On the Whiteknights Studio TrailBy Caroline Cook
June 14, 2012
Artists in Reading will be opening their studios to the public this weekend.
Caroline Cook followed the trail to find out more
When you first hear of the Whiteknights Studio Trail you half expect to see mysterious paintbrush strokes on trees and colourful stepping stones making a pathway through the town.
Having been running for 12 years, the event has gained an impressive reputation in the art world and people travel from far and wide to discover Reading’s creative secrets.
Painters, illustrators, glass makers and photographers will be opening their private studios on Saturday and Sunday to give people a glimpse of the talent on offer in the town.
“The Whiteknights Studio Trail is a wonderful way for people to meet artists in a relaxed and unstuffy atmosphere,” says glass artist Andrew Boddington.
“Visitors to the houses and studios of artists on the trail are pleasantly surprised to see how much artistic endeavour is happening in this part of Reading.”
Newcomers to the trail can expect to see people wandering around the streets, clutching maps as they look for the pathway to some of Reading’s most spectacular art studios.
Among those opening their art spaces to the public will be basket maker Christine Brewster, who works full-time creating one-off decorative baskets and traditional, functional containers.
“I enjoy talking to an appreciative public about my work,” she says.
“The trail is always a busy weekend and I find it invigorating and rewarding.”
Also taking a spot on the map, which boasts 34 artists this year, is Sue Mundy, who combines different clays to create contemporary ceramics in shapes like hearts and birds. Further along the trail photographers Martha Case and Jerry Nicholls will be displaying their collection of natural wildlife images.
“We work within the environment looking at local wildlife,” explains Martha.
“We frequent areas which are often misused and neglected and have been lucky enough to witness not only the routines and rituals of commonplace wildlife but some rarer visitors.”
The trail gives visitors an opportunity to discuss works with the artists and to buy their favourite items to take home.
Some artists will also be giving live demonstrations of their craft as people wander in and out of the studios.
“We always look forward to going to the Reading Art Trail,” says regular attendee Carla Miles-Robinson.
“There is such a diverse range of really good work.”
Other artists on the trail include Hilary James, who will be displaying her paintings at venue 22, Brenda Graham, who will be watching the light stream through the stained glass hanging in her studio in venue 17, and print maker Barbara Newcomb, pictured, in venue 1.
Art students at The University of Reading will be displaying a range of media at their degree show which will run alongside the trail at the Whiteknights campus.
With such a vibrant display of work on offer visitors will be able to lose themselves in art for the day and discover the gems Reading has hidden in its studios.
The Whiteknights Studio Trail runs on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. For information and to download a map visit www.studiotrail.co.uk