Twice a year artists and makers open their homes, studios, galleries and display venues to art lovers throughout Brighton, Hove and surrounding villages. This May saw more than 1500 artists and makers exhibiting their work – providing a wonderful snapshot into an impressive range including paintings, prints, photography, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, and creations in many other media.
Artists Open Houses welcomes artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers. A special aspect of AOH is the inclusion of artists who could typically be excluded from the ‘mainstream art world due to homelessness, addiction recovery, disability or mental health issues
Aligned to the Brighton Festival, Artists Open Houses gave thousands of people free entry to browse, chat with the artists, enjoy tea and homemade cake, and even take part in workshops and events for both adults and children plus the chance to purchase work directly from the artists and makers.
Gemini Print is very proud to be the official print partner to AOH working with Festival Director Judy Stevens and Fiona McTeman. Gemini Print has created the following awards to celebrate the high standards of work throughout the event and is delighted to announce:
WINNER: Gemini Print ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Jane Palmer
Jane Palmer is a member of the long-established Fiveways Artists Group, the original AOH art trail and she studies a the New School of Art and St Andrews Place Art School in Lewes. Her work includes landscapes, plus an emphasis on figurative work, including portraits and life drawing. The judges selected Janes work for the unusual feeling that the models were very calm and relaxed, while her landscapes inspired you to want to explore the spaces. Even when creating portraits, Jane rarely works from photographs as she loves the communication and relationship that she can develop with the sitter – enabling a depth of character to be portrayed in her work.
Jane says ‘I love painting portraits and capturing those elusive moments when models forget themselves and travel somewhere else. The same with landscapes, when the light hits the horizon in the far distance – illuminating something tiny far away. I am thrilled and delighted at this unexpected award. I’m looking forward to the opportunities it could provide for networking with other artists and for attracting more portrait commissions.’
Formative influences include Rembrandt, Gwen John, Vanessa Bell, Euan Uglow and Lucian Freud. Jane admires the work of contemporary artists including Andrew James, Tim Benson, Adele Wagstaff, Daniel Shadbolt, James Bland, Jenny Saville and Sarah Spackman.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Gemini Print ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Dion Salvador Lloyd
With such a wonderful name (Dion’s father was a sculptor who loved the work of Salvador Dali) Brighton born and bred contemporary artist, Dion Salvador Lloyd is a contemporary British painter, known predominantly for his landscapes. For more than 18 years he has opened his home for the Artists Open Houses, in addition to achieving the distinction of being selected and hung in each of the Royal Academies plus the Royal Society of British Painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
A wonderful description of his work is by Sam Lock ‘They move, breathe, whisper, sing. To see them is to feel them, they go in through the eyes but aim for the soul. They suggest the river that always flows, the sea that always crashes, and the wind that blows.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Gemini Print ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Philip Dunn
Who can think about Brighton and Hove seafront without thinking of the work of Philip Dunn? Identified by many as THE Brighton artist Philip is famous for this work of the seafront, the Royal Pavillion, Palace Pier and of course the dazzling arrays of deckchairs. It was a sad day when after 25 years (and one day) Window Gallery moved out of Ship Street in the Brighton Lanes but good news for Ditchling now that Philip is based at the Turner Dumbrell Foundation Workshops – a hive of creativity making an excellent destination on the Ditchling Art Trail.
A deckchair remains synonymous with relaxing and enjoying the delights of the beach and the promenade. When you look at the work of Philip Dunn, it is difficult not to smile and feel the sense of joy – even when he paints the lonely deckchair with it sunny colours in the snow.
WINNER: Gemini Print PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Christina Chelmick
Christina Chelmick exhibited at the Open House ran by St Peter & St James Hospice in North Chailey near Lewes in East Sussex where she is a long-standing supporter of the hospice, taking beautiful photographs at events and of hospice life itself. Christina describes herself as a location photographer of people and places. A broad portfolio of work including portraits from ‘bump to adults’, international locations, panoramics and wildlife.
Christina’s work reflects her involvement with people and the community in addition to the skill of capturing outstanding images.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Gemini Print PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Jo Hunt
A newcomer to the Artists Open Houses is photographer Jo Hunt. After finishing her photography degree at Brighton University 15 years ago, Jo armed herself with a camera (and loads of slide films in those pre-digital days) and travelled through South East Asia. A job as the photographer with a major holiday company maintained her focus on travel imagery, while people and landscapes are also part of her work. Jo grew up in Australia but lived for a while in Malaysia.
Jo says: “My work for the AOH exhibition centred around my travel photography and in particular a love of street portraiture and landscapes. It was a fantastic experience to exhibit my work and chat to people about all things travel and photography! I was thrilled to be given the highly commended award for photographer of the year by Gemini Print”
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Gemini Print PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Mark Findlay
Mark Findlay exhibited with ‘Stuart and Mark and Friends’ and is a Fiveways trail artist. Mark specialises in landscape photography and his work reflects a passion for natural themes, sunsets, sunrises, woodland and gardens. His work has been published in Country Life magazine. His work symbolises the beauty of nature and the implied power of the forces being unleased – whether these are global warming or the force of a storm.
Most of Marks work is shot in and around Brighton, but it appears his camera never leaves his side even when he is ‘out of town’. A unique aspect of his print sales is the skilled framing using stained ash by his partner Stuart.
Mark Tulley, Director, Gemini Print, said “the team feel privileged to have a close partnership with the creative talent involved with the Artist Open Houses. It is very pressurised selecting winners when there is so many outstanding artists and makers involved but we welcome the opportunity to play a small role in supporting the creative industry which is key to the British economy, although so often overlooked by people.”