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Creativity unlocked...

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

Half way through the two-weekend event and many locals will have seen our colourful Swindon Open Studio signs.

With over a decade’s worth of Swindon Open Studios the word is still getting out there (please tell your friends!).

The event is a great opportunity for our many individual artists to raise awareness about what they do: usually working alone squirrelled away in their studios, this is an chance for them to open to the public.

And, there is tremendous choice for you the viewer.

I've had a few comments from people along the lines of: “I saw the signs but wasn’t sure if I could knock on the door”. Well yes you can – you don’t need to know the artist!

You don’t need to be an artist yourself or even creative. Some spaces are in homes, others in borrowed public venues; but for that time they are all public spaces so you are not invading their private space.

Artists put in so much work to get ready so please support the creativity in your local neighbourhoods to make it worth their while – especially those artists tucked away in the quieter residential areas.

A few artists have told me about their art, life and preparations so here is a little look behind the scenes with just a few of our artists...

Marie Stacey

“Doodling” for me is a de-stressing activity which takes places on my sofa with a cup of tea after a hectic day of teaching Design & Technology. I’ve converted my garage into an exhibition space for my Swindon Open Studios weekend. It’s pretty much ready to go and I’m really excited for visitors to come along and see my doodled girls in the flesh (so to speak!). Marie draws pin-up girls on canvases reclaimed from charity shops.

23 Selwyn Road, Tadpole Garden Village,Swindon SN25 2RW

Helen Savin

Helen has had a brilliant response to her work during the first weekend of Open Studios and found it such a rewarding experience. Helen showed me examples of her artwork, pictured here – like much of her artwork these are loaded with varied subtle colour and detail. Her work is often small, and inspired by the abstract patterns in rock surfaces. She is very keen to meet people and show her work.

11b Prospect Place, Swindon, SN1 3LQ

Dona Bradley

You may already recognise Dona’s beautiful illustrations of local architectural landmarks. She is exhibiting at the Central Library (where she sells her illustrated mugs, etc) together with the Urban Sketchers group mentioned below.

Central Library, Regent Circus, Swindon SN1 1QG

Urban Sketchers

Part of a phenomenal international movement to encourage drawing on location. Urban Sketchers meet in various locations and draw in their own style and media. I have heard that lots of people seeing the sketchers' work were inspired to join the group and start themselves!

Central Library, Regent Circus, Swindon SN1 1QG

A couple you may have missed the first weekend...

Sue Ash

Sue only did the first weekend so one to watch out for next year!

Sue tells me that her work tends to change with the seasons so next year you may see her colourful variations from “full of bright greens and yellows to compliment spring and new life emerging”, later experimenting with autumnal colours, and monochrome.

Cheryl Holland-Willis

With a graphic design background, Cheryl now creates beautiful prints based on nature, using various printmaking techniques. Her detailed work is often based on nature. Here’s a picture of her studio where most of her work is created.

Many artists will be on a high after their exhibition and have a whole load of work ready to show. So I’m sure Sue, Cheryl and other artists would be happy to hear from you even after the event. Now their doors are open may they remain so!

However you haven’t missed them all! Check out our list of participating artists here:

Most of our artists are open again next weekend 29th and 30th September but please check individual pages on the website before going. They’ll be looking forward to your visit so if you have interest in supporting local culture this is something happening here and now. It's free to attend, and with no obligation to spend; Swindon Open Studios is a day out with a difference tailor-made by your choice of art.

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