Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


There are many wonderful things about living in Oxford. Cowley Road Carnival is coming up next week, and there's the beer festival in October. But right now, it's Artweeks time, and this is about my most favourite of the things that are special about this city.

For four weeks, around 500 artists in Oxfordshire open their houses or studios to guests. The variety of work is astounding, and the voyeuristic pleasure of snooping round others' houses is a happy added bonus.

This year, I've ran out of time a little, so this afternoon Liz and I did a whistle-stop tour of five exhibits within a one-mile radius of home. And in that micro-selection of the possibilities, we did see plenty of wonderful stuff. Our first stop was Lou Baldwin. She does some delightful abstract oil sketches, pleasing to the eye.

Then off to Marc Thompson, where we had the inevitable awkward situation where you think the art's pretty poor, but the artist is standing there with you. What do you say? This is one of the fun challenges of Artweeks - dealing with the small talk. I've been doing this for five years or so, so am used to being able to talk around the subject, but I think Liz was a little challenged by it.

Next stop some excellent photograpy of Cowley Road - we will most likely be purchasing some of this stuff.

And finally to 50 Aston St. The other end of our street and "normal" from the outside. Inside, it is a completely different world.Almost the whole house has been blacked out, and every room is list by UV light and paint. It's a world of fairy castles, grottos, mountains and dungeons. Check out the website.

There's also the Red Room and the White Room, spaces for communal gatthering, seating literally up to the ceiling, requiring some acrobatic skills to reach. Hot tub in the "witch's garden" and a house like nothing I have ever seen.

Excellent stuff, and roll on next year.

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