Tuesday, 27 February 2018

2018 Cover to Cover

From November 2017 to May 2018, twenty four Open Studios artists of various disciplines from West Berkshire and North Hampshire are working in their sketchbooks. This year we are not exchanging them, each artist is following and developing their theme privately.

The overarching themes were proposed as starting points by our host, the West Berkshire Museum:
Collecting and Value, Photographs (and drawings), Maps, Pattern and Detail, Purpose, Messages, Feathers and Fur and Cabinets of Curiosity.
Cabinet of Curiosities at West Berkshire Museum

Newbury Map by Katherine Kingdon

Messages exploration by Angela Hugget Willis
Each artist was given a sketchbook book to work on by pasting, cutting, painting, drawing, in short, transforming it and exploring the given theme as they saw fit.  The artists were free to develop their themes in any direction they wished according to their understanding and practice and interacting with members of their group.  Group sizes varied and each group of artists will provide a small surprising output to give back to the museum on their chosen theme.

Artists taking part are: Wendy Lloyd, Ben Norman, Vivian Pare, Charles Burns, Isabel Carmona, Pam Hardman, Katherine Kingdon, Kirstie Dedman, Lenny Cornforth, Yvonne de Savigny, Christine King, Mary Eighteen, Diana Barraclough, Valentina Tikhonova, Hilary Arnold-Baker, Arty Pumpkin, Angela Hugget Willis, Jane Baikie, Julia Kellaway, Lone Hudson, Sarah Scott, Lorna Goldsmith, Joan Millard and Rosemary Derwent.

Messages by Angela Hugget Willis
During May 2018 you can come and see the result of this innovative collaborative project, and browse calmly through all the participating sketchbooks on display. Enjoy the richness of exploration and inspiration created by the artists.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Cover to Cover 2017 is a little bit different

We keep playing with the way we work.
This year 30 artists are taking part on Cover to Cover sketchbook exchange as part of Open Studios 2017. They chose each a theme and we gave them a second hand book to use as a "sketchbook".
Artists have worked on their chosen theme for a while and have already exchanged books with a second artist and are playing with new themes, exploring, cutting, modifying and transforming those books into something special. Some samples below.
Watch this space and look forward to 2017 exhibition at the West Berkshire Museum showing all the books.

Friday, 1 April 2016

2016 Cover to Cover - sketchbook exchange and more

In 2016 we have asked the artists to do more.. than the normal sketchbook exchange.
First they made the book, a concertina book of 24 double pages of various papers that could take a different range of media. Then they worked in groups of six artists.
Thirty six Open Studios artists have taken part in this years project divided into six groups : Scale, Materials, Texture, Local History, West Berkshire places and Colour.
Each group had an overarching theme and explored it in six different ways. For instance the group that did Colour looked into primaries, contrast, white, muted colours, value and favourites. 
As well as changing sketchbooks every three weeks, each groups had to design a poster that would summarise the essence of their theme. And they will print a silkscreen 25 copy series of their poster. A few copies of each poster will be available for sale during Open Studios to cover our costs and raise funds for next year's project.
The sketchbooks and posters will be on display at the West Berkshire Museum during May 2016 for visitors to peruse and indulge in the creativity of the artists and the different ways that they have explored a given theme. Each book is different and they eventually go back to the artist that started them.
Above some of the photographs of the sketchbooks work and below some of the first of the posters.

To experience the books in full glory the best would be to go to the Museum in Newbury and see them for yourself.  It is open Wednesdays to Sunday from 10 am to 4pm .

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The books are back!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting the artists sketchbooks back so that I can start preparing our Cover to Cover 2015 publication. This book of books will collect all the themes from the participating artists and the interpretation of those themes by some of the artists that took them on board.

I feel humbled and amazed at the amount of creativity and experimentation that has taken place and feel just slightly daunted by the task ahead of choosing the images for the publication.

Thank you to all the artists for taking the challenge of this sketchbook exchange that has kept you busy (on top of your normal workload) for the past five months. My most sincere congratulations for achieving something so special.

I recomend a visit to West Berkshire Museum this May during Open Studios to see the Cover to Cover 2015 exhibition of all the original books.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

February exchange

We have just done the first sketchbook exchange in February and are over half way on this year's project.
It is very exciting to see others people's take on your theme and how themes you thought difficult actually challenge you and make you think, provoking an unexpected reaction in you.
Other themes you thought "that's easy " but in the end you are not too happy with the result.
The photo is from group 4 and themes include "water", "human impact" "landscape" "quotations" "hedgerow hodgepodge" and "who are you?"