- 2 May, 2022
Weekend of 14th & 15th May and 21st & 22nd May 2022
Now in its 29th year, the Dulwich Festival welcomes the live return of the Artists’ Open House event this month celebrating the diverse local creative talent in Dulwich and surrounding areas. This year a staggering 400 local artists will participate, in 180 venues, many of them opening their homes and studios to the public, providing a personal dialogue and insight into their work, as well as the opportunity to purchase directly from them.
This year’s Artists’ Open House includes a variety of artforms: from fine art to craft and ceramics; furniture and homewares; photography and prints; sculpture and street art; jewellery and textiles.
The event also affords a rare opportunity to explore the diverse range of local artistic spaces; from pop-up galleries at national heritage houses, to studio-lined cobbled Mews and creative enclaves hidden beneath railway arches.
Artists’ Open House has been held online for the past two years and this year’s event gives a glimpse of brilliant new work from artists and makers emerging from the months of the pandemic.
Former fashion designer turned internationally renowned sculptor, Nicole Farhi, will exhibit her new collection ‘Womankind’, at Dulwich Prep London. The work is a study in the power of touch – the importance of which is now valued all the more – and concentrates on fragments of the female body as if looking through the lens of a camera. The sculptures celebrate the bonds of female friendship, kindness, empathy and love.
Amy Gardner, a multidisciplinary artist in Camberwell, also celebrates womanhood. Her fine art and prints respectfully nod to the movement and ‘history of effort’ gifted from previous generations of women.
Over in Forest Hill, Painter, Ian Robinson, works with iconic retro objects from UK pop culture, inspired by people’s passions and their collections, whilst Emily Jo Gibbs, creates hand-stitched Portraits and Still Lifes. Examples of her work are to be found in The Victoria and Albert Museum.
Inspired by her Peckham surroundings, visual artist, Katrina Adams, will present vividly abstract two- and three-dimensional artworks. Also in Peckham, Mark Pearson, will exhibit figurative paintings of his neighbourhood, many of which were heavily influenced by the newly created pedestrianised spaces during lockdown.
‘Love in the Time of Covid’ is the title given to photographer Patrice d’Hotman de Villier’s playful body of work, created during lockdown and to be displayed at the Old College Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Samer Moukarzel, another photographer, cycled around Dulwich during lockdown capturing portraits of families through their windows and front doors. ‘Portrait at a Distance’ will be exhibited at the Peace and Riot cafe. Sarah Eyton’s ‘Flowers in the Time of Corona’ is a collection of layered, evocative photographic images made in response to the lockdowns and reflecting the challenges of isolation.
Amongst the artists exhibiting at The Paxton in Gipsy Hill is Jodie Glen-Martin, who created a daily butterfly during lockdown using box-fresh acrylic paint and metal leaf in 2D, which she then posted on Instagram. The finished piece, which took a year to make, will be shown in its entirety for the first time at the festival. Also featuring is Chioma Abalogu, a Nigerian contemporary painter, known as Omj Arts, who began her professional career during the pandemic and portrays African culture and traditions.
Bruce Mark, a glass maker in central London for 18 years who has recently added wood sculpture to his repertoire, will also be exhibiting for the first time at Artists’ Open House. The Michael Ruh Glass Studio, which counts Calvin Klein and The New Craftsmen among its clients, will be among the participating creative workshops in Parade Mews in Tulse Hill.
Similarly set amongst ancient cobblestones is Havelock Walk. The former industrial Mews, one of Forest Hill’s treasures, is now home to a diverse community of creatives who will open their studios, including Royal Academician, David Mach, known globally for his large-scale sculpture, collages and installations.
Grove Vale Ceramics will present contemporary works, from distinctive tableware to decorative and sculptural artworks, and the ceramicists from The Arches Studios, an artistic oasis under the Peckham Rye railway arches, will open their workshops. Further ceramic artists include, Rowena Brown, who will showcase her sculptures of abandoned architectural forms, constructed out of heavily pigmented black clay and Daniel Reynolds who will display abstract mobiles, lighting, and large ceramic vessels. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
ESEA Designers Makers celebrate the talents of East South East Asian creatives. They will showcase handcrafted leather goods; prints; textiles; ceramics; jewellery and homewares.
Ian Dunn Woodwork and Design will welcome visitors into their studio and will also host creatives including: Heliconia furniture, makers of contemporary wooden heritage pieces; Blackbird Bespoke, specialists in metal furniture and Coldharbour Lights, creators of handcrafted feather chandeliers.
AB Design & Interiors will showcase a selection of their home collection along with a collaboration of carefully curated artists and ‘Homewares Designer of the Year 2021’, Anna Jacobs, will exhibit new designs and original paintings.
Grade II listed Bell House will host ‘Ways of Seeing: Green’, a group exhibition of artworks exploring the meaning of ‘green’ in all its different contexts using a variety of media.
Over in Herne Hill, the South London Maker’s Festival will feature local arts and crafts and hands-on family workshops. For a chance to view the work of younger artists in the community, Belair House will display the festival’s Children’s Art Competition entries and there will be an exhibition at the East Dulwich Picturehouse of artworks by children attending &Art classes run by local art educator, Georgina Mackley.