SWINDON Open Studios is back and opening its doors for a behind the scenes peek at local artwork.

The event has taken place about 10 times over the years and received huge public interest. This year promises to be the most successful yet with numerous returning artists as well as some fresh, new faces.

Committee member Jane Milner Barry said: “We’re looking forward to seeing lots of people as there is a big variety of work on show.”

Over two weekends, 44 artists and groups will showcase their work in numerous locations from Swindon town centre and Old Town , to those further afield including Purton , Lechlade and Longcot.

The public are free to wander round each of the venues and enjoy the diverse collections of art on display. Meanwhile, the artists will be available to talk about their creations while some will conduct live demonstrations of their unique methods.

The Central Library is an ideal setting to catch some of the artists live at work. Benoit Philippe will be painting at the library while Christine Grey will demonstrate the use of hot wax within her work.

Each exhibition offers something different with artists reflecting their own unique influences. Not only are there painters, sculptors and printmakers but also makers of wood, glass and textile creations.

Andrew Tucker, for example, uses locally sourced wood in his beautiful domestic pieces on show at 39 The Mall, Old Town.

Toni and Gordon Dickinson, returning artists from Purton, are also opening up their home.

“As well as painting and sculpting, we also create educational videos and encourage local schools to watch them,” said Toni.

Their company, No Added Sugar, helps provide creative opportunities to people of all ages and abilities.

Another returning artist is Pat Elmore. Her substantial collection offers 150 stone sculptures and wood carvings set in a one-and-half acre garden in Longcot.

Committee member Jane Milner-Barry points out that there is plenty of appeal surrounding the exhibitions in Longcot. “There are some wonderful gardens and a nice pub there too,” she said. “A perfect excuse for a day outside of Swindon.”

Most of the pieces are available for purchase and there is something for everyone. Rosa Mattheson’s collection, for example, includes handmade cards, books, boxes and more.

A launch party will take place at 7.30pm on September 7 at ArtSite, Theatre Square. This offers the public an opportunity to speak to the studio artists and appreciate some of the art on offer. Swindon Open Studios will then run on the weekends of September 8-9 and 15-16. More information on the event locations and participating artists is available at www.swindonopenstudios.org.uk.