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South Lopham artist, Keeley Chapman, talks of privilege to be taking part in open studios event

A South Lopham ceramist has spoken of her thrill at being asked to be part of a creative collective for this year’s Norfolk Open Studios.

The event, which runs until October 8, will see more than 200 artists open their doors to the public across the county.

Keeley Chapman, from Keeley Chapman Ceramics, was approached earlier in the year by a group of artists to take part in the initiative.

Keeley Chapman, of Keeley Chapman Ceramics, who is part of the South Breckland trail of Norfolk Open Studios. Mark Bullimore
Keeley Chapman, of Keeley Chapman Ceramics, who is part of the South Breckland trail of Norfolk Open Studios. Mark Bullimore

She said: “In previous years, I’d visited artists taking part but never imagined I would be in the position to be a contributor.

“So, of course, I said yes and shortly afterwards the South Breckland Art Trail was formed and registered with Norfolk Open Studios. Taking part was an easy decision to make.”

The artist, whose pieces are made using the transformative process of western raku, will be joining the likes of Garboldisham painter and printmaker Deborah Key and East Harling acrylic and mixed media painter Debbie Plaskett as part of the eight-person trail around south Breckland.

On what the open studios means to her, Keeley said: “As an artist, you spend large amounts of time alone creating, which is lovely, but putting your head above the parapet and saying hello to fellow artists, sharing ideas, bouncing off one another and working collaboratively is exciting.

“For the open studios event, there are hundreds of artists taking part at all stages of their careers, from professional studios to garden sheds – it just shows you what can be achieved.

“A festival run solely for the benefit of Norfolk artists and makers is a privilege and I have enjoyed the energy expended at each stage.”

Since 2021, Norfolk Open Studios has been held in September and October, giving artists the chance to welcome visitors into their working space – this might be in their own home, studio, garage, shed or garden – to share their work and skills as well as sell their art.

Studios are free to visit and visitors do not need to book in advance, unless they are a large group.

To find out more about the South Breckland trail and Norfolk Open Studios as a whole, go to the Norfolk Open Studios website.

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