N22 Open Studios 2015

19 years in, it’s still a pleasure to announce the upcoming Chocolate Factory Open Studios. You never know exactly what you’ll get from the fantastic array of Chocolate Factory Artists, but you can be sure that there’s something to suit all tastes.

Last year we were treated to a sound installation, which captured the sounds of drinks cans and coinage and turned them into something ethereal and beautiful. The good people from CreateSpace also got involved, bringing with them all manner of techniques, from mosaic to photography, and some delightful pop art sculptures that really seemed to capture the interest of visitors. Pride of place, though, went to Polly Dolly. Sculpted from polystyrene by Collage Arts apprentices mimicking some of the classic sweets of Barrat’s heyday, she looked good enough to eat and was a welcome addition and a huge success.

As always though, the event is not just about the Chocolate Factory or even the art lovers who attend each year, however much we appreciate their patronage. The Open Studios gives Collage Arts the opportunity to align with charitable organisations whose work we admire, and this year is no exception. Graeme Messer’s fantastic show at Karamel and the competition it involved introduced us to Diversity Role Models, whose work so impressed us we didn’t hesitate to offer an invitation to join. Dedicated to eradicating those absurd myths and stereotypes about sexuality, the charity takes volunteers in to schools around the country, tackling trans- and homophobia with information coming from real people’s experiences. Although not all their volunteers identify as LGBTQ, they all have something valuable to impart, and a particular mission is to eradicate the ever pervasive and pernicious use of gay as a pejorative. Their workshops often produce some very moving stuff, and we can’t wait to see what form our collaboration will take.

It’s still too soon to say exactly what the Chocolate Factory Artists have in store for us, but the range has certainly not diminished. There are painters galore, naturally, some working in oil, others in acrylics or watercolours, or all three. There are sculptors, ceramists, designer-makers, textile artists, etchers, illustrators, and, of course, those imaginative types who can fit in all the brackets or none. Another particular treat from the two previous Open Studios was the introduction of scheduled musical performances taking place at regular intermissions throughout the event. Something of a departure from the usual visual arts on offer, Liz Chi Yen Liew’s beautiful piano playing, courtesy of Stella Polaris Studios, was nothing short of lovely, and a refreshing moment of calm in what is always a bustling weekend with an extraordinary amount to see, buy, or even just experience.

In what has become another Open Studios tradition, we’ll also be presenting an exhibition of selected works in Karamel for the duration of the event and beyond, giving you the opportunity to admire your favourites while enjoying a coffee or craft beer, or sampling from the restaurant’s world inspired menu.

N22 Open Studios 2015 is on 14 and 15 November at the Chocolate Factory in Wood Green. From 12-6pm.


For more information please visit: www.chocolatefactoryartists.co.uk