Weekend no 2 at the Artist’s Open House in south east London yielded more wonderful things. Hidden at the end of a long, thin garden in Forest Hill is Lydia Brenchley’s shed. Step inside and you discover the artist has been occupied with trees, tracing the complex patterns of leaves, light and branches, rendering them in almost fabric like chalky gouache paint. Alongside the paintings and prints, Lydia’s ceramics also celebrate the fine details of nature. She makes beautiful mirrors in creamy white ceramic, garlands of blossom and leaves and the most lovely bird candle holders, two of which now sit on our mantlepiece. You can contact Lydia through the Blue Patch team.
Maya Tralala is exhibiting her wonderful textile based portraits at The Patch on Lordship Lane. Maya works from photographs, selecting fabrics, patterns, ribbons and coloured threads that tell a unique and personal story about the sitter. Maya’s roots are firmly in Brittany and she integrates themes of national dress – in this photo you glimpse the traditional Breton costume, particularly relevant in her moving portrait of her grandmother. An MA graduate from Camberwell School of Art, Maya is working toward a central London exhibition and we will be following this artist’s work with great interest and capturing her on film. Her work can be commissioned too, so if you want a family portrait with a very different feel, check out Maya’s blog.
The ceramics and glass trail took me to a house behind East Dulwich station, where I met Blue Patch pioneer, the glass artist Sue King. Sue has recently been commissioned to create new works especially for the House of Commons shop – I never knew they had one! She makes architectural glass and has installed pieces in public buildings as well as regular homes where her fused glass ‘paintings’ introduce a blast of coloured light. Our photo shows her hanging pieces, chunky glass colours melted together like boiled sweets, they will cheer up a window, changing colour with the time of day. Also exhibiting at Sue’s house was ceramicist Diana Cox. Diana creates amazing lights, ceramic tubes pierced with holes, they look as eye catching switched off as they do on. Diana’s little pillow box is featured above.
Popping over to Peckham, two industrious guys, Phil Hankinson and Daniel Reynolds, transformed a local garage into the ‘Art Garage’ and filled it with wonderful things amongst the nuts and bolts.
Phil graduated from the Royal College of Art in Illustration and has been working for the likes of Conde Nast, Apple and the BBC. His own work start life as uses small scale paper assemblages or ‘reconstructed landscapes’. ‘If it moves (or doesn’t) cast it’ seems to be the philosophy of Daniel Reynolds, whose eclectic vision has produced a pantheon of familiar and strange ceramic objects. We hope they can make a permanent Art Garage because it would be a great place for everyone to source affordable high quality art.
The people we visited during the artists open house proved to the Blue Patch team that there is a rich pool of talent and people are making work that they take real pride in. To invest in things that really enhance your home and give it a unique feel we suggest you keep an eye out for the ‘open studio’ weekends, they happen throughout the UK and even better you will pay less and support the local economy too.