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N22 Open Studios
 


Image by Lara Harwood

19 years strong, it’s still a pleasure to organise the annual Chocolate Factory Open Studios weekend every November. 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.

In previous years we’ve been treated to sound installations, which captured the sounds of drinks cans and coinage and turned them into something ethereal and beautiful; The good people from CreateSpace have been 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; Polly Dolly, sculpted from polystyrene by Collage Arts apprentices mimicking some of the classic sweets of Barratt’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 last year was 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.

The range of Chocolate Factory Artists 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 also present 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.

FREE ENTRY

The next Open Studios weekend will be on: Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November 2016, 12 noon-6pm

Private View: Friday 11th November (6-9pm)

Full address: The Chocolate Factory Clarendon Road Wood Green London N22 6XJ View Google Map




 
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The Chocolate Factories in Wood Green, London N22, are a landmark development and hub of excellence for the creative industries in the UK.

The project started in 1996 when Collage Arts, an arts development agency, moved into the Chocolate Factory on Clarendon Road and converted several derelict floors of the Factory into artist studios.

What followed was a high demand for creative space and in 2002, Collage Arts renovated Chocolate Factory 2 on Coburg Road, next door.

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