by Katie Brett
Against all the odds, we are opening our doors for our first Christmas Open House, after a successful 2019 Summer run. Our large Edwardian house is a hidden gem set back from Balfour Road surrounded by a mature garden, which will show case the work of David Price, Si Uwin, and Annie McMullan. Inside the house, we have assembled an eclectic group of talented artists.
My parents, Teddy and Amelia Brett, bought this house back in 1976 and little did I think when I moved out at 18 that I’d eventually move back in again with my own family over 30 years later after studying textiles and a career working and educating in the arts.
In my childhood days, the house was always busy and bursting with life. My parents emigrated to the UK in the 50s leaving their families behind and created a network of friends in Brighton to take their place. Seventies lackadaisical parenting meant that no one ever really knew who was staying where and when, and all our friends were given a place at the table.
I met my fantastically talented friend the ceramic artist Angela Evans at Balfour Infants School when I moved to the UK from Uganda in 1976, and it’s safe to say we both grew up at Balfour Road. When I moved back in, I wanted to make the house my own, revisiting that childhood spirit of unexpected visitors, so asked Angela to help me co host an open house. I am thrilled to be showcasing the work of a fantastically talented group of local artists in my home this year.
Holly Murray – Holly creates beautiful handcrafted leather bags and accessories in her studio in Brighton. These are as stylish and elegant as they are practical and enduring.
Angela Evans – Detailed handmade tiles and delightful ceramic pieces inspired by the land and cityscapes of Sussex plus a selection of ‘tiny little things’
Steve Frith– Working out of Pottery Galliano, on show for the first time is a series of ceramic head planters based upon friends and acquaintances.
Fleur Grenier – One of the UKs leading pewtersmiths. Beautiful designs that are individual and sculptural in style; movement and fluidity are the main influences for her work.
Katherine Griffin – Intensely colourful paintings and drawings which explore nostalgia and dreamscapes, evoking a pop psychedelia with a dark edge.
Lizzie Hillier – Stunning, limited edition screen prints and cushions, merging art and design.
Louise Kelly – illustrated porcelain pottery inspired by nature and the impact we have on it.
Lucky Stitch – Beautiful knitted and felted fabric animals and home accessories. Each animal is truly unique and handmade for a lucky someone.
David Price – ‘In the process of creating the sculptures I try to allow the image to appear from the clay, as if setting something free rather than controlling its final form.’
Retro Green – mid-century inspired homeware made using reclaimed wood. ‘Our mission is to be as sustainable as possible without compromising on design or quality.’
Vivienne Ridley – Meticulously sourced trinkets from the past, repurposed to make charming, limited edition and one-off pieces.
Phillipa Stanton – known on Instagram as @5ftinf and the author of ‘Conscious Creativity’, her paintings utilise her synaesthesia and show her sensory experiences, her inner abstract and her relationship with the Sussex and Cornish landscape.
Liz Toole – printmaker and painter who really loves birds!
Julia Trigg – High quality limited edition giclée prints reflecting a passion for typographic ephemera.
Si Uwins – The natural world of plants and trees inspires Si to create imaginary and fantastical seed and pod-like structures
Elizabeth Welch – Flameworked whimsical and imaginative glass sculptures and jewellery pieces.
Annie McMullan – Annie McMullan makes fused glass for the home and the garden. Her designs are colourful and inspired by the sea and the South Downs. She is based in Brighton, regularly exhibits in the Brighton Open Houses and her work can be seen at Arch 242 by the Palace Pier.