May is Brighton Festival time and the Artists Open Houses have become something of a major event. Over 200 houses and studio spaces will open their doors to the public in Art Trails spread across the city. This year the Kemptown Trail has 18 venues taking part over weekends between 30 April – 30 May. There is an exciting range of work on show from local artists including sculpture, paintings, prints, jewellery, glass and ceramics.
This year’s Headline Sponsor of the Artists Open Houses is ARCH-angels, and we are delighted to have them as part of the Kemptown Trail. We also welcome The Secret Garden, a new scupture park in Kemptown run by The Antony Dale Trust featuring in May the work of renowned sculptor Hamish Black.
ARCH-angels Architects are an award-winning architectural practice based in Brighton, committed to creating cost-effective, sustainable and green buildings. The ARCH-angels Art House will be displaying the work of five architects and hosting an interactive art installation called “Don’t Stand Behind the Line” open every weekend from 12pm-3pm. Visitors can become involved in the transformation of a space in a physical way: Richard Zinzan invites visitors to step over the “Stand Behind the Line” tape and explore and engage with the design of a space with the use of colourful tape. (Refreshments will be available with proceeds going to the Sussex Night Stop Charity, helping support young homeless people to get off the streets.)
The ARCH-angels Art House will also be running a Kids competition covering all of the AOH trails throughout May to get them motivated to travel the trails. They are invited to bring their ideas together and create their Dream Home in any medium they want. Look out for the Sponsors Suggestion key on each trail. There will be prizes awarded to the winners and runners-up in two age categories.
The Secret Garden is an unique new arts venue and facility for Brighton and Hove, near Kemptown’s Regency Sussex Square. The Secret Garden is a sculpture park within a beautifully planted English garden where major outdoor works can be shown in a secure setting.
The project is run by The Antony Dale Trust, a registered UK charity, governed by a board of Trustees under the Chairmanship of Gavin Henderson CBE. The Trustees are planning two exhibitions a year that will show outstanding works by major sculptors and the best talents of the new generation.
Black Blackbird, a major new scupture by Hamish Black, commissioned by the Trustees, has been created specifically for its situation in the Secret Garden. Using wood carefully preserved from the 1987 hurricane, Hamish waited for it to be used in the future for a commission that he considered to be of special merit. Black Blackbird is this sculpture.
We also welcome Brighton College as part of the Kemptown Trail this year. The College is opening its doors for an exhibition of work from young artists on the first weekend of the Festival.