Lifting the lid on art and its inspirations

Andrew Vickers at work on The Hedge for Galvanize Sheffield
Andrew Vickers at work on The Hedge for Galvanize Sheffield

MORE than 50 artists are participating in Open Up, the annual open studio event in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

This weekend and next the public can visit studios, watch artists at work, ask questions about techniques and processes, and buy unique handmade artworks.

Andrew Vickers, the Sheffield artist behind Stoneface Sculpture, will be opening his Storrs Wood workspace to the public for the first time as part of Open Up.

Sculpting a wide variety of media from natural stone and metals to reclaimed stuffs, the art of Stoneface is inspired by the artist’s spiritual woodland surroundings and visitors can expect to see many of his larger sculptures along the bank of Storrs Brook, such as the Green Man and Naked.

There will be a display of his latest work in new materials such as Paper Boy (papier-mâché), The Door (glass and stone), The Grindstone (carved into a reclaimed grindstone) and The Hedge (stainless steel and stone) inspired by the stainless steel centenary and part of Galvanize.

Based at Yorkshire Artspace’s Porter Brook Studios, Lyn Carruthers works in mixed media investigating natural and recycled materials.

Current work includes working with wool in a new way, producing pieces in her studio to exhibit and sell. She also runs creative card workshops and takes commissions for bespoke cards. She is a founder member with three artists in co-operative Farrago producing installations and mixed media pieces

Indian-born Gorima Basu, who will be at her home studio at Winchester Avenue, Crosspool, is a painter who specialises in oil and watercolour, and enjoys experimenting with mixed media.

In her landscape and figurative paintings, many depicting her homeland, demonstrate both traditional and experimental techniques.

Alison Zwaard creates and teaches workshops in Glass Fusing and Precious Metal Clay (a form of pure silver) from her Handmade in Netheredge Studio at Steade Road.

“My current glass collection aims to capture the essence of the sea, reflecting its ever changing moods and the rich variety of textures and depths,” she says. “The beauty and fascination of glass lies in the interplay with light and the resulting illumination of colour within. I love the alchemy and unpredictability of glass fusing and the ways in which you can use it to provoke the powerful sensations and emotions of the sea.”

Her silver collection is also inspired by the natural world. “My favourite pieces are leaves which I pick from my garden and walks in the countryside. I coat the leaves with many layers of pure silver, the leaf burns away leaving an exact facsimile of the leaf with all of the veins and character left behind,” she explains.

Open Up began in 1998, as a platform for artists in Sheffield to showcase their skills and share their creative disciplines with members of the public

It is run by artists for artists, with all members of the steering group giving their time and expertise voluntarily. New volunteers are always welcome.

Open Up 2013 runs on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday and Saturday and Sunday the following weekend between 11am and 5pm. Not all artists are open on all days.

Details at www.openupsheffield.co.uk.