It's a busy time here at Primrose HQ as preparations for Swindon Open Studios step up a gear. There's tidying the garden as well as creating new artwork; and this year there will be more than ever to see, including my cottage garden series of panels, which have been my most challenging and detailed work of 2018. The garden will be full of colourful glass mosaic work and the studio and summerhouse will also have a variety of handcrafted jewellery and slate work to view and/ or purchase. You can also find out more about the workshops I run and see where they take place.
But it's not all just about seeing MY work this year...... I am also giving you the opportunity to join in and try some glass cutting and contribute to a large community mosaic panel which we shall be making together. Kids can also join in, choosing and adding nuggets in their favourite colours. The finished mosaic will be raffled and proceeds will go to TWIGS Community Gardens, so theres a chance you may even win yourself a gorgeous unique piece of garden art. TWIGS is a colourful and vibrant set of gardens in the heart of Swindon. They are a resource to give people who experience mental health problems the chance to regain confidence, self-esteem and to learn new skills. I love visiting Twigs, its inspirational and gives you a real sense of community. If you want to learn more about the charity or about when they are open to visitors then go to the TWIGS website or TWIGS facebook page. You could even visit them after me, as part of Open Studios, they will be exhibiting work from their craft studio in the cafe and are approx 10 minute drive away.
Talking of other venues, there are many other Swindon artists opening their doors and inviting members of the public into their studios and homes for a chance to see where and how their art is made this September. Details can be found on the SOS website or in the brochures, which have been distributed in businesses and libraries around town, or you can pick one up from me. You can also find out more about some of the artists, including a video from me in this blog by Mary Parsons. (I don't think Hollywood will be calling anytime soon, but hopefully it gives you a little insight into SOS!)
Visiting an artist is a really interesting experience and I always save one day to give myself the chance to go and meet other artists and view their work, hence why I won't be opening on Saturday 22nd September. For a start, who doesn't love nosing around other peoples' creative spaces? Surely it's not just me who's fascinated by seeing where artists work .... some have fabulous studios and others it's a table in the kitchen, all of which I find interesting. Some of you may remember that I started, the first year I opened, on a tiny table in the garage, amongst the paint pots, lawnmower and DIY tools! It's amazing to imagine the artist busy creating their wonderful work in all these different spaces. And it's really lovely to find out more about the artist, how they started, what inspires them, how they create their work, where else the exhibit, if its a hobby or a full time business, whether they've been making artwork for years or, like me, found art later in life. I always come home uplifted and inspired by the creativity of others.
And as an exhibiting artist, I always feel delighted and humbled that someone has taken the time to come and view my work, so I do try and make it an enjoyable experience with a warm welcome. Husband George will be on tea/ coffee/ pimms duty and you can sit and enjoy the refreshments with a slice of cake (curtesy of my generous and supportive friends- baking is not my strong point!) in the garden or summerhouse. So do try and come along this September and bring your friends and family.... the more the merrier.
Feel free to help me spread the word by sharing with anyone you know who might be interested in visiting Swindon Open Studios.
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