Update from Surrey Hills Arts

This June, you will be able to explore, experience and enjoy the artwork of artists from across Surrey as they welcome the public into their studios for the annual Surrey Artists Open Studios (SAOS) event. SAOS has been running for 21 years and this year there will be 286 artists taking part in 162 studios.

As well as a chance to meet and talk to artists in their place of work, the summer open studios event offers visitors the opportunity to view demonstrations, buy artwork, enter a free prize draw and even get involved in creative workshops. You should be able to pick up a brochure from your local library or gallery.

The launch weekend takes place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, with artists offering an array of activities exclusively for first weekend visitors. There will be the opportunity to take part in taster workshops with different materials across the arts and crafts as well as sampling refreshments especially put on for the weekend.

Throughout the event there will be artists’ trails that you can do on foot and some to enjoy outdoors such as the Birtley Woodland Art Space where wood sculptor Ruth Wheeler has created a community arts, craft and wellbeing space bringing together a diverse range of talented artists.

This year, artists will be opening in a Covid-safe way, offering a range of measures to keep both themselves and members of the public safe when visiting studios across the county. With this in mind, some visitor numbers to studios may be limited.  Check out the SAOS website for the latest updates.

Another outing for you to enjoy is a visit to RSPB Farnham Heath. Heathland Artworks returns for a summer-long experience combining a beautiful walk with an innovative arts trail. Students in ‘Craft, Fine Art and Textiles’ from the University for the Creative Arts have been exploring the wildlife, geology and history of the heath to develop these artworks and make them in their workshops.

This year their exciting artworks include textile hangings, ceramic egg forms and navigation markers. Fine Art MA student Noelle Genevier creates stunning collages and she will be developing her work by finding a way to waterproof these. They will wrap around the trees in an incredible display of images, textures and colours. This is just one of twelve artworks you can see. A downloadable map will be available throughout the event.

If time permits, why not take a detour to the viewpoint on the heath where you can find the Surrey Hills Arts commissioned ‘The House of Invisible Hands’ created by sculptor Walter Bailey.

Heathland Artworks will be open for visitors at Farnham Heath from June 24 – 31 October, free of charge. Parking is available at the Rural Life Living Museum, Tilford, during opening hours.

Ali Clarke



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