What to look out for at Bridport & West Dorset Open Studios 2017

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 September 2017

Caroline Liddington will be exhibiting in Shipton Gorge (Photo by George Wright)

Caroline Liddington will be exhibiting in Shipton Gorge (Photo by George Wright)


Bridport & West Dorset Open Studios is the annual celebration of contemporary visual artists. This year it is showcasing 75 local artists in over 50 venues

Bridport & West Dorset Open Studios, running 9 – 17 September, offers visitors the chance to experience how artists work, to discover more about their creative process and to view their most recent work. Started in 1999 by Caroline Ireland, whose work features on the cover of this year’s exhibition guide, the event has become a brilliant showcase for the vibrant West Dorset art scene.

Art lovers can admire the work of 75 of Dorset’s finest artists, designers and craftspeople who will be exhibiting in over 50 venues including galleries, studios and homes. A huge variety of visual arts are represented including painting, printmaking, illustration, drawing, photography, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, glass, furniture and sculpture. Artists range from well-established names of the West Dorset art scene through to new emerging talent; all will have original works for sale, as well as prints and cards. It’s a great opportunity to invest in an original piece that is ‘made in Dorset’.

The 2017 event is headed up by Creative Director, Tash Lummes; Consultant Director, Kit Glaisyer (a finalist in the Dorset Magazine Landscape Painter of the Year) and Event Coordinator, Paul Newman. There are also three designers who have been working on publicity around the event: well-known illustrator Paul Blow was involved in the creation of the cover for the free exhibition guide, Kate Gowrie used her expertise on the layout, and Ian Escott designed the distinctive maps, in addition renowned photographer George Wright took portraits of some of the artists in their studios.

A taster exhibition - Exploring Bridport’s Art Studios - is on at Bridport Arts Centre until 2 September, with a handpicked selection of participating artists’ work. Hopefully this exhibition will inspire you to start planning your Open Studios visits. 

Philomena Harmsworth - Ceramics: Venue 47

Vessels are female, bowls and vases simply lend themselves to curves and rounds as Philomena’s Many Vesseled Women reveal at her studio at St Michael’s Trading Estate (philomenaharmsworth.co.uk), alongside are Fiona Neylan’s gorgeous headwear, hats and accessories (fionaneylan.co.uk). Studio 48, St Michael’s Trading Estate, Bridport, DT6 3RR.

Martyn Brewster - Painting: Venue 31

Sladers Yard in West Bay brings together some of the finest artists living and working in Dorset. Martyn Brewster’s lyrical abstract paintings are inspired by the Dorset coast and its colour and light. sladersyard.co.uk.

David Brooke - Painting: Venue 52

Influences of mythology and medieval book illumination are woven together to create an original contemporary mixture of style and subject in David’s work. He shares his studio space with Caroline Ireland. St Michael’s Studios, St Michael’s Trading Estate, Bridport, DT6 3RR

Marion Taylor - Painting: Venue 49

Local landscapes rich in pattern and colour, including depictions of the much loved local landmark Colmer’s Hill, feature alongside still life, butterflies and flowers. Studio 6, St. Michael’s Studios, Bridport DT6 3RR. dorsetpaintings.co.uk.

Caroline Liddington - Painting: Venue 21

Caroline’s work reflects joy and optimism; interior and exterior landscapes are seen through windows and doorways, amongst other abstract and figurative shapes. Greenhayes, Shipton Gorge, Bridport, DT6 4LU. carolineliddingtonart.com.

Peter Hitchin - Painting: Venue 9

Admire invented inconsequential figurative images by this painter at Symondsbury Manor, DT6 6HD.

Let’s go

Bridport & West Dorset Open Studios 2017 runs 9 - 17 September. Pick up your free exhibition guide at local Arts Centres, Tourist Information Centres as well as shops and cafes across the county. Visit bridportopenstudios.co.uk to start planning your exploration of the creative talent in the towns and villages across Bridport and West Dorset.

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