An Experience Shared
I always look forward to and welcome a new season of inspiration.
We’ve just had the Southeast Open Studios (SEOS), a wonderful
celebration of local artists, which ran from 2nd-18th June. As ever, it was well worth the wait.
I am very fortunate to live where I do, as many of the studios are close by. SEOS produces an excellent booklet listing all the studios and artists who are exhibiting, with opening times and postcodes, enabling you to plan your visits in detail. There are multiple destinations and artists spread across the Southeast. I’ll never be able to get to them all... if only I could!
There is great joy in seeing the artists’ inspired creativity in peaceful, calm settings – some are displayed in gardens, others in private houses or studios. A very different experience from battling your way up to London to visit an overcrowded gallery!
A personal favourite of mine is the Woodland Gallery and Garden at 10 Tonbridge Road in Pembury. A shaded track leads off the busy main road to a beautiful garden sanctuary. The stresses of life are left behind as you are drawn into the inspiring and creative world of the artists – a peaceful, sunlit place, where birdsong and delightful
conversations meet. This year the number of exhibiting artists had been increased to ten, giving a wider selection of creative interpretation, including photography, painting, textile art, jewellery and glassware. To be welcomed by, and chat to, the artists is always a delight, as it is to enjoy their warmth and humour and to feel drawn into the ‘kindred spirit’ that exists between them. After tea and delicious homemade cake in a quiet corner of the garden, the artistic journey continues by following the path around the house, down a few steps and into the studio.
I always depart from the Woodland Gallery and Garden with a sense of gratitude for this delightful shared experience, and can’t wait till next year!