Kingston Open Studios open registration for local artists to display their work

Local artist group Kingston Open Studios (KAOS) has opened registration for artists in and surrounding Kingston to display their work during two weekends in June.

The collaborative public exhibition organised by KAOS is a chance for artists living in and around Kingston to open their own homes or studios to the public.

The venues are organised into art trails through Kingston, featuring a wide range of 2D and 3D work – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, jewellery, ceramics, glass, photography, digital art, textiles, paper art and mixed media.

What does KAOS do? Video: Trevon Aston Photography

KAOS coordinator Caroline Calascione said that on any single day there may be up to 200 visitors taking the art trail.

“Artists benefit from taking part by having the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work to a large local audience which they may not otherwise engage with,” she said.

“A regular feedback comment is how many interesting discussions and new friendships and collaborations are initiated as a result of engaging with the local community.”

It is an opportunity to meet other local creators, see their work, talk to them about their techniques and inspirations and buy affordable art direct from the artist.

Registration fees for forthcoming event for KAOS Open Studios, which is taking place on 11-12th and 18-19th June 2022, are 35 pounds for members of KAOS Kingston artists and 70 pounds for non-members.

Registrations will close on March 13. 

KAOS Kingston and Kingston Museum 

Thirty members of KAOS are currently showcasing their work at Kingston Museum for the exhibition ‘Climate KAOS’, explaining the impact of human activity on the planet.

The exhibition opened its door last September, two years later than originally planned. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report was released one month later, warning that “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land”.

Curator at Kingston Museum Charlotte Samuels said: “The exhibition ‘Climate KAOS’ was planned for Summer 2020 to celebrate a decade of KAOS.

“However, by that time Kingston Museum was locked down due to Covid 19, tellingly a zoonotic disease caused by the same human activity that is responsible for environmental degradation.”

Artworks at Kingston Museum include digital prints, artwork from recycled plastic bags, work from acrylic and graphite on recyclable paper, hangings made from kimono pieces and a film on the overexploitation of resources.

Martin van de Gey’s film, ‘This is all wrong’. Photo: Jacobien van der Kleij

“The artists have responded through their art to the most urgent issue of our time, the Ongoing Climate Emergency. In June 2019, Kingston Council declared a Climate Emergency and is working on initiatives to mitigate climate change at a local level, as we know this is extremely important to Kingston residents.”

The artworks of the KAOS’ artists went through a judging process before being displayed in Kingston Museum Art Gallery where the public can see and buy them.

Rachel Pearcey ‘BY 2030 IT MAY BE TOO LATE’. Photo: Jacobien van der Kleij

Samuels added: “It is always challenging to do the selection as the standard of artworks is very high. There was an extra element to this competition, as artists needed to use material in some way in the making of the images/ objects.”

Course Leader of the Sustainable Design MA at Kingston University Dr Paul Micklethwaite was this year’s judge. He selected ‘Man on A Tree’ by Terry Sweeney, who won Cass Art vouchers worth £150, as the winning artwork.

Man on A Tree and Dr. Paul Micklethwaite. Photo: Charlotte Samuels

He said: ‘’I found [Man on a Tree] the most powerful and thought-provoking work in the show. Rather than highlighting a particular symptom of our unsustainable lifestyles, such as plastic waste, it presents the existential dilemma we face in trying to decide what course of action to  take in response to the increasingly evident consequences of our impact on our planet.”

‘’We are all the man with the axe – as we watch the waters rise, do we trust fate, or act without certainty that what we do will be for the best? Our pride in our civilization has not prepared us for this ultimate moment of jeopardy.’’

Samuel concluded: “We hope this exhibition will open up debates about how we can still act to prevent the very worst effects of climate change.’’

The exhibition KAOS will be on display until March 26. 

KAOS has not planned another exhibition at the museum for now.

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