Busy Weekend at Arches Open Studios

Last weekend’s Arches Open Studios was a resounding success. Building on the popularity of past years, the programme of activities has continued to grow. This was reflected in visitor numbers with over 560 people attending over Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s annual tug-of-war saw the curators win the coveted trophy from last year’s champions, the artists. Puppet Back Up also drew in the crowds for their lively performance that blended activism and theatre in front of the Arches.

Saturday saw live music from Emily Louise Mongan, Paul Solomons, Raj Hopkins, Daniel Eagle, and Clara Canning entertain audiences throughout the afternoon while the Butcher’s Hook, Really Awesome Coffee, Floss & Waffle and Chubby buns kept everyone well fed and thirst free.

Visitors were able to enjoy a number of different workshops including Feminist Ephemera by Emma Harris and Hazel Corvin, Portrait Sculpture by Chris Cudlip, Glow in the Dark wall drawing with J Walters, and Natural Plant Dying with Celeste Ingrams and Lizzie Jones.

Arts installations in the studios were another highlight. Collaborative installation, The Church of David Hockney, by Peter McGuinnes and Tony Spencer, and installations by Nicola Anderson, and Amy Scott-Pillow also engaging visitors. The weekend was also the launch of a new artwork, Natural Dye Curtain, in the studios office. The curtain was developed by several Arches artists including Celeste Ingrams and Lizzie Jones with Studios Manager, Gemma Gore and was made using natural dyes from plants grown at the studios.

Saturday’s main event was the evening’s talk, Collaboration: the dark side of multitude?, where guests Diana Djokey, Vickie Fear, Lizzie Jones, and Paul Smith shared their experience and expertise with Gemma Gore on their collaborative arts practices.