Sunday, 05 December 2021

Follow the coloured balloons to find artists’ open studio event

TWO Henley artists are joining forces to host an open studio event this weekend — in

TWO Henley artists are joining forces to host an open studio event this weekend — in their own workspace.

Louise Shaw and Geri Spencer will be welcoming art lovers to Studio 4 in Newtown Road from 10am tomorrow (Saturday).

Featuring new drawings, paintings and sculptures, the show runs until 6pm — with the same hours being repeated on Sunday.

The open studio event is a rare opportunity to see artworks exhibited in the place where they were made.

There is also the chance to talk with the artists and learn more about their inspiration and the techniques they use.

Louise says her sculptures evolve from a curiosity and an attraction towards materials.

In exploring their innate physical qualities she aims to evoke the poetry within — to bring to the fore the intimate, the silent and the personally poignant relationship we have with our physical world.

Raised in Henley, she attended King James’s College, which has since been incorporated into The Henley College.

She said: “College was a revelation — it opened up a whole new creative world to me. I found my passion and I’ll always be grateful.”

Louise’s sculptures are a fascinating combination of materials. Cast blocks of concrete that resemble polished stone hold delicate cut grasses, while tree roots emerge like miniature landscapes. “Working at Babylon Plants, seeing plants both en masse and in detail is a big influence on me,” she added.

A former costume designer, Geri’s work explores the emotional power of vibrant colour to capture the essence of her portrait subjects and the energy and beauty of nature in her landscapes and playful still-life works.

Her portraits reflect the colour preferences of the subject, highlighting the more introspective elements of personality.

She takes colour further in her landscape and still-life paintings, in homage to the raw energy and beauty of nature.

In the evening classes she teaches at Henley College, Geri encourages her students be free and fearless with paint and colour. She said: “Watching the students flex their creative muscles while they explore the potential of painting and personal expression, becoming less self-critical and more creatively daring, is just extraordinary.

“The discovery of their own talent is a revelation which is both humbling and joyous to witness.”

Located on the Fairview Estate, Studio 4’s postcode is RG9 1HG — but visitors over the weekend will also be able to follow a trail of green and blue balloons up up Newtown Road.

Parking will be available outside Studio 4 on the left hand side.

Louise said: “Geri and I started renting our unit at Fairview Estate in May 2013 and formed Studio 4 as a shared art space.

“We met through mutual friends at our regular early evening Friday social at the Baskerville in Shiplake.

“We work independently but benefit from each other’s input and company.

“We’re currently looking for a third person for the upstairs space.”

For more information, visit Louise’s Facebook page, Louise Shaw Artist, or email

More News:

POLL: Have your say