Margaret River Region Open Studios 28 April – 13 May
Margaret River Region Open Studios is the largest open art studios event in Australia. More than 130 artists from Busselton to Augusta in Western Australia’s south west will open their studios to welcome in visitors for a behind-the-scenes experience, making it the largest event in its five-year history.
Margaret River Region Open Studios celebrates and shares the wealth of artistic talent located in the beautiful Margaret River region. By inviting artists to open their studios and homes, art lovers have the opportunity to meet the people behind the amazing art, and get a peek into their creative lives and inspirational spaces
Local artists are the stars of the show and talent this year includes renowned landscape artist Douglas Kirsop for the first time, as well as returning artists Rachel Coad, Leon Pericles, Rebecca Cool, Mary Lynne Stratton and many more.
We caught up with Jim Davies, Chariman or the Margaret River Region Open Studios to hear more about the project and why it’s a must do activity for anyone travelling to the region.
What was the inspiration behind Margaret River Region Open Studios?
Margaret River Region Open Studios was born from a chance meeting between our two founders Bill Castleden and Jillian Taylor in 2012. They both had experience of open studios events in the UK and thought they could replicate the experience for WA’s Cape to Cape region. They gained support from local tourism and art organisations, and a feasibility study showed there was strong support for the concept. We are now in our fifth year, and each year have new artists on board and 2018 is our largest year yet with 131 local artists opening their studios to art lovers, providing the opportunity to meet artists in situ, learning more about them and their work and showing their work in progress – art coming to life before the visitor’s eyes!
Does the show only include local artists?
Yes. Our local artists are the stars of the show. Our region stretches from Busselton to Augusta encapsulating 131 artist studios this year. Margaret River Region Open Studios all about celebrating and shining a light on our local artistic talent and providing a unique opportunity to visit artists in their own creative spaces.
Why should travellers coming through the region visit Margaret River Region Open Studios?
There are many reasons! It’s free, it provides a ‘behind the scenes’ experience for visitors, they get to meet some fascinating locals and see some beautiful regional studios and get off the beaten track to explore some lovely parts of the region not on the tourist trail. The event runs over 13 days and we provide a detailed map with profiles on each artist so it is easy to plan your time by selecting which locations, artistic styles or mediums you would like to see.
How does the event help showcase the local region and cultures?
Visitors to the region have a one-off experience, being able to visit and meet creative and fascinating locals, understand the region through their beautiful and varied artwork, get off the beaten track and onto the back roads to visit some beautiful studios and properties and gain first hand knowledge and appreciation of the beauty of the region.
Are there any artists in particular that are inspired by the local region.
I think it would be safe to say all of our artists are influenced in some way by the natural beauty of the Margaret River region, whether it be the Indian ocean and our stunning beaches, the dramatic coastline, karri forest or native flora and fauna. You can certainly see the colours of the region even through the most abstract art.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We encourage people to visit our website (www.mrropenstudios.com.au) and plan a few days in the Margaret River region to be inspired, surprised and delighted!
When: 28th April to 13 May, 2018
Where: The event spans the entire Margaret River Region of Western Australia from Busselton in the north to Augusta in the south.
Cost: Margaret River Region Open Studios is free to attend and no bookings are needed – it must be the most accessible event in the south west!