Busiest ever Arches Open Studios

Last weekend the saw Arches Studios host their annual Open Studios.

The ever-popular event saw hundreds of visitors attend over the sun soaked Saturday and Sunday.

Highlights included live buskers during much of the time including the thirty-something strong members of Southampton Ukulele Jam who entertained visitors with a lively set.

Another addition to the programme this year was a tug-of-war that took place along the length of the front of the Arches. The Artists vs Curators tug-of-war is set to become an annual fixture at Open Studios. It’s bound to be hotly contested from here on in as the artists won the best-of-three in controversial circumstances as artist-come-referee, Chris Cudlip, who was dressed in blue robes for the occasion, forgot to count the two extra players on the artist’s team.

There was plenty for visitors to take part in. As well as exploring the studios, there were a number of workshops by residents including tote bag printing with Alix de Courcy, Pauline Pratt’s embroidery hoop hack, cross stitching with Jilly Evans, a glow-in-the-dark drawing wall by Kristine Erminasa, and Joss Lopez’s bleach art workshop. In addition, there were demonstrations by other residents throughout the day and yoga sessions by Jaime West.

Saturday ended with Creative Conversations where guests Sarah Hayden from the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing and John Hansard Gallery’s Ros entertained a packed Arch 04 with their take on Desert Island Discs by revealing what artworks they hold in highest esteem.

By 5.30 both Chubby Buns, who had been serving amazing Malaysian street food, and the Butcher’s Hook’s craft beer had sold out. We’re already looking forward to next year’s Open Studios.