Suffolk painter Maggie Hambling once said: ‘In Sudbury, you are never more than six feet from an artist.’
While that might be a slight exaggeration, it’s true that there is a hub of artists here in Sudbury who are mostly within easy walking distance of the Town Centre. And the good news is that their studios are all open to the public on the weekend of
12th and 13th June from 10.30 until 5pm in a Sudbury Artists’ Art Trail.
And if you’re not around on that weekend, some of the artists are opening on other weekends in June, also as part of Suffolk Open Studios.
You’ll be able to meet the artists in their workplaces, look at their sketchbooks and drawings, watch a demonstration or two, and find out about the processes involved in making their artwork. There’s a very varied selection: landscape and still-life paintings, abstracts, clay sculptures, prints, textiles, collages, pastel drawings: something for everyone, in fact.
And if any of the work takes your fancy, it’s all for sale.
The Art Trail itself is full of contrasts; one artist is based in a Grade 2 listed building while another has a studio in an ancient granary. You can visit three artists all under one roof, and meet members of an art-and-craft group in a village hall.
More details of the Art Trail, the artists and directions to all the studios are on the website www.SuffolkOpenStudios.org . or in the leaflet which you’ll find at Sudbury Library and with local retailers. It’s also available at the Mill Tye Gallery at Bakers Mill, which is open every weekend in June and packed with exciting local artwork for sale.
To whet your appetite here’s a short description of what you can expect to see from each artist.
Turn along towards Meadow Lane and you’ll find Ransoms, in Red House Lane, where Jane Ford is showing work using textiles as a starting point: her intricate collages have varied subjects.
(Location: Ransoms, Red House Lane, off Meadow Lane, Tel:01787 374260).
Judith Glover is known for her unique approach to botanical art and this has become the defining feature of her work. She will be opening her garden studio to display new paintings alongside her unique range of printed and handmade stationery and ceramics. She is also showing the first study of a recent painting of a young nurse who first job was straight onto a Covid ward. Studio also open on 19/20 June and will welcome commissions in future.
(Location: 40 Friars Street: Tel: 07967662219).
Cathy D’Arcy makes ceramics and says she has wanted to create work that reflected her feelings during lockdown: her work includes quirky figures in porcelain and she believes that ‘some of it may make you smile’. Studio also open on 19/20 June. (Location: Corner House, Straw Lane, CO10 2AT; Tel: 077 809 77318)
Jacqueline Robins has been developing her printmaking for more than 12 years and has a passion for the process. The emphasis is on visual texture and colour, while her preferred processes are monoprints, silkscreen, linocuts and photopolymer plate. Her studio is situated in a former granary amidst a range of traditional farm buildings that have deliberately not been modernised. Studio open 5/6, 12/13 and 19/20 June.
(Location: Hill Farm, Gestingthorpe. Leaving Sudbury via the A131 along Cross Street and then Ballingdon Street, turn right at the traffic lights towards Bulmer. Proceed via Kitchen Hill onto the Sudbury Road. Continue through Bulmer and after approx. 2.5 miles take the left turn marked Hill Farm. Proceed up Farm Lane to the top where you will find the studio on the left opposite the farmhouse. Plenty of car parking available. Tel: 01787 377469 Mob: 07799775890)
In Friars Street you can visit three artists under one roof: Kate Perkins experiments with collage on prints, enjoying the often-unexpected results. As she says ‘it brings a lot of fun to making images.’ An oriental flavour to her work could be the result of fifteen years living in the Far East.
(Location: 57 Friars Street, Tel: 01787 373877)
Lupe Cunha will once again be demonstrating and showing a range of her abstract and floral paintings in both oil and acrylics. With work for every budget as well as her usual cards for sale, it is one stop not to be missed.
(Location: 57 Friars Street, Tel: 07847384084)
At the same location you’ll find Sally Freer who is a printmaker. Sally is a former Chair of the nationally-renowned Printmakers’ Workshop at Gainsborough’s House and has a varied selection of prints and cards on show including monoprints.
(Location: 57 Friars Street, Tel: 01787 373877)
Anne Lowe uses acrylic and sometimes mixed media in her paintings. Much of her work is based on local landscapes, but inspiration can dictate subject-matter and her paintings fall into different series that can include abstracts, plants and seascapes. Anne believes that ‘colour is king.’ Her studio (Location: 2 Salters Hall, Stour Street) is also open by appointment: contact her on email@example.com
The C-Art Group is all about well-being through art and craft-based activities. They describe themselves as ‘a friendly, happy and non-judgemental group where ‘you don’t have to be brilliant at art, you just have to enjoy it’ who love ‘making things, talking and tea and cake’ with lots of art resources and enthusiasm. (Location: All Saints Church Hall, Church Street. Note opening time: 10.30 -4.30 pm. Tel: Karoline Wells: Mob: 07850883373)
Lorna Hoey is showing pastel drawings of the meadow and river landscapes around her Sudbury garden studio (the same landscapes that inspired Thomas Gainsborough) plus expressive acrylic paintings on canvas which are inspired by her memories of home in Ireland plus travels in the Hebrides.
(Location: Cross Street Tel: 01787 379598. Mob: 07930280714)
And lastly a word about the Mill Tye Gallery, not far off the beaten track - on the banks of the River Stour, right beside the picturesque Mill Pond - a boutique treasure trove of Screen prints, lino-cut prints, sculptures, pottery, and artefacts. It's one of Sudbury's best kept secrets!
It was set up to celebrate talented artists from the region, showcasing their pieces in a beautiful setting. The gallery aims to build the fame of Sudbury not just for its old masters, but for its whole new generation of talented art-makers.
The Mill Tye Gallery is free to enter and fun to browse and will be open on every weekend in June. (Location: 3 Cornard Mills, Mill Tye, CO10 0GW – In the old ‘Bakers Mill’ building in Great Cornard. Tel: 01787 376796 www.milltyegallery.co.uk)
So don’t miss this opportunity to see inside ten artists’ studios in and around Sudbury on 12/13 June and meet the artists. Each studio will be Covid-secure, meeting social distancing and hygiene regulations. A good chance to grab a unique present too!
Lorna Hoey 2021