Away from the perfect white space of an art gallery the studio is very different, like walking into the mind of an artist. In any group of artists, the studios are as eclectic and individual as the makers - there is no ‘one size fits all’.
The participants of Swindon Open Studios are no less diverse. The kind of studio that people choose may differ because of the work they make, how they work, how they think, what they have available. Often space is limited but creative people – by their nature - will make use of whatever they have.
A trip round any studio is so intriguing, not only to see the art and to meet the artists, but also to see how they work and use the space.
As an artist myself it is often the palette or the paint brushes that I am captivated by. In the summer I have a large and bright conservatory where I work on large oil paintings.
Like many artists I am a “hoarder with purpose” and my little collections are boxed, bagged and labelled with the obsession usually reserved for forensic evidence.
Gradually chaos ensues with the occasional frantic tidy up where I come across small fragments that I want to create art with resulting in impatience and a tidying job always half finished. In the winter I have a small trolley stuffed with materials, paper, old papers for collage, sketchbooks and notes; maybe taking the idea of ‘studio’ to an extreme but it has everything I need and can be wheeled anywhere in the house.
Some participants have shared with me their own studios and I think the ones below are brilliant...
Rhianon G Beardsall
Rhianon tells me that her studio is not the place where her inspiration comes from – her ‘studio’ is partly out on the Wiltshire Downs. Back in her studio, a hive of activity and colour, where she has everything at hand is where she commits her ideas into physical artwork.
Ruth says that whilst she loves the energy of learning in a group setting, her best work is done when alone in her studio. The current hot spell has been a challenge as her studio is so hot and the clay dries too quickly, so has been using the last few weeks in other ways outside of her studio.
Caroline is one artist who proves beyond doubt that space is no limit for creativity, with her bold and beautiful florals created in her kitchen studio.
Sue Ash’s well-designed studio nestling in her kitchen garden has everything she needs for her printmaking. She is participating this year for the first time and is actually taking part and displaying her work with Deborah Battaglia but wanted to give you a taste here of where her art comes from.
Jacquie’s well organised resources set up in her mosaic and glass studio, large enough to accommodate participants on her courses.
Using various materials and many techniques, Sally needs a versatile space for work and storage. She is currently taking time to set up extra display space by recycling old furniture.