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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 15:10 UK
Show marks Bridport's arts scene
David Brooke - Walking in the Rain
David Brooke - Walking in the Rain

West Dorset has one of the most thriving arts communities in the country, according to local artist Kit Glaisyer.

Kit is an organiser of a four day arts event in Bridport, with many local artists exhibiting their work.

He believes Bridport is a particularly good place to be if you are an artist.

He said: "Bridport has something that has been lost in most other towns - a friendly community that encourages everyone to excel at what they do."

St Michael's Studios

The event, Open Studios, follows a similar programme held last year, in both August and November and is held at St Michael's Studios in the town.

Open Studios also ties in with an exhibition at the Bridport Arts Centre called Portrait of the Artist, featuring the work of 25 local painters and sculptors - some of whom are also involved in the Open Studios.

Kit Glaisyer working on his panoramic Turneresque landscapes at St Michael's Studios
Artist Kit Glaisyer says West Dorset's arts scene is thriving

Artists exhibiting at the Open Studios include Antonia Ireland, David Brooke and Kit himself, who set up St Michael's Studios as an exhibition space and studio in 1999.

Kit's work ranges from drip-paintings of female nudes, to studies of derelict petrol stations and supermarkets.

He had also painted large landscape scenes of Dorset countryside.

'Sharing ideas'

He is a veteran of the annual Open Studios event, which is now in its 12th year.

At first, Kit said opening up and working in front of strangers "took a lot of getting used to".

He said: "My work is all about communication and sharing ideas, and experiences.

"When someone comes in and really loves what you do - you can't really get a better feeling than that."

Andrew Leppard - Captive
Andrew Leppard - Captive

Open Studios are busy days for Kit, and although the attention means he cannot always get his work finished, it does mean that he is able to build up relationships with buyers.

He said: "It's a real help [when that happens], because it's a challenging profession and you need people who will say 'yes, I will invest in you', and that helps you survive."

But for Kit it is not just about cash, it is also an emotional investment.

Kit said: "[My paintings] are like my children and I like to know where they all are."

"The May Open event is also a great opportunity for art fans and collectors to explore our studios and discover new talent."

More information can be found on the event website.

Bridport Open Studios takes place from Friday 30 April - Monday 3 May at St Michael's Studios complex.


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