Margaret River Region Open Studios Art Exhibition September 10-25

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Meeting an artist in their studio, learning their stories and processes while seeing the space in which their works are created is a totally different experience than seeing art in a gallery.

The immersive approach, along with all the benefits of visiting South West WA, is showcased in year nine of Margaret River Region Open Studios. Visitors are invited to the artist studios of Busselton in Augusta.

This year’s free event – September 10-25 – features a record 168 artists, designers and creators opening their studios to art lovers on a sticky spout trail taking them from homes and gardens to the old cabins of mill, dairy and hobby farms, beach huts, shipping containers, a converted water tank and even an old school bus.

Margaret River Region Open Studios President Jim Davies says he is overwhelmed by the number of artist sign-ups, anticipating some uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I suspect the desire to share beauty and creation is more important than ever for our artists and our community,” he says.

“An astounding 43 artists will debut at Open Studios in September, which is another record breaking, and 16 artists will have participated in the nine events, providing a rich and diverse offering for our visitors.”

Camera iconChristian Fletcher and Ros Hamdorf. Credit: Provided

Acclaimed landscape photographer Christian Fletcher is part of the 16-day program where he invited a selection of local artists to create an interpretation of one of his photographs that speaks to the artist’s style, subject or themes .

Each work will be exhibited alongside the image in his gallery and studio in Dunsborough.

“As a photographer, I mostly create literal representations of a scene,” says Fletcher.

“There are options to darken or brighten the image, change color and contrast, but the end result still looks like a photograph. Having 15 artists interpreting my work in a way I can’t is instructive.

“It is humbling and deeply satisfying to witness an artist’s hand at work, creating an extension of what I originally captured and adding something completely new and exciting. This will be an exhibition unbelievable. “

Gyotaku artist Adam Ashdown.
Camera iconGyotaku artist Adam Ashdown. Credit: Provided

Other highlights include Gyotaku (traditional Japanese fish print) artist Adam Ashdown in Dunsborough, who creates intricately detailed ink-on-paper prints using a real fish often straight out of Geographe Bay, and Lester Prize-winning Rachel Coad’s home studio in Gracetown, where she shares her artwork. and making comics this year.

Artist Rachel Coad.
Camera iconArtist Rachel Coad. Credit: Timothy M Campbell

It’s an art lover’s paradise at Rebecca Cool and Ross Miller’s Osmington Farm, while you can learn about three artists – installation and photography artist Martine Perret, painter Paul Gatopulosz and ceramicist and potter Jolene Hewison – all in the same stop at The Farm, Margaret River.

However, if you’re short on time to visit just one studio, it should probably be Leon Pericles’ on Widji Lane, Burnside.

Every year, Pericles opens his colorful house, where his life’s work adorns the walls and the sculpture garden made up of recycled road signs, taps and other treasures.

Wander through his print room, painting and collage studio to explore the creative realm of this iconic painter and printmaker.

Painter and engraver Léon Périclès.
Camera iconPainter and engraver Léon Périclès. Credit: Timothy M Campbell

Tips on How to Do Margaret River Region Open Studios

Book accommodation – Allow at least two full days to visit the studios, and then you’ll want to set aside time for coffee, drinks, and dinner.

Decide who you will visit – Pick up a free event guide at a Jacksons Drawing Supplies store or view it online at mrropenstudios.com.au to identify artists you’d like to visit. Create a journey based on your favorite mediums, a particular location, artists you know and love, or artists whose look you like.

Plan your trip – The event covers a wide area, so planning ahead is essential. Use satellite navigation or Google Maps to locate the studios before the ride, then plan a route to follow. Many visitors find five to seven studios a day to be plenty of time to chat, drive, and picnic. Some artist venues are open later or only on certain days, so design your schedule accordingly.

Margaret River Area Open Studios will take place September 10-25. Event guide at Jacksons Drawing Supplies and mrropenstudios.com.au.

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