Somerset Open Studios 18

Somerset Open Studios 2018

15 - 30 September

Open Daily 11am - 6pm


This year for Somerset Open Studios 2018 The Old Brick Workshop's studio members and invited guest artists will be putting on a fantastic show of work in The Gallery and throughout the rest of the building. The studios will also be open so you can see where and how their work is created. This exhibition will give you an opportunity to see a massive variety of work and styles all under one roof. The artists exhibiting this year are Alison Cosserat, Anna Newland Hooper, Claire Griffith, Diana Pilcher, Genevieve Murray, James Marsden, Judy Crosher, Tina Hill, Jane Kelly, John Nutt, Claire Western.

Locally ground coffee, tea and cake will be available from our pop-up coffee bar.

Member Artists

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Alison Cosserat - Studio 1A

My latest work is inspired by an ancient building that houses an art gallery in the French town of Auray in Southern Brittany. I have a fascination with the patination and texture that has built up over vast amounts of time forming an untold story of encounters along a journey. This is similar to the processes and effects created during my work as a gilder and restorer of antique gilt furniture. 

In my paintings I'm using the same traditional, organic materials and processes that I do in my gilding practice. Building up and knocking back, covering up and then revealing again.

Underlying all of this is a fixation with numbers and geometry that has appeared throughout much of my work. Trying to create some kind of order and rationale.

I hold a BA Hons degree in Visual Arts at Lancaster university.

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Anna Newland Hooper - Studio 1C

My work is concerned with notions of memory and loss. Through the exploration of discarded archives, specifically photographic ones, I am reflecting on what effect the loss of analogue objects and the memories they could trigger would have on our individual and collective memory.

The objects I am concerned with in particular are photographic film slides, part of two visual culture archives of prominent educational institutions. These objects to me are embedded with latent memories and by cataloguing, rephotographing and presenting them in new ways I am attempting to preserve those memories and create new ones in the process.

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Claire Griffith - Studio 1G

I initially graduated with a degree in nursing and worked in the NHS before moving back to my roots in the South West and raising three children. Creativity has always been part of my personality, which I was able to invest in through a Foundation Degree in Fine Art, completed in 2015. I currently juggle my artistic practice with home life and working part-time.

My recent work explores the uniqueness and individuality brought about through experimenting with colour, process, natural objects and elements. The process, science and interaction of media and materials, including light, play an important role in my pieces, making them unrepeatable. Each one is a unique combination, a one off and thus valuable for that. We each, as individuals, are a unique combination of influences and are inherently valuable beyond words. As a reflection of this no prints or copies of work in the exhibition have been made, each is an original Limited Edition of one, as we all are.

As a personal expression of my values, 10% of my earnings will go to charity helping poor and marginalised communities.

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James Marsden - Studio 2A & B

My work is about detachment. The way society is becoming desensitised and disinterested in others. Global networking means the loss of face to face communication. I would describe my paintings as traditional and representational, they are an exploration of light and the subject confronts communication issues in our modern world. My more recent work uses the antiquated medium of Silverpoint whose permanence and painstaking process contradicts the modern subject matter of the digital age we now live in.

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Diana Pilcher - Studio 1H

My recent work explores the two natural forces of water and the formation of rock. I am drawn to the way these very different materials form around each other and the powerful dimensions of both. I work with drawing, film, paint and ink. I am currently working with Japanese paper, watercolour paper and ink using collagraphic and woodblock printing methods.

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Genevieve Murray Studio 1A

I am a Somerset based artist working from one of the studios at the Old Brick Workshop in Wellington. I graduated from BA Painting at Edinburgh College of Art in 2016 and now I specialise in portraits, both commissions and my own work. I am particularly drawn to painting portraits with strong characteristics of deep colour, light and composition. Old masters such as Manet, Vermeer and Caravaggio are important influences in my work and I often replicate their traditional way of framing and lighting a portrait. 

My work on display this year is relatively diverse and includes my most recent commission of two brothers: Andrew and Kit. I enjoyed the challenge of doing a double portrait of two brothers and discovering through paint their similarities and the contrasts between them. My drawing of ‘Gosia’ is a preliminary sketch for a painting that I’m planning to start during SAW 2018.The last painting that I am exhibiting is ‘Chris’. I met Chris at university and thought that she was male but found out later that Chris was a woman who has created a gender-neutral style and appearance. Her androgynous look immediately appealed to me and I wanted to capture that initial confusion and fascination I had experienced on meeting her, in paint. 

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John Nutt Studio 1f

I have given up all abstract and conceptual experiments and returned to figurative painting. As technology is diluting our perceptions of art I have returned to depicting the empirical. I now often work to commission. I pursue paintings which explore an open psychological narrative that leaves questions for the viewer to explore and find their own explanations. For this reason I don't attempt explain my work, allowing it to speak for itself.

Guest Artists

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Judy Crosher

After a career teaching and writing on ancient history, I took a first class degree in fine art at Somerset College in 2014. My work then and since has been influenced by the intensely humanist and inclusive philosophy of Joseph Beuys, and the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, who, like Beuys, uses everyday objects as allegories and sites of reflection.

I currently work in porcelain, interested in the tension between its fragility and strength, and in documentary film-making

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Tina Hill

In my work I am interested in exploring elemental transformations and the passage of time. More than just reflecting the natural cycles of birth and death, construction and destruction, I am interested in – ‘new life from old’; how artefacts can be discarded as worthless by one society only to be sort after and conserved by another. In this my work draws from both archaeology and geology. As well as museum artefacts and display.

Printmaking as a process allows me to incorporate parts of one print into another, producing new images and concepts from fragments of old. As parts, fragmentation, and stratification are key elements in my work I try to express these ideas through the use of texture, colour and multiple layers or surfaces. My use of texture and colour also echoes the processes of decay and dissolution, the imprints and stains of time.

I gained an M.A. (distinction) in Multidisciplinary Printmaking at U.W.E. in 2009 and I am currently an Artist Network Member of the Royal West of England Academy. My prints have been selected for exhibitions and are in privet collections, both in the UK and abroad.

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Jane Kelly

Based in deepest Somerset, I am a prolific photographer , experimental film maker.  and self publisher. 

I have a long time love of making analogue images, of travelling , of seeing and recording.

The immediacy of the digital world contrasts with the craft of the darkroom complimenting each other, both capturing light and fleeting moments.which also translates to my experimental film making, I regularly self publish newspapers and books complete with spelling and punctuation that no one has ever come across before thus making the publications unique in their own way.  

I believe that being a photographer is a gift that we are given , that we slowly unwrap to discover the truth.

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Claire Western

I am best known for my vibrant, textural mixed media paintings of the land and seascapes of the south west

It's been such a fantastic summer that I couldn't resist the urge to paint some of the beautiful flowers in my garden. It's been a refreshing change after many years of painting broad sweeps of the land and sea.


These paintings are all of the flowers which have burst into life since the drought this summer.

I have been Head of Art at Queen’s College in Taunton for the past 12 years and have recently left to concentrate my her own painting and running workshops for adults, some of which will be held here at the Old Brick Workshop this autumn.