26.5.08

More Open Houses


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Originally uploaded by fred pipes
Well, the Festival of Artists' Open Houses is over for another year (or until Xmas, but I don't usually show then) and I'm pleased to say that I sold about 7 prints from The Dragonfly House. Yesterday I sent in a sicky to the Clarion, and decided to scale the heights of Hanover to check out some more Open Houses. Katie Mac had sent me a Facebook invitation to 134 Queen's Park Road so decided to make that the summit and work back down from there. It's not easy finding a route up the hills that doesn't involve some bike pushing, but I zigzagged up the steep streets and eventually arrived at the summit. There should be a funicular railway for Hanover, or at least a ski lift - the people who live there must be very fit! Also in the house was Andy MacLynn (who did the cover of the AOH brochure) and I really love his reductive acrylics of Brighton, just black line and one or two colours - and lots of white. Katie's saucy screenprints were a delight too and there was lots to see in this huge house, including the dark animals of Simon Postgate, son of Oliver, creator of Bagpuss, the Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. A quick pop into the basement at 134a, and across the road into 145 then it was cycling uphill again (I thought I'd reached the top?) then down Bentham Road to a nuclear bunker!

No. 62 is an installation by a group of 'pengineers' (pen engineers, not residents of Penge) led by Philip Cole who have explored the futility of preparing for nuclear war. Their garden is deceptively huge and in the middle is a restored Anderson shelter, the inspiration for this piece (it also has a view - though a massive concrete wall - of Hanover's mysterious reservoir). Back in the house under the floorboards is a secret stash of tinned pears! I bought an unknown chilli pepper plant and a large courgette plant (to replace the one chomped by slugs the other day) and headed down Whichelo Place (completely missing another open house I was going to pop into, but there was no going back!) to the Hanover Community Centre for a cup of tea and a scone, and to buy two heritage tomato plants (along with a set of Ben Naylor postcards!). Then it was round the corner to 88 Lincoln Street to see the photos of Andy Deighton and Lauren Chauvin - Brighton Flickr group regulars. A quick pop into 13 Lincoln Cottages and it was off home, fully laden! But... I decided to pop into 17 Clyde Road to photograph Alan Baker and Curtis Tappenden, but Curt was up at The Pecks at 145 Ditchling Rise having cake, so I trudged up the hill and rewarded myself with a slice of rhubarb cake and more tea! Then it was back to the Dragonfly House to pack up for Adur - I'll be showing in Krysia Drury's open house during June!

Other Festival highlights included Jarvis Cocker's highly entertaining lecture on lyrics - from Louie Louie to Leonard Cohen, via Des'ree and 'I am the Walrus' - at the Dome on Friday night (including 3 songs with him accompanying himself on guitar) and jumpin' an' jivin' to Fat 45 at the (Pussy) Parlure Spiegeltent on Thursday night (well past my bedtime!).

Peter Chrisp's Tiki-themed birthday bash at Hove's retro Bali Brasserie was the debut public performance of Uklear Reaction (sadly, no MySpace page yet), plus a stonkin' set from Jailbait. UR's second gig was at the Dragonfly House end-of-show party on Saturday night, tho Peter and Foz? missed most of it (and the whitebait and chips from Bardsley's), due to theatre-going commitments!
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