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Crouch End Open Studios: From Amazonian rainforests to in-camera trickery

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 May 2016

London's Pouring I

London's Pouring I


From the flora and fauna of the Amazonian rainforests, through spectacular in-camera trickery, to paintings that capture a unique moment in childhood, you’ll be spoilt for choice this weekend with 32 artists showing off work as part of the annual Open Studios.

Parisian Night In RedParisian Night In Red

Flora and fauna of the Amazonian rainforest are the sources of inspiration for the dazzling acrylic sculptures of the installation On the Edge of Beauty in a home gallery open for viewing this weekend as part of Crouch End Open Studios.

It’s by Kim Valdez, a founder of this popular annual event which this year has 32 artists showing work in venues and studios.

The “taster” exhibition at The Original Gallery, upstairs in Hornsey Library in Haringey Park, opens tomorrow and runs until Tuesday, giving visitors the chance to plan a route around the art trail according to their preferences.

It has paintings, sculpture, prints, ceramics and photography, including the enigmatic, compelling images of Michael Lee, who is participating for the first time.

His photographs may appear to be computer manipulated but they are generated within his camera. Lee aims to bring movement, life and texture to scenes of the everyday.

“I’m searching for the layers, smudges, ghosts and blurs created in a collusion between myself and the camera,” he says. “It’s a constant negotiation between the very precise technology of digital photography, intuition and happenstance to produce an illusive image.”

Painter Anne-Marie Butlin is also engaged in transforming the ordinary into the ethereal, in her case domestic interiors, following in the footsteps of Gwen John and Winifred Nicholson. With her still-lifes with flowers, she hopes to convey the characters of different blooms and the feeling they can create in space.

Her portraits and figure paintings are attempts to capture “a moment in childhood or the unique shape of a body or face before it changes forever”.

Participating printmakers include several with local followings.

As subjects for monoprints and lithographs of British landscapes, Jane Human favours coastal terrain and transient shifting vistas: “I’m interested in places which reveal their beauty slowly and reward patient looking.”

Theresa Pateman’s favourite medium is soft ground etching and she has recently been shaping plates and working in a circle.

Her imagery is a delight, whether a miniature winged elephant or the rakishly abandoned high-heeled shoe of Parisian Night in Red, which is in the main exhibition.

All homes, studios and venues, which include Priory Park Café and Hornsey Town Hall, are walking distance from Crouch End Clock Tower. All are open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm, some at other times too. More information.

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