BRINGING a selection of artistic talent together in one place and offering people the chance to have a go themselves will see the Eastcott Studios throw open its doors as part of Swindon Open Studios this autumn.

Based in the former George pub on Eastcott Hill, the studios will play host to artists Elmar Rubio, Franc Murphy, Rosie Leather and Emily May during the two weekends of the festival at the beginning of September.

Jo McAree has been running the studios as a creative space and regularly welcomes in families to try their hand at various creative tasks. “My plan with the studios was to provide a facility where up and coming artists and creatives can get together and promote what they do,” she said. “Not everyone has got a studio that they can invite people into, but this allows them to share their work with people, and get to know each other.”

Having left Swindon College with a foundation degree in art and design, Rosie Leather didn’t use her skills for around a decade. But a six month stint of volunteering at a school in Northern India saw the 28-year-old learn the art of being a silversmith from a local. From there she hasn’t looked back and her eye-catching pieces of jewellery will form the heart of her exhibition during Swindon Open Studios.

Using a variety of metals including copper, silver and gold she has also been experimenting with ceramics, using Luster glaze to achieve a rich finish to her work to compliment the shine of the base metals. “I have always enjoyed art,” she said. “But I never thought I would be the one creating it, but it just fits with me. I really like pieces that can be functional. This will be my first open studios. I am a little bit nervous, but I am really looking forward to it as well.”

Also to be found at the studios is Emily May who is returning to her creative roots having been occupied with motherhood for the past couple of years. Growing up in the far-flung reaches of western Cornwall with both a mother and grandmother as artists and a step-father who ran his own picture framing business she found herself in an incredibly creative environment.

The 39-year-old will be displaying her illustration and acrylic works at the studios, having previously put on shows in her native Cornwall as well as Bath and London.

“I am excited, but it definitely feels scary getting back into it after a break – but you have got to start somewhere,” she said. “When I moved to Swindon I didn’t think there was much of a creative, artistic scene, but it was absolutely great to realise there is actually a really strong community here who really support each other.”

Eastcott Studios will be open during the first two weekends of September between 11am and 5pm each day.

Jo has also enlisted the culinary talents of The Green Kitchen, based next door to the studios, with owner Gavin Green serving up a mouth-watering selection of Caribbean Jerk chicken dishes.

Eastcott Studios can be found at 28 Eastcott Hill. The studio is also offering family open days on Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31 between 11am and 4pm. For more details visit