Open the doors to art

Although the Eastbourne Festival is on sabbatical this year, there will still be an Open Houses and Studios event over the middle two weekends of April.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 4:16 pm
Artist Helen Warren's  Flags On The Pier
Artist Helen Warren's Flags On The Pier

Julian Sutherland-Beatson, professional artist and inspiration behind Eastbourne’s Open House movement, believes it’s a great opportunity for local artists and makers to display and sell work, and an excellent way for the public to engage with them in a friendly, sociable environment.

There are over 50 artists and makers taking part in a variety of venues across town. They include Kate Conway showing her own paintings at her studio, The Drawing Room, in Motcombe Road, while James Heighway will welcome visitors to his home in Milton Road to view paintings and prints in an Art Deco style.

One Of A Kind, a new exhibition of monoprints opens at the Emma Mason Gallery in Cornfield Terrace on Saturday April 16 as part of the season. This is the first time the gallery has held an exhibition devoted to monoprints (a printmaking process which produces unique pieces rather than multiples.

Helen and John Warren and guest exhibitors at the Big House will show a variety of fine art and crafts. Once again they are supporting the Girl Guide Sangam Centre in India by helping grand-daughter Geneva sponsor her trip to India.

An Open House innovation will be a pop-up gallery at the Enterprise Centre. Open over the fortnight, it will feature the work of local artists and makers such as Tania Long, Suesie Seedpod, Shirley Smith, Louise Chatfield and Sonya Tatham. It will also coincide with Sussex Craft & Design Fair at the enterprise Centre.

Another event will be at Studio 11 in Wharf Road near the station. Inspired by Lynn Knight’s book The Button Box: Lifting the Lid on Women’s Lives, Christine Chester and Sarah Welsby of textile group unFOLD will be creating unique pieces of art and photography whilst recording memories of domesticity through ‘button drawings.’

And on Saturday April 16 at 2pm, the London-based author give a talk at the Birley Centre recalling her own memories of buttons and how she loved, “the rattle and whoosh of my grandma’s buttons as they scattered from their Quality Street tin.” Tickets cost £3, available from the Tourist Information Centre, via Christine [email protected] or on the door. If anyone has unwanted buttons, Christine and Sarah from UnFOLD will be pleased to have them for their ‘button box amnesty’ at Studio 11 over both weekends of Open Houses or at the Birley Centre on April 16.

To find out more pick up a brochure from the TIC or from participating venues. Information is also on, or Eastbourne Spring Artists Open Houses on Facebook.