Marlborough Open Studios 2018 begins next weekend

Written by Sue Round on .

Lisi AshbridgeLisi AshbridgeFifty four exhibiting artists from Calne in the west to Hungerford in the east are inviting visitors to their studios, workshops, or pop-up galleries for the first four full weekends in July.  Entrance is free, with no obligation to buy.

Visitors are given the rare opportunity to meet artists, discuss their work and discover their inspiration.  Exhibits range from small curios, jewellery, glass and ceramics to large sculptures, bronzes and epic landscapes.

While some artists such as Susan Kirkman and Arran Miles have been exhibiting with Open Studios for more than twenty five years, others such as sculpture artists Diccon Dadey and Tom Hiscocks are exhibiting for the first time this year. Many artists are available to take commissions.

Cathy PearceCathy PearceMost of the studios offer refreshments and some are holding special events.  Visitors can get messy with charcoal and have a go at sketching the surrounding landscape with Simone Dawood in Bushton on Sunday July 8 at 2pm. Also on the same day at Anne Hayhoe’s studio in Pewsey, solo acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter b.e_cooling will be performing.

Some special events are also being held on week days. Lisi Ashbridge and Deborah Husk at The Manor, Alton Priors are offering no-fail fun photographing like a pro, Have-a-go at stone letter carving and open gardens with expert advice on Tuesday July 24.

Alison Bowyer and Ann Louise Smith are opening their studio in Edwards Meadow, Marlborough on Wednesday July 11 from 11am to 4pm and offering tea, coffee and cake.

Each year Open Studios makes a Bursary Award to a new and emerging artist.  The award includes inclusion on the Open Studio scheme and £250.  This year the award has been given to Laura Kirkpatrick.

Laura explained, “Like most artists, I get inspiration from the world around me, which in my case is often the domestic sphere with my three young children.  Also living in rural Wiltshire, the natural world is an infinite source of ideas”

“While my work is predominantly abstract, I also like to experiment with more representational elements and play with questions of perception and understanding.”

“I think I am what they call a ‘returner’;  returning to my first passion as a painter after something of a break.  I graduated with a BA honors degree in Visual Arts from Lancaster University in 1997 after completing an Art Foundation course at Swindon Art College.”

Laura’s work can be viewed at Studio 26, New Mill, Pewsey.  Open Studios are now accepting applications for the 2019 Bursary. 

Paul Oakley, Chairman of Open Studios told, “Open Studios is also a great way to explore the countryside and some of the beautiful houses and gardens.  You don’t have to be an art connoisseur to enjoy it.”

To find out more pick up an Open Studios brochure, available at the White Horse Bookshop and other venues in the High Street or visit the website: