Crouch End artists welcome the public to their open studios

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 May 2017

Anne-Marie Butlin's Delphiniums. Picture: Duncan Phillips

Anne-Marie Butlin's Delphiniums. Picture: Duncan Phillips

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Anne-Marie Butlin is taking part in the annual weekend where artists open the doors of their studios and homes to the public

‘I love that I know where my paintings are’

CROUCH END OPEN STUDIOS

BRIDGET GALTON talks to an exhibitor taking part in the annual weekend where artists open the doors of their studios and homes to the public

Crouch End open studios is an annual celebration of the area’s creative community when studios and homes are thrown open to the public.

Now in its 13th year, the free event over the weekend of May 13 and 14 sees 34 artists exhibiting work including sculpture, prints, ceramics, painting, film and photography.

All are walking distance from the Clocktower, with Priory Park Café, Hornsey Town Hall and The Original Gallery in Hornsey Library also hosting work.

Exhibitor Anne-Marie Butlin said the chance to meet and talk to artists about their work can be “a fascinating uplifting and life-affirming experience.”

“It’s just the most lovely thing for the artists,” she said. “They get to meet people who are often coming because they have had a look on the website and are very positive about the work. For visitors it’s a really nice insight into how the work is produced, in a much more relaxed atmosphere than going into a gallery.

“Seeing the work in a domestic environment and buying directly from the artist is not as intimidating, and for me it’s lovely to have direct contact with the people buying my work. I know where my painting is and I love that.

“It can also be great for young visitors taking GCSE or A level art looking for inspiration who can talk to artists about their technique.”

The former teacher has been painting professionally for 10 years from a studio in her garden. Although her bread and butter is portraits, after visiting the Stroud Green home of garden designer Peter Beardsley, she was inspired to start painting garden florals.

“He had an open garden which is the most beautiful space, that looks wild but is actually carefully planted. It started me doing these paintings of gardens rather than still lifes.”

Butlin says this year’s exhibiting artists range from established to emerging and include screen prints and paintings by Katie Goodwin who has exhibited at Tate Modern and has work in The V&A Print Collection. She worked in special effects on many of the Harry Potter films and her art is influenced by film, often using discarded cutting room floor footage as material.

Highgate artist Sue Spaull is a portraitist who was recently commissioned by The Old Vic to paint former Hampstead and Kilburn MP Glenda Jackson for the poster of their production of King Lear. A painting from this commission will be auctioned this year to raise funds for the theatre.

Nic Gotch’s still life photographic art (see Pink Rosebowl left) includes her Season Sphere collection using natural materials, collected locally and uniquely arranged, and rosebowls in pink, red and white representing different aspects of romantic emotions. Andy Thornley who has lived in Crouch End since 1972 is a former Professor of Urban Planning whose paintings of Steelworks, inspired by the two remaining UK blast furnaces - at Port Talbot and Scunthorpe, are a timely celebration of their unique character and beauty. And Printmaker Richard Peacock’s pop art inspired images use repeat colours and shapes often abstracted from found objects.

“Crouch End has a real history of artists living here from Hornsey School of Art onwards,” says Butlin.

“There’s a real artists community here and the open studios where you see the work on your doorstep gives you that sense of a community event. We have some very good artists here as well as just emerging artists which keeps everything fresh and evolving.”

A taster group show runs over the weekend at the Original Gallery with all venues open from 12-6pm.crouchendopenstudios.org.uk

Pin rosebowl by nic gotch

Anne-Marie Butlin’s Delphiniums

Glenda Jackson by Sue Spaull was commissioned by The Old Vic theatre


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