The Scotsman and I visited the Open Studios on Eel Pie Island last weekend. It is a private island in the Thames near Twickenham which can only be reached via a footbridge, and it’s a bit like stepping into another and much more peaceful world.
I had vague ideas about its history having heard at some point about the Eel Pie Hotel. The hotel hosted ballroom dancing during the 1920s and 1930s. jazz sessions in the 1950s and in the 60s rock groups played there – David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and the The Who to name but a few. Pete Townsend even named his recording studios nearby Eel Pie Studios in its honour…
Nowadays most of it is shut to the public but on the occasional open days if you venture through the (still working) boat yard there are a number of studios – some even made out of old boats. What a lovely and otherworldly place filled with greenery, sunshine and odd bits of found object sculpture – I was very envious of the artists working in such a lovely place….although I daresay in the depths of winter things might be a little different!!