Our area is currently designated as a high risk tier 3 zone.
Cases are rising fast in our surrounding towns.
After much research and deliberation we have decided that although we could open to the public under the strict guidelines (as we understand them) we would have to primarily classify Dungeness Open Studios as a ‘shop’.
Plausibly we could do this, however it seems surreptitious and not entirely truthful to do so.
We want to open to our lovely friends and visiting art lovers.
We await the next review of our situation and hope to open prior to Christmas during the magical five day period which we have been ‘half promised’...!
In the meantime we are open online: https://paintings-for-sale.net
We will (C-19 circumstances allowing) be open again by prior arranged appointment from mid June.
We aim to offer more artists' residencies and practical workshops for sculptors, painters, musicians, writers and photographers, providing exhibition space for artists from outside this area. We need to develop our programme during this period.
For 22 years, we have provided a showing space on Dungeness beach, which has developed from one studio to four over the period. Free to enter, operating on trust and goodwill, the work here celebrates and informs the public about this community, its history and its relevance outside of its reputation as a resort/tourist destination. All works directly reflect this wonderful and unique landscape. All my income as a sole trader comes from the selling of related works, postcards, books, workshops and residencies. Our inclusive and affordable pricing structure reflects our desire for people to be able to experience and own art democratically. Organised visits and talks with students of all ages are common practice and we have welcomed many thousands of visitors here for over two decades without any external funding, grants or bursaries.
We have had to close the studios entirely and cancel upcoming shows, residencies and workshops. After each event, we learn more about what artists require from our spaces and our in the main hands-off overview. We need to re-model showing spaces, access points, create garden areas, provide shelter and consider safe spaces for the future. We do not envisage that more than one person at a time will be able to visit these small spaces for the foreseeable future. This requires thought and practical development including our online presence, which will become crucial to keeping our core values visible and accessible. I have no current income to develop anything further but I do have infrastructure which can be made ready to meet the challenges of the future new normal regarding public access and interaction.
My current practice relies on the generosity and feedback of the people who visit, their ideas, expertise and enthusiasms. This creates Dungeness Open Studios in symbiosis, working as it does with this wonderful beach.
Currently our website and social media presence are who we are.
A bursary would remove this anxiety and help us to create peace of mind/solvency for us to develop our presence as an online entity, but with a secure foundation of having remodelled the experience, the access points and showing spaces to suit the future.
Examples of projected costs:
Web costs: copywriting and proofreading -- £30 per hour -- £600 Building materials including timber, fixings, signage, paints, preservatives, roofing materials, display items, barriers, gates, soft landscaping to create a slower, subtle flow of visitors. Safety equipment -- £600