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Call for Artists

Open Studios is a friendly group, welcoming practising artists and makers to exhibit from their studios or workshops or pop-up galleries within our catchment area, subject to a successful (free) application. The catchment area is from Calne to Hungerford and from Devizes to Wroughton including all the villages in between.

Find out more..

Bursary 2018 winner, Laura Kirkpatrick


A huge, congratulations to Laura Kirkpatrick who wins this years bursary award. Laura will be on this years trail with her abstract paintings. Here she tells us about her history and practice...

"I have been an avid follower of Marlborough Open Studios for many years. I’ve always found it inspiring; we are lucky to have so many interesting artists in this area. Last year on one of the stops on our ‘tour’, I had the pleasure of talking to Bryony Cox (last year’s Bursary Winner). She was so enthusiastic and I decided after that I would definitely apply to exhibit the following year; I thought I would even venture to apply for the bursary! I was absolutely delighted  a few months later when I found out that I’d not only been accepted as an exhibitor but had also been awarded the 2018 Bursary. 

I think I am what they call a ‘returner’; returning to my first passion as a painter after something of a break. I graduated with a BA honors degree in Visual Arts from Lancaster University in 1997 after completing an Art Foundation course at Swindon Art College. After a hiatus from my subsequent career as a graphic designer and then starting a family, I have happily returned to painting in a more serious way. In September 2016 my youngest child started school full time and I was then able to dedicate some time to rediscovering my passion.

My practice is mostly painting and drawing. I work a lot from my sketchbook, finding interesting shapes and relationships.  I use ideas from here and reinterpret them onto the canvas. I also do quite a bit of life drawing, which I use as a discipline for drawing in a wider sense rather than as a specific subject matter, and I find it generates a lot of interesting ideas.  Like most artists, I get inspiration from the world around me, which in my case is often the domestic sphere with my three young children. Also living in rural Wiltshire, the natural world is an infinite source of ideas. 

While my work is predominantly abstract, I also like to experiment with more representational elements and playwith questions of perception and understanding- how an artwork is read by the viewer and how a figurative or representational shape can change that. I have recently been making small watercolour cut outs of realistically painted butterfly wings that I introduce into interested in the question of how the final image is categorised. I have a lot of ideas and interests in a wide range of artists and styles, one of my main challenges is being able to knit them together and find some consistency!

The subject matter is useful as a starting point and may guide somewhat the process of what I do but ultimately it is not as important to me as the final result. It becomes subservient to the painting that develops - each painting is something of a journey. Recently I have also started to give more thought to the titles for my paintings. This is something that I hadn’t bothered much with before. I think that a painting should have its own visual language and stand alone without a lot of verbal input, but I do like the idea of using a title as a way into the painting; something to encourage the viewer in!"




We are now accepting applications for the Open Studio Bursary. This is an award open to new or emerging artists. There are no fees. 

Application for the bursary is open to anyone over the age of 18 and includes assistance in setting up your studio, 1 years inclusion on the OS scheme & a £250 award. Idealy you should have your own space to show, but if not we will try and help you find a location to show within our catchement area. 

The process is simple. Send one email including a CV and a statement about your work and process to the following email. The email must include 5 images of your recent work (withing the past 12 months). Please make sure the images are in focus and are of a good resolution. All images must include your name in the file. If you win, you will require a minimum of 20 works to be shown in July.

Please use this email for enquiry, correspondance and your application. Good Luck!

Debbie Blount


Bursary 2017 winner Bryony Cox

Bryony graduated from Falmouth University in 2014 with a BA in Drawing. Since graduation she has travelled Asia extensively to look at and draw the environments and the people that inhabit them

Sri Lanka and India have been Bryony's main sources of inspiration. She seeks the quiet and unassuming moments featuring people within the very busy and vibrant comings and goings of life. The green mountains of the hill plantations in Sri Lanka and the snow capped Himalayan mountains in India have both fed her landscape work. Bryony says, 'I am intrigued by the layers within these vast expanses of scenery'.

Drawings are predominately in black and white using a section of deep colour to lead the eye into the work. Charcoal and Pastel gives her work a strong tonal depth.

Bryony applied for the bursary to learn about connecting her work to the general public and to broaden her art practice. 


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Bagya the smoker

Bursary Winners 2016

This years bursary winners Martin Wade and Richy Burnette , are occasional residents at Tedworth House, one of Help for Heroes' Recovery Centers.
Both men came to art as part of a programme of activities run at the House which then went on to form an important part of their recovery process , paint giving them a voice and a joy in creative self expression. They both chose to take a City&Guilds course in painting techniques enabling them to understand more about the process of painting  and to take their art forward into civilian life.
Engaging with Open Studio was their idea and will be the first public viewing of their entIre work - each have received a prize for a painting exhibited last year. Visitors can expect large abstract paintings and to have fun contributing a drawing to our 'art wall'

Bronte Adam and Amanda Hutchings win bursaries in 2015

Open Studios is delighted to announce, not one, but two bursary winners for our 2015 anniversary year.

Congratulations to Bronte Adam and Amanda Hutchings who both will be receiving mentoring and lessons in all styles of drawing from Michael Angove MA (RCA)

Bronte is a student at Leeds University studying for a degree in Surface Pattern who's home is Marlborough, where she plans on exhibiting her work for the open studios art trail.  Open Studios will award Bronte £250 toward her show. Read about Bronte's day of mentoring here

Bronte adam- Image 1

Amanda Hutchings is a textile artist, who recently completed a foundation course in art and design. Amanda lives in West Overton, Nr Marlborough and hopes to exhibit from home for the art trail. Read about Amanda's day of mentoring here.

Amanda Hutchings - Image 1

Both artists will receive free membership for the year that will give them brochure entry, website listing and space in the Preview Show @ the Mount House Gallery (Subject to Availability), Marlborough. Contributions from Friends of MOS, as well as from exhibiting artists, go toward the bursary scheme and to the enhancement of new and emerging artists. The artists will both receive mentoring on how to get the best from open studios, advice on pricing, presentation, new work, accessibility and visitorship.

Lessons on drawing will encompass: on site, in studio and digital drawing; Photoshop turorials as well as photographic advice and social media.

Follow both artists’ progress through the mentoring and lessons on our blog later in the year. Sign up to the RSS feed via the blog here.

Well done Bronte and Amanda!


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Congratulations to Claire Petworth who was awarded this year's bursary.  Claire is a mature student who started her Foundation degree at Oxford Brookes Creative Arts & Design, based in Swindon, in September 2013.  Claire works in a variety of media including print making and ceramics. She will be exhibiting at Jeanette Therrien's Studio, and will be mentored by professional artist, Meryl Setchell Ainslie MA of Rabley Drawing Centre.

Claire's printmaking and ceramics have already caught the public eye and have been illustrated in an article in Cotswold Life click here.  

You can follow Claire on her personal blog.  

More about the scheme in the Arts pages of the Gazette and Herald here.


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1 - Who are you and what do you do?
I am Jemma Gunning, 25 years old and a printmaker.

2 - What kind of work do you do?
My practice is based around my encounters with the urban environment. My fascination with the beauty that erosion, decay and weathering bring to the surfaces of the landscape has become a starting point for my work. I am attracted to the effect that natural elements, human interference and time have on architectural structures within the landscape. I appreciate nothing more than coming across a segment of the land that has accidentally, naturally or purposely been eroded, chipped, flaked, ripped or faded over a period. I attempt to recreate these surfaces with varied processes, freezing my discoveries and making people more perceptually aware of their most intimate everyday surroundings. By doing this I am exploring the multi-layered histories of cities and the urban environment, focusing on the trace and residue of what or who could have been there before me. I have set out to conquer the language of abstraction, freeing myself from the confines of the formal landscape and finding new meanings and relationships between surface and mark. 

3 - Have you graduated - where from?
I graduated this year with an honors degree in ‘Drawing for fine art practice’. The course is validated by Oxford Brookes University but studied at Swindon College.

4 - In your own words how did you feel when you heard about winning the bursary?
I felt extremely excited to have been chosen and honored that the judging panel liked my work enough to offer me such an amazing opportunity. 

5 - Who was your mentor and how important was your mentor's role?
My mentor was Arran Miles. She offered me as much help and support as I needed which I found enormously useful seeing as this was one of the first times I would have exhibited my work. Arran helped me with pricing my prints, offered tips on the ways I could display my work. I found Arran to be a truly inspirational person due to her also being a print maker. Arran also invited me to see her studio where I did an interview with her which helped with my professional practice module at university. 

6 - What was your most memorable moment during the bursary?
Working with Kareen Jackson for a month where we curated a joint exhibition together in her wonderful home. We had a private view on the first opening weekend where all our family and friends came together along with the general public. This was a fantastic opportunity tonetwork and meet new interesting people.

7 - Did the bursary have any effect on your work/practice?
Yes I would say it has. I was in my second year of university whilst participating in the scheme and the feedback about my prints gave me the encouragement to carry on with the printmaking side of my practice. In the third and final year I investigated the printed mark further and chose this to be my specialist medium to work in. 

8 - In your own words how beneficial was the bursary for you?
This gave me the opportunity to be a professional artist and get first hand experience of networking, selling and curating which I found very beneficial for my degree work.

9 - Did you enjoy the Open Studio Weekends?

Very much so. It was great to meet new and different people each weekend and to have the chance to interact and talk to people about my work and get different views and feedback. I loved working with Kareen! I think we made a great team chatting away to people making them feel welcome. I think the endless supply of fresh homemade cakes and coffee helped! 

10 - Did you sell work?
Yes I sold 2 pieces of work which was a remarkable feeling! I also sold a fair few postcards. 

11 - What lessons have you learnt from the experience?
I’ve learnt how to price my work, how to network, how to curate, different ideas of how to frame and mount work. Also the importance of creating a relationship with potential clients. 

12 - Is the bursary a good and valid thing?
Yes I would recommend it to anyone looking to apply next year. It’s a marvelous opportunity to work with exciting artists and have the support of a mentor and potentially sell some work! I enjoyed the experience so much that I am participating in the MOS 2014 with Kareen again! I can’t wait to get stuck in to all the planning! 

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Collagraph prints and monoprints range between £50 - £150

Jemma Gunning



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A million congratulations to Marlborough artist @d__shoo on winning #PortraitArtistOfTheYear 2019. Stunning work. twitter.com/SkyArts/status…

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