Wednesday 12th April
Art - Paddock Spring Exhibition

Unannounced, I open the door into the Paddock Art Studios and there is a flurry of activity. A naked couple are hurrying into dressing gowns, whilst several onlookers look to see who is intruding. There are large dented cushions on the floor, a silk drape is pinned against the wall. I have stumbled upon the end of a life drawing class. I am sent out again and walk around the studio’s wonderful sloped gardens, shaded by a couple of fir trees and a magnificent magnolia. Five minutes later I am called back in. The models are fully dressed, and being paid. A bearded man tells me about the studio. It used to be the first floor above a stable. From the interesting square-shaped flintwork on the walls, it was possibly connected with Shelleys Hotel.

It was bought in the mid forties by Cecil Heathfield, who turned it into a centre to give affordable art tuition to local artists. After Cecil’s death his widow arranged for the studios to become a Registered Perpetual Charity: they can never be used for any purpose but for adult education. The Paddock is now run by Lewes & District Visual Arts Association and offers classes in different creative processes from drawing and painting to clay modelling, printing, mosaic-making, and picture framing. Members of LADVA exhibit their work every year for a week. The exhibition should be well worth checking out; the building certainly is. And I am assured the magnolia will be in bloom. AL

Open arthouse: A detail from Ben Whitehead’s Paddock Art Studios
courtesy of the Chalk Gallery
Paddock Art Studios, Paddock Rd, Lewes
When? 10am-4pm until Weds 19th April
How Much? Free
Paddock Art Studio
(w) Website
(t) 01273 483000