Successful Open Studios event in Jimena

The exhibition room in El Silo building in Jimena de la Frontera.
The exhibition room in El Silo building in Jimena de la Frontera. / D.B.
  • Seven local artists showcased their work in a collective display and threw open the doors of their studios to visitors

The old saying “size doesn't matter” can be applied just as well to the world of art as to other aspects of life, as the recent Open Studios event in Jimena de la Frontera demonstrated very well.

Only seven artists were taking part and there had been fears that people wouldn't bother to come or even that they would be disappointed that there wasn't more on offer.

Nothing could have been further from the truth, and the event, at which the artists threw open the doors of their studios to visitors and displayed some of their works in a collective exhibition, proved a great success.

The Open Studios art event in this picturesque village in Cadiz province took place over the weekend of 20 to 22 October, beginning with the official inauguration on the Friday evening at the recently converted El Silo building at the entrance to Jimena. It proved an ideal venue, not only for showing off the colourful paintings and ceramics but also for a very successful party, with live guitar music providing the space with an authentic Spanish ambience.

The artists who took part this year were Manuel Cerezales, Catherine Fender Hall, Juan Soler, Práxedes Gómez, Clodagh Thornton, Juan Lobillo, and Roderic Stokes. They may only have been seven in number, but the variety of their work made every studio different and fascinating.

Surprisingly, it proved impossible to have a favourite. Roderic Stokes' painstakingly detailed work is a wonder to behold, while Manuel Cerezales' painting are colourful, at times ethereal, and occasionally humorous. Juan Soler's bronze sculptures and large-format pictures would grace any home with space for them. Clodagh Thornton often uses the lovely landscape of her native Ireland and her Spanish home as influences for her pictures. The subjects of Juan Lobillo's paintings are immensely varied, as are the materials used by Práxedes Gómez. Catherine Fender Hall's ceramics are lovely and many reflect an important message.

The message proclaimed loud and clear from this year's Open Studios in Jimena was that small is beautiful, and well worth discovering. Definitely a date for next year's diary.