Artists prepare to welcome visitors for first time amid Covid-19 pandemic

Fenland and east Cambs art COS

Artists across Fenland and east Cambridgeshire will display their work as part of this year's Cambridge Open Studios event. - Credit: Cambridge Open Studios/Riverside Arts

From oil painters to furniture designers, artists from east Cambridgeshire will come together this summer as part of the region’s largest art event. 

Over 300 artists will showcase their work at this year’s Cambridge Open Studios event featuring a range of exhibitions across the county amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Eight of those artists are from Riverside Arts in Little Ouse near Littleport, including weavers, pottery makers and embroiderers.  

One of those is Caroline Forward, who has been working as an artist for at least 20 to 30 years. 

“What I’m looking forward to is the opportunity to have a physical exhibition again,” she said.  


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“There is a chance to talk to visitors face-to-face and to see the work in real life. 

“Another important part is exhibiting within a group of artists where we have time together, so it’s that contact with the artists.” 

Topping bookshop Ely art

Artists across Fenland and east Cambridgeshire will display their work as part of this year's Cambridge Open Studios event. - Credit: Cambridge Open Studios

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Caroline will be joined by fellow artists Rick Forward, Jeremy Peake and Ditty Dokter as well as Gordon Chesterman, Anna Osborne, Ken Murray and Barbara McGirr. 

This year, studios are spread around Cambridgeshire, including Little Ouse, Ely and Chatteris and have the choice of opening by appointment. 

The other option for artists is through open windows, which was the case last year when many decided to display their work in windows and outside spaces

Riverside Arts is a working studio, meaning visitors will be able to view where and how the furniture is made, and have a go at printing a poster on the printing press.    

Work will be for sale, with card payments accepted. 

Ely Cathedral art

Artists across Fenland and east Cambridgeshire will display their work as part of this year's Cambridge Open Studios event. - Credit: Cambridge Open Studios

Caroline said: “They can come for the weekend at any time but we are offering appointments during the week for those that are not feeling comfortable about being with more people.” 

Riverside Arts will be open in accordance with government Covid-19 guidelines, with a sanitising station, one way system, and masks to be worn inside.   

At busier times, visitors may be asked to wait to help keep reduced numbers attending the studio. 

The event takes place across the weekends of July 3-4, 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25.  

Riverside Arts will be open at the New from Old Workshop, The Engine House, White House Road, Little Ouse, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4TG on July 17-18 and 24-25 between 11am-6pm, and by appointment in between these dates. 

For more information, contact Caroline on 07745230349, email info@riversidearts.art or visit: https://www.camopenstudios.co.uk/.  

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