open houses


open houses

Though Rob says he could live without cinemas and theatres, other aspects of the cultural life of Brighton significantly contribute to his quality of life. Since the early 1990s his house has been an active participant in the Brighton Artists' Open House Movement

Rob's second wife, Jackie is a Jeweller and it was her idea to open their house during the Brighton Festival, inspired by the success of The Fiveways Artists GroupThe Fiveways Artists Group not that far away

My only involvement with the Open Houses is since I've lived here and since I got married again; Jackie is a jeweller and wanted an outlet to show her work. The network 'Beyond the Level' didn't exist at the time; in fact the first year we opened this house we did it as an individual house. At the time ofcourse there was the Fiveways, a big group but I'm not sure that there was any other groups (Kemptown maybe?). But the rest tended to be individual houses and they were listed in the festival programme. I think this May (2004)is going to be our twelfth or thirteenth year so the first one would have been the early 1990s (91/2). Jackie took the lead; she noticed that there had been other houses in the area that had been open and simply contacted them. Those 4 or 5 houses set up "Beyond the Level' and came up with a design and its grown from there; it grows and changes.



This year, 2005, is the first year since then that Rob and Jackie have not opened their house during the Brighton Festival


It brings culture and community together very nicely, you know, you have a houseful of people hustling and bustling for months beforehand to get the thing sorted out, and then the month itself - that's a very social event because almost every..well at least two or three times a week there's a private view in one of the houses that you're invited to.The preparation starts in September sorting out the artists for the following May, then the brochure, the wording for the Fringe brochure, then our own brochure (20,000 copies). It has to be designed, listed, who's going to be in it.

Now, I don't always exhibit my own stuff,but have done for at least half of those years.This year and last year I exhibited nothing but the three years prior to that I made..probably more craft than art objects - and I sold them, which is pleasing )