things they surround themselves with in their work space can be fascinating: the postcards tacked to the wall; the intriguing bits of equipment; the detail of people’s practical arrangements can say so much about their approach to making.

For the artist there is of course the hope of selling work, but often the most warming of experiences are the conversations to be had with visitors: feedback on your work that you wouldn’t otherwise get; connections made with people about their creativity or background; appreciation for the time you so slavishly put into your work.  

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting artists’ studios or homes as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios, York Open Studios, Stroud Textile Trail, Saltaire Arts Trail and each one has given really special and lasting memories.  The spirit of sharing really is the key to these events.

1 comment:

  1. I agree Alice, it's a totally different experience; much more intimate.