K picked up the leaflet in a local caff in East Finchley, and so, at a little bit of a loose end, but embracing the determination to try new things and do something we’ve never done before, we agreed to visit some of the houses and studios which were participating in the Open House weekend.
I’ll admit it, I didn’t know that East Finchley was such a hot bed of artistic activity. Other than knowing where the tube station is, and through my irregular visits to the Phoenix cinema there, I’m not really sure where East Finchley begins and ends. But that didn’t matter on Sunday afternoon, because we had a map showing the location of the participating houses.
Through a walkway traversing the tube station, like following a secret pathway, we emerged into a little enclave of arts and crafts style garden city houses I never knew existed, and located the bright pink banners on the open houses. I have to admit a certain nervousness as I pressed the first doorbell, but we were welcomed in very warmly and shown through to see photos, jewellery and ceramics all displayed in front rooms and hallways.
There was even spinning which I watched mesmerised for several minutes, although K said it reminded her of a Roald Dahl short story, the climax of which was a husband stabbing his wife, a keen knitter, through the heart with her kniting needles, so I’m guessing it had a different effect on her.
Not only did we have a chance to look at the work produced by the local artists, but also, a significant and anticipated ancillary feature, we had the opportunity to see inside other people’s houses, and by invitation. And of course artists live beautiful houses. And now I’m coveting a garden in which I could display a collection of sculpture.