Artists At Home weekend 2024 – a success despite the showers

Image: Visitors to Carol Tait’s home / studio in Grove Park on Friday evening

67 studios and nearly 100 artists – how many did you see?

It must be quite irritating if you’ve put blood, sweat and tears into creating lovely things – paintings, jewellery, clothing, sculpture – to hear strangers, drinking your booze, standing in your kitchen, looking up at the ceiling saying things like:

“I like what they’ve done with the skylight in the extension.”

I would want to snatch their drink away and frogmarch them out of my house. But the artists who take part in Artists At Home seem to be an altogether more tolerant breed. Nearly 100 of them showed their work this weekend, some on their own, some with other artists, in a total of 67 home / studios across Chiswick and into South Acton, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush.

I love Artists At Home weekend. I enjoy wandering round, squinting at the map in the booklet, trying to work out where artists live; looking at the beautiful and inspiring things people have produced, meeting friends on the same beat, sharing a glass of wine and yes, having a nose in other people’s houses!

Images: Paintings by Carol Tait

People beginning to spend again – expressing greater optimism

The weekend went well apparently, despite the showers. Steph Curtis-Raleigh, one of the organisers, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Judging from the conversations I’ve had with other artists figures are definitely up this year, despite the bad weather on Saturday which we thought might stop people coming out.

“I would even go as far as to say sales were up. Last year everyone was a bit nervous about the economy, but this year there seems to be a bit more optimism I think, and people have started to spend money again.”

The weekend was particularly successful for one artist, who shall be nameless, who had a beau from Belgium visiting her studio, who had flown over specially to present her with his poems and bouquets of flowers.

Image: Paintings by Annabel Hill; Pots by Roz Wallis

I bought a pot from Roz Wallis and some jewellery from Madeleine Marsh. We considered major extravagance but didn’t go there in the end. We always come away with something, even if it’s only a few cards. There are so many clever, skilled, imaginative pieces of work to see, it is inspirational. I like to imagine that somehow, just by proximity, some of their creativity has rubbed off!

It is also interesting to see who shacks up with whom, as it were. Artists At Home has sparked some interesting collaborations, not just studio sharing. Roz Wallis had created a series of pots which other artists in the group have decorated.

Images: ‘Eat your heart out Clarice Cliff’ collaboration between potter Roz Wallis and painter Celia Martine Pickering; Plate by Clarice Cliff

Collaborations between Artists At Home

‘Eat your heart out Clarice Cliff’ is an homage to the Stoke on Trent potter Clarice Cliff, born 1899, who designed original tableware in strong bright colours in the 1920s and ’30s and eventually became successful worldwide, desipte the men she worked with disparaging some of her early designs.

Celia Martine Pickering, no stranger to the use of strong and bold colours and designs herself, decorated one of Roz’s moon jars. Mary West decorated another – ‘The pattern of the flowered dress’, taking inspiration from Edouard Vuillard’s painting The flowered dress.

Images: Edouard Vuillard’s painting ‘The flowered dress’; The pattern of the flowered dress collaboration between potter Roz Wallis and painter Mary West

Roz started the ‘Me and my friends’ collaborations before Covid.

“Painters say it’s a lovely experience” she told The Chiswick Calendar, “because it’s very tactile. They are used to having much more control over the finished work but once you put a pot in the kiln you don’t know what’s going to happen, so it’s quite scary for them and can be devastating if it doesn’t turn out the way they imagined.”

The collaborations on show over the weekend clearly did pass muster.

Images: The view from my parents’ house, Neera Seghal; The flames of summer, Mary West; Summer Solstice, Peter Burgess collaborations with Roz Wallis

Images: Roz Wallis with the ‘Me and my friends’ collection; Roz with painter Annabel Hill, in whose house they were showing their work

Lots of new artists taking part

We have featured several artists over the past few weeks who were taking part in Artists At Home for the first time this year. Derek Siddle has lived in Chiswick for almost 30 years, but has never sought to participate in Artists at Home before, since he has been busy working in the video game industry.

“Mostly, art for me has always been a solitary thing in my spare time,” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “So it’s been great to meet up with [other artists] for coffees and meet them at the various shows and galleries that happen around Chiswick.”

READ ALSO: Derek Siddle                                                     READ ALSO: Hannah Gilmour

READ ALSO: Jane and Jocie Juritz                                     READ ALSO: Nupur Narain Detar

READ ALSO: Tina Takako Prentis                                       READ ALSO: Azelle Thorowgood

Others who took part for the first time: Jane and Jocie Juritz, mother and daughter, landscape painter and maker of handmade boots respectively; Tina Takako Prentis, an abstract painter; Hannah Gilmour, clothes designer; Nupur Narain Detar, potter and Azelle Thorowgood, jeweller.

Isobel MacLeod celebrates her 25th year with Artists At Home

For Isobel MacLeod this is the 25th year she has taken part.

“It’s been absolutely wonderful”, she told us. “I have met so many interesting people and sold hundreds of paintings to lots to people locally over the years. It works because there is no gallery overhead and it’s just a lovely thing to do.”

Images: Ceramicist Cristina Lorenzet; Potter Ruth Ridley and painter Arabella Harcourt-Cooze – photographs Nick Raikes; Nupur Narain Detar; Nupar’s pots – photographs George Westwood; Painter Martina Rohr; Martina’s paintings – photographs Nick Raikes; Celia Martine Pickering, Mary West & Clare Johnston; Celia’s painting; Clare’s scarf and kimono; Hannah Gilmour; creations in fabric by 46 Stitch; Artists At Home 2024 boolets; Clare Arafa; Steph Curtis-Raleigh; Naila Hazell with happy customers – photographs George Westwood

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar