On 22 May our Southsea Art and Design group and a few other artists/makers tested the water with our first Sunday market at the Square Tower, in Old Portsmouth. Built in 1494 during the reign of Henry VII, the Square Tower was designed as part of the fortifications to protect the Naval Port. The tower is now being given a new lease of life providing a great setting for art exhibitions and workshops. It is a beautiful space, with domed ceilings and original brickwork, and there is something very special about the light. There are two floors with access for disabled on the upper level. The tower also has a very quaint vintage tea room, with a massive selection of teas and coffees served in delicate vintage china, and of course lots of very naughty but nice home made cakes, which one was obliged to indulge in......
There was a variety of media to see and buy including jewellery, textiles, ceramics, fine art and photography giving a good mix and plenty of interest for all the visitors. I took along my little hand loom which I've recently acquired for demonstrations (thanks to Ebay and a few replacement parts), and was happy show a bit of hand weaving. I was really surprised that it was the men who took the most interest in the craft, and a couple actually had a go which was great fun. It must be something to do with the mechanics.....boys and toys and all that!
As we all agreed that the venue had great potential and we were very pleased with the footfall for such a new event, despite a very blustery wind off the seashore which took the A frame boards for a walk on a few occasions, we've decided to make it a regular event on the 4th Sunday of every month. We are also thinking of doing a Christmas fair and also potentially bringing a few workshop ideas into the event at a later stage dependent on interest.
Dates for the diary
28/29 August (2 day event) TBC
17/18 Dec (Christmas Fair)