Building on a reputation for approaching art in imaginative and inclusive ways, Geisha Arts today offers a rare opportunity to see two heavyweight artists at work.

Over an 11-hour stretch, artistic director Zac Walsh will complete one of the beautifully rendered figurative paintings he is known for, while street artist Jo Peel, whose line drawings of urban landscapes have adorned Glastonbury festival and several London locations, will create a large-scale installation. Zac’s wife Miranda, who runs the artist-led “hub” with him, says: “It’s taking art out of its usual context – out of the studio and on to a more open platform. It’s quite amazing to see artists of this calibre at work and to watch how a piece takes shape.”

A graduate of the Royal College Of Art, Zac Walsh’s work draws upon a range of classical influences to imbue his subjects with allegory and symbolism. A recent project, which saw Holland Park Opera invite him to attend performances and paint his reactions to what he saw, produced a series of intriguing and multi-layered paintings.

Jo Peel, in contrast, is more concerned with the everyday, taking inspiration from abandoned East London construction sites, tower blocks and scuzzy shop fronts. Her meticulous line drawings and installations suggest beauty in scenes of urban decay and industry.

While Walsh paints upstairs in the courtyard, Peel will construct an installation piece inside.

“It’s exploring the idea and ethos of a Barratt Home. Jo’s going to be building a crane to put the house in place and there’ll be a whole story built around it. We’re going to have DJs playing, people milling about and hopefully a really nice, creative atmosphere.”

While Peel’s work as a street artist often sees her creating on the hoof, this represents the first time Walsh has painted outside his studio and under public scrutiny.

Miranda says: “Live painting sessions often focus on spray paint and graffiti, so there’s something quite exciting about putting oil painting in a live art context.”

Geisha Arts launched just four months ago, in a partnership with the bar, club and teahouse Madame Geisha.

“Galleries can be quite stuffy and we wanted to open it up to the public and make it more accessible and exciting,” explains Miranda. “Art can be quite elitist and daunting and we wanted to show it doesn’t have to be like that.”

But she’s keen to stress this doesn’t equate to less emphasis on quality. Currently showing works by urban artist Matt Small (another RCA graduate), Jamie Reid (the man behind The Sex Pistols’ most famous covers) and rising star Rob Sample, Miranda adds: “The type of art we have here is very high- end and not the sort of thing you would perhaps normally see in a set-up like this.

“Because we are artist-led, people trust us, and it means we get to show art like no other gallery in Brighton. We put on live music at the weekends, have a 24-hour film festival planned and are interested in all sorts of installation pieces, performance art – almost anything.

“We want people to see Geisha Arts as an arts hub, somewhere they can come to see very different sorts of work.”

* Noon – 11pm, visit or call 07931299303