Artistic pursuits are one of the most human things we can have— they act as a form of self-expression, therapy, and help demonstrate the individuality and uniqueness of our minds. They can also bring us a sense of community and connection to others in gathering to create and appreciate art, which is exactly what the Artists’ Open Houses (AOH) festival in Brighton and Hove aims to do.


AOH is a group opening up their homes to the public to display artwork in a more intimate, down-to-earth way. Artists can present their work in a more relaxed manner whilst giving the whole experience a personal touch by being there to chat to visitors and discuss their art. What better way to gain an insight to the story behind someone’s art than to ask the artist themself?


Ergo, I decided to talk to two artists of Open House Villa LVI in West Hove, Moon and Paul, about what they do and their experience as an Open House Artist. 


Moon Munson specialises in Korean Hanji paper craft, a type of “découpage, decorating every day objects with Hanji paper” (a Korean traditional paper made of the inner bark of a mulberry tree). Her inspiration behind this art form was her South Korean heritage, and love of the material: “I wanted to create something Korean. I was looking for something creative to do and always loved paper – I get very excited when I see any sort of paper.” Hanji in particular, Moon says, is “very strong when dry but also very flexible and easy manipulated when wet”. This, and the fact that it has been a part of her cultural background since childhood, made it the perfect medium to create art with.”


She found inspiration on a trip back to Korea, where she saw a light made of hanji paper. “The texture of the paper suddenly brought back all the memories of when I was young and I thought yep — that’s it — I want to go back to that”. Moon went on to talk about the value of art, saying that “anything that people do all stems from art. Art is creative thinking, and if you don’t have creative thinking you can’t do anything in life. Everything you do stems from creativity.”


Paul Munson is exhibiting a “collection of photographic prints related to the idea of quietness” this May, exploring the transition from the noise of original scene photographed to the complete silence and stillness of the photograph itself. “I find the idea that things can ‘look’ quiet and have a feeling of quietness even if in reality the actual photographed scene was very loud fascinating”.


His interest in photography started during childhood, looking at slideshows of family photos: “I was very young but I remember seeing things how they used to be, like the garden before it had any flowers or like me several years younger. Seeing the past so vividly gave me such feelings of nostalgia and mystery. Every now and then a slide would be upside down or damaged which interrupted the process and pierced the whole illusion of the past. I’ve always been interested in the meeting point of the past of the scene and the present of the actual photograph.”


In terms of the house itself, Paul and Moon both commented on the highly welcoming and social nature of Villa LVI, saying there was “a sense of community, and of sharing something with others”. Paul said it feels “very homely and down to earth, not grand or pretentious. I feel a sense of humility about my art here which I really like, compared to if I had it in a big impressive gallery where I might feel I was showing off a bit.” This being said, he commented that sometimes it may not always be the best place for his art which can be “less accessible compared to other artists due to it being more conceptual”.


Moon went on to say there is a “highly supportive community atmosphere”, unlike that of a shop where the main focus is to serve customers at the till and make money. Villa LVI in particular she called “very pretty inside, with all this French antique furniture”. Overall, both found it to be a very pleasant space to gather and socialise, reinforcing their sense of local community within the art world.


Artists’ Open Houses can be found across all areas of Brighton & Hove and beyond. Open from Saturday 6th of May to Sunday 28th, all members of the public are free to wander in and have a look at what’s on display. Every house and every artist has a unique, personal flair, so be sure to visit any you walk by to support your local artists!


More details can be found online at