A wide range of artists will be opening their doors for the Graffham Festival Open Studios art trail, running from July 21-24.All studios will be open daily from 11am to 5pm, and admission to all studios is free.
Clive McBain is delighted once again to be participating, promising once again an insight into his highly-realistic paintings which explore the dialogue between the man-made and the natural world (Brook Hill Cottage, Selham Road, GU28 0PY): “If I am doing a piece of architecture, there may very well be as part of the picture a butterfly or a bird. One explores the other. But a lot of my work explores the really aged, the decrepit! Passage of time really interests me. I tend to look at the obvious and explore it. People don’t tend to look at the obvious, but I try to look at it and find something within it. But I always try to produce beautiful paintings. I avoid the ugly! I really do try to look for the beauty.”
And the art trail is a great way of sharing both process and result with the public: “The purpose of the art trail is to show a diversity of work that will be entertaining to people that view. There are so many different types and styles of artist here. This year we have 19 artists, but that does not mean you have to go to 19 different venues. That would be too much. We have wrapped it all up together in nine different venues. There are a lot of artists that have grouped together.
“Really, it is a nice way of showcasing your work and talking to people. If you exhibit in a gallery, the chances of ever meeting a buyer if you do make a sale are almost nil. The gallery takes the money and gives you the money less 40 per cent or whatever, and you never even know who has bought the piece. But with this the artists can chat. They can be as flamboyant as they like – or not! It’s a time when you can show off a bit, and I have always liked to show off!”
And no, it’s not a problem getting people in: “People are a little bit nosey. If you put your house up for sale, people come to have a good old nose around. But certainly the people that came to me last time were wonderful. They were so sweet. You try not to embarrass people. You know that people are not necessarily there to purchase and that if they do purchase, that is the cherry on the cake. But they are there to look and enjoy, and I love welcoming them. I do like to talk about my art.
“I like to get people involved. If I am exhibiting in a gallery like the Oxmarket, I take my materials along and I actually paint on the spot so that people can look over my shoulder and ask me questions. If you exhibit in a private gallery, you can’t do this. But with the art trail, you can really share what you do.”
Artists taking part this year are: Jill Simm, Richard Davidson, Sue Hill, Sally Blunt, Dominique Kenway, Jo Morris, Roger Coakes, Clive McBain, Clara Butterworth, Colin Barker, Vivien Gosden, Jane Stickley, Frances McCann, Pamela Jamison, Emma Jamison, Melanie Jamison, Sya Goring, Adam Pochee and Mike Purdie. Full details on www. graffhamfestival.co.uk.
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