Arts & Culture
VIDEO: West Berkshire Open studios goes virtual during lockdown

West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios has taken the unprecedented step of bringing art to the people in lockdown by releasing a video giving art lovers a virtual tour of what they would have seen.

Open Studios WBNH launched their OS2020 INSIGHT video on Friday 8th May. This virtual tour showed the works that many of this year’s artists would have submitted to their exhibition at The Base, Greenham, Newbury.

You can view the online gallery here

In a statement on the website Johannes von Stumm, the president of the Open Studios, said:

Welcome Figure by Johannes von Stumm

Welcome Figure
© Phil Cannings

‘I am so happy’

In normal times in May many hundreds of art lovers would flock to the Base at Greenham Common.

They would be greeted by my Welcome Figure close by.

They would come to get the best impression of last year’s work of our artists in the community.

They would find their favourites and visit their studios.

But these are not normal times.

We have to isolate ourselves from family and friends to stop a deadly virus from spreading further.

We cannot welcome anyone into our studios and exhibitions, we cannot offer you our warm-hearted hospitality.

But we are not easily defeated.

Our website here offers you a visual tour to see image by image the inventive, creative and often stunningly beautiful work we artists have produced this year for you.

I am so happy that you have found this portal and welcome you with open arms. Please, browse after your hearts delight.

When you are reading my words describing our work as stunningly beautiful you might smile and say to yourself that I should come down from my high horse.

But I won’t!

Just look at Susan Kirkman’s outstanding painting Coastal Scene. Colour, rhythm and composition develop into a calm and simultaneously vibrant powerful landscape. This masterpiece is clearly the culmination of a lifetime’s hard work of soulful observation.

Just look at Cathy Newell Price’s Chrysanthemum brooch. It spins like a Catherine wheel; it radiates like the sun.

Just look at Martin Eastabrook’s Chequered Vase. Is it a vase? Or is it a modern, strong, well-structured abstract painting? Or is it a stunning sculpture. Alone looking at the photograph makes my heart jump. I can’t wait to touch it.

But I have to wait.

You have to wait; we all have to wait.

Until this dreadful virus is contained.

In the meantime, find your favourites here and let them be balm for your soul.

Send the artist a line to cheer him or her up, please.

And let’s soon come back together again.