Jane Cope

Exeter opens up the art on its doorsteps in Exeter Open Studios

This weekend over 50 artists down their brushes and tools and open their doors during Exeter Open Studios, the annual city arts trail. There’s a wide variety of artwork on show, from large abstract paintings, to jewellery, photography, ceramics and printmaking. Now in it’s fifth year, EOS hopes to draw even more visitors to homes, studios, galleries and into some surprising new spaces.

Discover exhibitions in Double Elephant Print Workshop on Gandy Street, Magic Carpet on Bartholomew Street, Unearth Studio on Preston Street and Gallery 36 on Denmark Road. This year new venues include the Barnfield Theatre, Eva Artists’ Studios on Marsh Barton Industrial Estate and St Margaret’s Church in Topsham.

Christine Sawyer is a textiles artist and will be exhibiting from her terrace in St Thomas, she said: “We’ve shown work at Exeter Open Studios each year. What I like is it’s friendly and local, and a great chance to meet other artists!”

Her current preoccupation is the environment and its clash with popular culture and new work expertly weaves grotesque zombies with flawless beauty queens! Her husband, David Sawyer, is a musical instrument craftsman turned sculptor and will present a series of space defying 3-D works.

Jane Cope is an illustrator based in Eva Artist Studios on Marsh Barton Industrial Estate. She likes to play with perspective, bending and jumbling her fun observations of life on large scale artwork. She readily admits a fascination for the vibrant red soil of the jurassic coast of East Devon and incorporates this colour in her vivid landscape painting. “Wonderful as galleries are, I think people like to meet the makers. Open Studios turns your house upside down for a week, but the people involved are lovely,” she said.

With a host of other spaces open across the city centre, St Leonards, Heavitree and around Topsham, this wonderful showcase of Exeter’s diverse artists prove creativity is close to home. Everyone is invited to discover Exeter’s creative side, meet the makers and have the chance to buy some unique, affordable artwork.

A printed EOS guide is available from local libraries, tourist information and arts venues, with maps and artists’ information to plan your own art trail. For further details and maps online visit the Exeter Open Studios website

Exeter Castle and The Paragon Gallery on Gandy Street will host a joint exhibition from 11am Thursday, November 4. All other venues will are open daily Friday, Saturday, Sunday, November 5, 6 and 7 from 11am-6pm.

(Images, from the top: Across to St Davids by Jane Cope;  Christine Sawyer ‘s Study 4 Approaching Storm 2; textile artist Christine Sawyer; sculptor David Sawyer; Jane Cope; Primal Dreaming, by Jenny Campbell)

Emily Keene

Emily Keene Emily Keene is a freelance writer and arts coordinator based in Exeter. Her recent projects include making a dance film and setting up a music event called Silver Tree Nights at Boston Tea Party. She likes promoting creative talent and gets easily inspired by Devon landscapes.

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