Brighton & Hove Artists' Open Houses

PUBLISHED: 00:16 19 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:27 20 February 2013

Victor Stuart Graham

Victor Stuart Graham

A thoroughly enjoyable alternative to the horrors of High Street Christmas shopping! Over 60 houses and studios will open during three weekends in Brighton & Hove, and further afield in Newhaven and Ditchling

BROWSING in the Artists Open Houses, with a glass of mulled wine, to find that special gift that doesnt cost the earth signals the start of the festive calendar.

With so many gifted artists and makers in this area, the range of work for sale is most impressive a microcosm of British talent. Over the years, visitors and purchasers have come to know that high quality gifts can be bought in interesting artists houses and studios and without the gallery mark up. There is something to suit every purse and there is no pressure to buy. There are paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, designer hats, scarves and throws, lighting, home furnishings, decorations, hampers of homemade Christmas fare - and much more.

Details of exhibitors, opening times, addresses and directions for every house and venue can be found at Free brochures are available at outlets including Brighton station, pubs, cafes, galleries and information centres throughout the area. Armed with this essential information, the visitor will find that many houses are within easy walking distance of one another, so several can be enjoyed in a morning or afternoon.

Treasure trail

Look out for the New England House banner (New England St, Brighton), where youll find the cream of Brighton-based makers and designers, such as award-winning contemporary jewellery artist, John Moore, who creates unique pieces of wearable sculpture with an emphasis on colour and movement visual statements, which give those who dare an altogether different experience!

Visit Victor Stuart Grahams Newhaven home to see his wall-mounted boats, and rows of cottages, made from driftwood. He creates the effects of trawlers and pleasure boats by painting in subtle colours and adding tiny details metal anchors and portholes, and messages coded in seafaring flags. His cottages rest in craggy lines, nestling into larger pieces of wood.

Sarah Jones, a highly successful printmaker, bought her current house to suit the family, and to work as an Open House. It has matured into a proper pop up gallery space, selling a variety of beautiful goods, as well as her own work and purchasers range from locals to gallery agents from New York.

A warm welcome will await you at Peggy Poppletons Shop. It is full to the brim with witty, imaginative Christmas gifts, including Mibos charming little sets of make-at-home Xmas Creatures. These are great fun for children: they come with full instructions and each animal takes about 5-10 minutes to make.

Dont forget Polish and Pin for gorgeous, affordable Christmas gifts, made from recycled and found materials. Located in a beautiful Edwardian house, healthy, warming lunches are also served here!

  • 26 & 27 November

  • 3 & 4 December

  • 10 & 11 December

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