No.10 Potters Bar

My name is James and I have enjoyed looking around the art work in the Open Houses since I moved to Brighton in 2011. I always thought that I would like to open my own place when I retired. Well, that happened last autumn and I’m delighted to announce that I will open my flat and garden in Eastern Terrace on the Kemptown seafront for the first time this year.

It was a rather daunting process. I hand build porcelain in a studio in the garden – euphemistically christened ‘Potters Bar’ – it has a dual-use! It’s one thing to be creative but quite another to open up one’s home. But the Open House organisation acts as a dating agency to bring like-minded adults together and I soon met up with two other potters, three painters and a fabric designer and we decided to go into business together in May! These other artists have been brilliant in giving me the confidence and support to set up a new Artists Open House. It should be really lovely with a lot of nice things for visitors to see.

As I contacted the others, I naturally chose people who created art that I like but it does mean that there is a coherence to the work that we all produce. We all draw inspiration from nature in some way. A lot of variety but a common theme.

I am in the garden flat of one of the Georgian buildings and the rooms lend themselves to being curated for the display of art. In fact, I am looking forward to taking down all of my own artwork, storing it for a month and living with a new exhibition on my walls! I hope that visitors will find it interesting and enjoyable to see the art within this historic Georgian context.

Similarly, I love my walled garden. Strictly speaking, there shouldn’t be a garden there at all as, originally, the rear courtyard would have been covered in kitchens and outbuildings. In most cases these have now been converted into flats. However, my outbuildings were demolished, possibly in the 1930s, and the ‘large-ish’ courtyard is now given over to bananas, tree ferns, bamboo, ferns and lilies. It will be an intriguing setting for more of the art – especially our ceramics.

It seems that this is my third ‘P-Profession’! I have gone from being a Pilot in the RAF flying jets to being a Priest in the Church of England and now a Potter. From Cockpit to Pulpit to Claypit in 50 years! I hope that visitors will want to come and see the work of some talented artists in Potters Bar Open House on the Kemptown Trail! You will be most welcome!