Artists at Home celebrates 50 years

Image above: Bobbie Kociejowski

“You develop relationships”

A total of 97 artists took part in Artists at Home this weekend, celebrating the event’s 50th anniversary. The weekend saw artists across our part of west London open up their homes and invite members of the public to browse their work.

Across the weekend I managed to visit a mere 14 studios and spoke to some of the artists taking part.

Hand-weaver, Bobbie Kociejowski, who describes herself as “being happiest when I’m sitting at my loom”, has taken part in Artists at Home for over 24 years and told me how the event had grown:

“It was always by the river, you know, that’s where the main studios were.

“It’s a really nice way of showing your work to the public, because being a maker is a lonely business… it’s much nicer than putting stuff in shops or even the big shows, they’re so expensive to do, the pressure is quite different. This is a very nice way of doing it.

“You develop relationships… I’ve met people that have bought from me and then continued to buy from me, you know, come back”.

Image above: Jasna (left) and Gala Bell (right)

“It’s really nice to be able to see someone’s reaction”

“It’s a fantastic bond between us and we are really good working together”, Gala Bell told me. She has displayed her work alongside her mother Jasna’s for the past ten years.

The multidisciplinary artist said what she liked about Artists At Home is that:

“It’s really nice to be able to see someone’s reaction. Usually, in a gallery, you don’t get to stand with the person”.

Image above: Lisa Pfeiffer

‘I just loved seeing the neighbourhood’

After 50 years, Artists at Home continues to attract new artists. This weekend was Lisa Pfeiffer’s first time taking part in the event.

The artist, who has lived in Chiswick for five years, said she had visited other artists in previous years before deciding to take part herself:

“I just loved seeing the neighbourhood and since moving from California it’s just been nice to meet people and see the area.

“I love art of course so just visiting people and talking and our neighbours actually said ‘we’ll give you a bottle of wine if you do it this year’, so I was like, okay. It’s been really nice”.

Image above: Sally Grumbridge (left) and Lucy Strathon (right)

“It’s got a lot bigger, a lot more professional”

Sally Grumbridge, a printer and painter who has taken part in Artists at Home for 18 years told me:

“The face to face contact is what is special and that’s been the same ever since I joined.

“When you show in a gallery or in an exhibition you’re removed from your work, you can’t really talk or explain it. Whereas here, people that are interested can ask questions, you can chat, you can show them how you do things and that’s very unusual in this busy world where everything is done by social media.”

Like Bobbie, Sally told me how the event had grown:

“It’s got a lot bigger, a lot more professional, but I don’t think it’s lost the the essence of what it is. It’s still very much the same, the same people coming into our homes and looking at our work”.

Find out more about Artists at Home: artistsathome.co.uk