Monday, 14 July 2014
Yesterday I attended the East Finchley Open, an open house event involving lots of local artists. It's a shame I didn't know about this previously, as it's something I would have really enjoyed being involved in. Even more unfortunately as I'm planning to relocate to Sweden at the end of next month, so might not have the chance in the future either.
It was great to see so much art so close to home - one of the locations was literally around the corner from my own home!
There was quite a variety of different media and styles, which I really think was a positive. I didn't manage to visit every single house, but did go to more than half of them. Each one had quite a different atmosphere, which was interesting. What I particularly liked was that there seemed to be quite a lot of fibre art, and I did meet one artist who was a felt maker and had a really nice conversation with her about felting and her work specifically. She incorporated other materials into her felt pieces, and the results were really visually interesting. In the first house I visited there was another artist making textiles based work, which really reminded me of Natasha Kerr's work, and I found it really impressive. Seeing the work in a home environment was a great alternative to a more traditional gallery environment, and I could see how her work in particular could really work in the home.
I obviously can't speak for the houses that I didn't visit, but I would have liked to see more painting. All of the houses had a mixture of different styles and media, and there was plenty of ceramics and jewellery work too, but as painting is of particular interest to me I'd have appreciated seeing more of that. The first house I visited had some amazing paintings, and the artist was really experimental with the way paint works and what it can do.
It was really great to see the diverse range of work being made in this area, especially as Finchley probably isn't somewhere that immediately comes to mind as an artistic hub. Maybe things will start to change with events like this going on. I personally loved the fact that I could access so much art without having to really go anywhere, I managed to visit multiple locations just by walking in a big circle from my house.
The event is also on next weekend, with some slight variation in the artists involved. I strongly encourage people to visit the open houses next weekend, especially if you're in the area, as it was a really worthwhile day. I might even venture to some of the houses I missed out on. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and I met some interesting people too. I'm really pleased that something like this is going on in my area.