In 1993, co-founders of the Dulwich Festival, Valerie Thorncroft, Marguerite Weedy and Alison Loyd, had an idea to create an arts festival that would unite the Dulwich community.  Fast forward 30 years to 2023, Dulwich Festival is stronger than ever, binding the communities of Southeast London and foregrounding the spectacular array of creative talent. 

One of the most loved aspects of the Festival is Artists’ Open House, where local artists open their homes and studios to members of the public so that their work can be viewed, enjoyed and purchased.  As urban landscape artist Marie Lenclos states ‘Artists’Open House creates an important connection between artists and the community.’  This year, more than 450 artists are taking part across 162 venues, and visitors can expect a hugely diverse selection of work.  From ceramics to glass, oils to watercolours, clothes to wall-hangings, sculpture to furniture and photography to prints, there will be something to suit the taste of everyone. 

For the first time, London Glassblowing will be taking part in AOH, showcasing a display of innovative glass art by pioneering artist Peter Layton at Dulwich Prep London.  London Glassblowing is one of the UK’s most renowned contemporary glass studios, where pieces are designed, produced and displayed.  Layton, one of the founding fathers of British studio glass, will be exhibiting alongside other glass artists, including Sophie Layton, Tim Rawlinson and Bruce Marks.  London-based artist Yohan Le Peuch will also be exhibiting at Dulwich Prep London.  Le Peuch’s carved works articulate archetypes of shared narrative traditions in sculptural form.  Drawing aesthetic inspiration from comic books, memes and advertisements, his work also references myths, fairy tales and ancient history.   

Visitors focusing on SE21 should ensure they have plenty of time to visit Kingswood Arts, South London’s new home of creativity!  Fifteen artists will be displaying a wide range of media including ceramics, fine art, illustration, photography, prints and sculpture, in a specially curated show, set in the stunning 32 room, grade II listed mansion, dating back to 1811.   

In East Dulwich, Myles Mansfield’s and Sarah Tombs’ sculptural pieces in the ludlowthompson garden will demonstrate how animal and plant forms can enhance the contemporary urban environment.  Sculptor Sarah Tombs has produced many public commissions, both national and international, with one major piece at Hammersmith Hospital.  Portrait artist Sam Barnett, also based in SE22, invites visitors and their children to experience and create record-breaking art.  Barnett has been commissioned by the BBC and Children in Need to create an interactive portrait to mark the Coronation and visitors can enjoy viewing initial versions of his work.  Jess Blandford’s work may also strike a chord with families, celebrating the everyday invisible work of family life.  Utilising joyful colours, gesture, geometry, erasure and hidden layers, Jess produces abstract paintings and repetitive line drawings. 

Naomi Purkiss Boutique will be exhibiting from her studio in Herne Hill, where she designs handmade pieces of slow fashion clothing, which are beautiful, sustainable, comfortable and effortless and made from rare vintage fabrics.  Twisted Vintage Jewellery is the perfect accompaniment to Naomi’s pieces, using pre-loved pieces of unwanted/broken jewellery to create new pieces with a modern twist.  Influenced by the changing seasons, Jewellery Makers Caroline Clark and Brigette Jones are passionate about the materials they use; Bakelite from the 1920’s, original gems, Trifari from the 40s and 50s and semi-precious stones that span the decades.  Artist and Illustrator Rebecca Lea Williams can be found just around the corner, with a colourful selection of screen prints and watercolours. 

At Havelock Walk in SE23, the celebrated and undiscovered form the thriving creative community.  A range of medias can be explored here including prints by Supermundane, fine art by Philippa Tunstill, photography by Lenka Rayn and illustration by Lisa Stickley.  Walters Way Art Collective will also be showcasing a variety of work from multiple artists, in the beautiful setting of a wooden house designed by the architect Walter Segal.  Visitors can expect digital pieces, fine art, photography, ceramics, jewellery and reformed glass. 

Dulwich Festival will also be hosting a pop-up shop in Dulwich Village with work from sculptor Catherine Macleod, quick portrait artist Joe Thomas, printmaker Maria Storey and ceramicist Susan Lowe.  Catherine Macleod’s five seated clay figures feature on the front cover of the AOH catalogue in 2023, chosen for their representation of power, strength, creativity and curiosity.  In addition to artworks by these fantastic artists, visitors to the Festival Pop Up will also have an opportunity to view an archive of catalogues and posters from the past 30 years of Dulwich Festival. 

AOH will take place over two weekends; 13th & 14th May and 20th & 21st May.  Large numbers are expected to attend and visitors are advised to plan their route in advance by checking locations on the Dulwich Festival website ( or by getting their hands on one of the gorgeous catalogues, stocked at local businesses, shops and restaurants in Dulwich Village, East Dulwich, Herne Hill, West Norwood and Tulse Hill.  Participating houses and studios will be signposted by estate agent boards stating Artists’ Open House.