Cambridge Open Studios

The annual Cambridge Open Studios event returns as the workshops and studios of 350 artists, craftspeople and designer-makers across Cambridgeshire open their doors over four weekends in July to showcase painting, ceramics, sculpture, handmade jewellery, glass, photography and much more.

Cambridge Open Studios logo 2018
Image credit: Cambridge Open Studios

This is a great opportunity to see artists at work, to discuss their techniques and inspiration and to browse, buy or even commission their work, although there is no pressure to buy.  Entry to all studios is free.  Last week, I caught up with a couple of participants who are getting ready for Open Studios.

Sara Rawlinson library
Image credit: Sara Rawlinson

Sara RawlinsonRegular readers of this blog may remember photographer, Sara Rawlinson, who I first met last September when I wrote about her journey from seismology to photography and her exhibition at Michaelhouse, “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries”.  Over these past months, Sara has continued with her project, taking stunning photographs of more college libraries.  She has plans for another exhibition and is also branching out into flower photography, particularly looking at tiny details, the texture of petals and frosty grasses in monochrome.

Sara Rawlinson flower
Image credit: Sara Rawlinson

Sara is looking forward to opening her home studio in Beche Road for the first time and will be welcoming visitors on all four weekends.  Find out more about Sara and her work on http://www.sararawlinson.com

Rowan Humberstone Cambridge

Over at Rowan in Humberstone Road, the student artists are hard at work creating beautiful pieces in their studios.  Rowan is an arts centre for people with learning disabilities and there’s truly a family atmosphere here.  The student artists are supported to be autonomous, encouraged to learn and try new things and to enjoy being together in the light, airy social spaces that run through the building.

Rowan Humberstone Cambridge woodcarvingRowan Humberstone Cambridge woodwork

The work spaces were a hive of activity when I dropped in last week, with gorgeous cards being produced in the Print Studio, wooden phone stands, lamps and candlesticks coming from the Woodwork Studio and bright felted wool scarves hanging up to dry in the Textiles Studio.

Rowan Humberstone Cambridge textiles

The Ceramic and Mixed Media studios were equally busy and the Rowan team, who are old hands at the Cambridge Open Studios event, are looking forward to welcoming visitors on the weekend of 7 and 8 July.  Proceeds from the sale of the student artists’ work go straight back into the charity to enable their remarkable work to continue.  Rowan also takes commissions for one off pieces.  You’ll find more on http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk

Rowan Humberstone Cambridge vase
Image credit: Rowan

In a new initiative, Cambridge Open Studios has joined forces with ofo bikes this year, with the dual aim of helping visitors travel between city centre studios easily whilst reducing the environmental impact of the event.  You can locate ofo bikes using the free ofo Smartphone app, available from the App Store or Google Play.  Then just use a code printed in the Open Studios yellow guidebook to claim five free one hour ofo bike rides and get pedalling!

ofo bicycle Cambridge
Image credit: ofo

Studios will be open to visitors from 11am to 6pm on July 7/8, 14/15, 21/22 and 28/29 and entry is free.  Do bear in mind that not every artist will exhibit every weekend.  You’ll find printed guides for this event in shops, galleries and libraries.  You can also go to the website to download the 2018 COS App which gives full details of the Open Studios together with an interactive map to help you with planning your day and navigation.

http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk

This event takes place at multiple locations in and around the city.

 

 

Illuminating Cambridge Libraries

Sara Rawlinson is both scientist and artist.  She grew up in Minnesota, USA, working throughout her childhood alongside her photographer grandmother in the dark room.  Sara went on to have a very successful research and academic career, taking a PhD in Seismology and Earth Sciences and subsequently running a Masters degree course in Natural Hazards at the Australian National University.  Throughout her career, she continued to take art classes and eventually left the academic world to pursue her love of photography.

Sara relocated to the other side of the world and, inspired by the beauty of the Cairngorms in her new Scottish home, she became more interested in landscape photography.  Now, having moved to Cambridge nearly a year ago, she has turned her lens on to Cambridge college libraries, with the aim of making some of the hidden parts of Cambridge more visible.  “It’s the knowledge contained within those walls,” Sara tells me “and that these historic buildings have preserved and disseminated that knowledge for so long.”  As well as wider shots, Sara particularly likes to concentrate on tiny details of structures within the libraries such as radiator grilles, bolts, shelving systems and their numbering.

SaraRawlinson_StJohns
St John’s College Library: Image credit Sara Rawlinson

50% of the opening night proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to the World Literacy Foundation, a global not-for-profit organisation that works to lift young people out of poverty through the power of literacy.  That same night (2 October), there will also be a Silent Auction of two of Sara’s framed photographs with 100% of the winning bids going to the Foundation.

SaraRawlinson-Darwin
Darwin College Library:  Image credit Sara Rawlinson

“Illuminating Cambridge Libraries” runs from 2 – 14 October at Michaelhouse in Trinity Street, a beautiful converted 14th century church.  On 7 October, Sara will be running a photography workshop, looking at details of this historic building and giving participants a chance to share their photos and talk, maybe whilst enjoying some food from the excellent Michaelhouse cafe.

For those who are wondering, Sara hasn’t turned her back on science entirely ….. along the way, she fell in love with an Australian seismologist and (to paraphrase!) reader, she married him.

http://www.sararawlinson.com

Michaelhouse, Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1SU