One of the galleries taking part in the Ouseburn Open Studios this year was the Biscuit Factory. Located on Stoddard Street, it is a prime gallery in a prime location. The Biscuit Factory hosts a wide collection of artwork from jewellery to sculptures, painting to drawings. This range was reflected in the work presented for the open studios.
From the collection, one of my highlights was Ailsa Matfin’s sea glass and silver jewellery. As a firm lover of the North East coast myself, the attraction was that she had sourced the see glass from local beaches. With a range of necklaces, earrings and bracelets as well as mixed metals, her work catered to all. As with many of the artists, she was working whilst the studios were open, allowing the visitors an insight into the process.
Another studio that caught my eye was that of Alan Smith Page, a fine artist working in watercolour, acrylic and mixed media. His work also reflected the natural beauty of the area, but also further afield depicting visions of Paris and Venice. Again, he was painting when I visited.
Ray Campbell, also a fine artist, was using the studio space as a clearance sale. This reduced some of his paintings to as little as 20% of their original price. When speaking to him, he said about his imminent house move which prompted him to lower his prices so much. Again, he had been inspired by the local area, particularly his home of Blyth, but also other English seaside towns and villages such as Whitby and Alnmouth.
Unfortunately, some of the studios were not open to view but in these cases the artists had left information outside of them to allow those interested to get in touch personally.
The Biscuit Factory generally is a beautiful gallery. Its resident artwork changes with the seasons, making it one to revisit often.