Walking the Whiteknights Studio Trail

Most people are nosy.

Whether it’s a little peak into someone else’s home, or hearing a bit of gossip about something eventful in their lives, we all love a bit of a nosy every now and again.

And that’s why the Whiteknights Studio Trail is so enjoyable. Taking place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June, the trail sees artists and makers in Reading open up their homes and studios to the public, to showcase their work.

Painting by James Birtwistle

Painting by James Birtwistle

Okay, so the idea isn’t that you actually go wandering into every single room, that would be rude, and we’re here for the art, obvs, but it is fascinating getting a glimpse into where creatives work, and how the space around them acts as inspiration.

Evening sun by Caroline Streatfield-Chalk

Evening sun by Caroline Streatfield-Chalk

Last year, or maybe the year before, I remember walking the trail and coming across an artist who had a shed in her garden where she worked. She painted the most gorgeous landscapes, and seeing the flowers blooming in her beautiful garden, it was easy to see how she might be inspired to create her images.

Painting by Lorraine Spiller

Painting by Lorraine Spiller

The joy of the trail is that you can take it at your own pace. You can download a map online, or pick one up from local libraries, museums and shops, and then work out your own route, popping into venues as you pass them. Last year we started with a big breakfast at Cafe Yolk on Erleigh Road, before heading up to Progress Theatre and around from there.

Sculpture by Sadie Brockbank

Sculpture by Sadie Brockbank

The trail has all sorts of different artworks, some of which you can see dotted about this blog post, and it’s lovely getting to meet the makers and chat to them about their work. Equally, if you feel a bit daunted by going into someone’s home, you can shuffle in with barely a whisper and just look at everything on display.

Painting by Katie Wilkins

Painting by Katie Wilkins

One must-see on the trail is the University of Reading Fine Art Degree show, which is always fantastic, with such original work on show. We’ve popped in for the last couple of years and there have been some really eye-catching works of art.

By Lorraine Spiller

By Lorraine Spiller

Also, importantly always thinking of my stomach, several venues also serve tea and cake, and at 12 Avebury Square, artists Kate Powell and Sian Preston will be showing their work alongside a vintage caravan which will be selling ice cream. There are a few special events and demonstrations taking place across the weekend too including a children’s activity at 64 Crescent Road with artist Tim Wilson.

Textiles by Alice Mars

Textiles by Alice Mars

If you’ve got a few hours going spare it really is lovely just wandering around for a morning or afternoon, dipping into different places and discovering some of the wonderful talent there is tucked away in the houses and studios of Reading.

To find out more about the Whiteknights Studio Trail and to download a map visit www.studiotrail.co.uk.

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