Visitor Comments



OpenHand OpenSpace’s events at Brock Keep:
art exhibitions, open studios and heritage open days

2014

  • Brilliant exhibition – really engaging.  Really enjoyed how interactive the day was – children were utterly inspired and we will all go home buzzing with ideas.  Thank you!
  •  Enjoyed this very much! 
  •   The work is extremely exciting.  It’s a pleasure to have a place like this, to come and express one’s ability 
  •  A piece of serendipity to find this.  Good luck. 
  •  A very nice experience I have had today THANK YOU 
  •  A spectacular creative enterprise! Such a wonderful resource (the building) for the creative arts 
  •    What a wonderful exciting project and event, in a great venue 
  •   A most stimulating and lively event.  Something really interesting for all of us.  Thank you so much 
  •  Really enjoyable exhibition and programme of events – Thanks! 
  •  Really enjoyed the exhibition – love to come again – interesting layout – teenagers were inspired 
  •  Extraordinary organisation!  Some excellent work! Excellent Food! Congratulations on an excellent event 
  •   Wonderful exhibition, great people and great art! 
  •  Huge pleasure to be in such an interesting environment! 
  •    Superb art space, very interesting work and fun interaction with the artists! 
  •   Regarding the exhibition. I found the show very stimulating. It was great to see a range of artist work, whilst having the opportunity to hear artist talks (and performances) alongside. 
  •  The Keep space had a nice intimate feel about it, very conducive for contemplation 
  •  It was wonderful to see so many people at the exhibition. All the talks and activities made it a very rich and varied experience.  The Keep was a wonderful venue for the exhibition of drawings and a good place to meet with other artists for encouragement and inspiration; important as it can be a solitary activity being an artist 
  •   Congratulations on a great show and Open Day. 
  •  The numerous drawings looked really good 'travelling' along the walls of Brock Keep gallery, which was a wonderful venue for the work. The nature of the gallery space, with its multiple, evocative and varied rooms. As people walked along the drawings in chronological order there was a surprise around every corner, and this made the show magical for me. 
  •  The gallery is an extraordinary and beautiful place to exhibit. The experience is made even more a pleasure by your professional and kind consideration. Your organisation more than lives up to its name; I would be pleased to recommend you and your venue to anyone who cares to ask. 
  •  The atmosphere at the Keep is always friendly and welcoming, making it a good place to spend a day. I enjoy how it adapts to each new show and event, always aiming for the excellent quality and inclusiveness. It is a valuable part of the cultural fabric of Reading. 
  •  Seeing all the 1085 drawings like a year long ribbon on the walls of Brock Keep was wonderful and a good end to 365 days of drawing. It is a venue with a lot of atmosphere and I find the different rooms artistically inviting and inspiring. A unique and beautiful venue. 
  •  Open Hand and the Barracks building has a special place in my heart ever since I did a residency there many years ago. A space full of resonance for artists to respond to. Artists and audiences are always welcomed. This art venue is much needed offering an opportunity to come together in dialogue, creative thought and to make work 
  •  Brock Keep in Reading is an unusual venue for a contemporary art gallery and studios. The history and architecture of the building provide a stimulating challenge for artistic interpretation and engagement. OpenHand/OpenSpace is a versatile organization that provides a wide ranging art programme of debate and cultural exchange, bringing art to the very centre of the town. 
  •  The walls of the keep were covered floor to ceiling by small drawings for the 365 Drawings/365 Dessins Project initiated and curated by Cally Trench and Tineke Bruijnzeels. The 51 exhibiting artists from Britain and Europe who contributed to the project demonstrated the enormous range of drawing today. The well attended programme of events and talks was lively and diverse with far-reaching discussions. 
  •  I live in nearby Buckinghamshire and have been both a frequent visitor and occasional exhibitor at Openhand OpenSpace. The exhibitions are always interesting, well presented, with plenty of supporting material. Often there are talks, performances and participatory events. I know when I go to Openhand, it won't be a few minutes but will probably end up spending the whole afternoon there. Every visitor, irrespective of age or art knowledge is made to feel welcome and can join in with an opinion on Contemporary art.  
  •  It was great to be back at the Keep again. They always have such wonderful events and exhibitions 
  •   A fantastic resource and an inspiring space! 
  •  Really fascinating tour of the studios, and very interesting to find out more about the Keep 
  •   This was a very interesting visit with useful knowledge and experience.  A lovely day out 
  •    Thank you for letting us see where you work.  The spaces obviously are light and secure for artists to be creative and we need artists to express what we are not always able to 
  •   Very nice tour and interesting building.  Good exercise up the steps too 
  •  So nice to have these hidden gems on one’s doorstep brought to life.  Very interesting tour 
  •  Wonderful visit – thank you! 
  •   I lived opposite on Oxford Road as a child and young adult, but never saw inside until today.  A lovely look round a fantastic old building.  Such a shame it needs so much attention externally. 
  •   A very interesting tour, and it was fascinating to meet the artists. 
  •  A most interesting building.  I am so pleased it is being put to good use without destructing the original way out.  The ornate bricks are a delight to see.  Pity the War Memorial has been closed off.   At least the War Memorial can be seen from the tower’s staircase. 
  •   My first visit to a Keep.  Very interesting, inspiring for artists.  Good to see it is being used. 
  •   This is a really interesting building and the only historical one in the area of much importance. 
  •  Very interesting.  Good to see building being used and the history maintained rather than the endless conversion to flats. 
  •  I’ve always admired this building on my journeys past it, so it’s great to be able to visit during Heritage Open Weekend and find out more about it.  There’s so few historic buildings in Reading that it’s lovely to see this one intact and in use. 
  •   A great combination of uses and history.  It is important to maintain these buildings. 
  •  Very interesting my boys enjoyed their visit very much.  The art work is amazing 
  •    A marvellous place for artists – I did not know the Keep was used for this purpose.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit 
  •  Thank you, a hidden treasure trove, very enjoyable 
  •   A fascinating building – and the contents – by the artists!  We shall be back for the next exhibition.  Thanks 
  •  Fascinating area/building which from my experience is an ‘undiscovered’ part of Reading. 
  •  Utterly interesting both from the historical and artistic perspectives.  Each artist has wonderfully evocative workspaces with such exuberance on display 
  •   Fantastic space.  Incredible diversity of art and interesting to see it in development.  Thank you. 
  •    Very interesting to see such an artistic hub in Reading.  Excellent guide 
  •    An unusual and valuable collection of artistic talent.

2013

  • Great exhibition!  I love what you’ve done.  So clever and different.  
  • Great ideas and love the lighting. 
  • Really exciting pieces sculpture!  Installation or Paintings!  That’s what I love about it keeps you thinking! 
  •  Lovely to see inside the Keep + all the art was a bonus.  Thank you. 
  •   Absolutely brilliant exhibition of WWII and heritage and really interesting to see the artists workshops – fascinating and inspirational. 
  •  Such a beautiful building and wonderful art and sculptures. 
  •   Fascinating building.  It deserves to be open to the public more often. 
  •  The Keep has been a complete revelation.  Steeped in history yet with contemporary relevance – full of practising artists making contemporary art.  Reading is very fortunate to have a place like the Keep. 
  •  Great exhibition in an amazing building 
  •  Most outstanding visit of my Heritage Week end.  Despite all modifications, basic structure informative and revealing.  Praise for the guides who took me around. 
  •  Thank you very much for providing such a varied exhibition.  And what a wonderful tour 
  •   Very informative – enjoyed the camouflage 
  •  Great to be able to see where the artists work and the variety of styles and creativity.  Thank you! 
  •   It is fantastic, love to come again.  We did never know it was here 
  •  Fantastic to see a beautiful old building in Reading being used for such a good cause.  Thank you 
  •  Wonderful exhibition, and a great opportunity to see the rest of the studio.  Will come again! 
  •  A great exhibition of unexpected and varied talent. I will recommend it to my friends 
  • thank you for using such an historic building for the ‘real’ people.  Lovely to have the choice to stand in history and see the future in the artwork and exhibitions – harmoniously alongside the ‘museum’ items. 
  •   I’ve lived in Reading for 17 years – and always wanted to see around.  Fascinating – and long may you all thrive 
  •   A real discovery – will come again and bring others next year 
  •   Very interesting and inspiring exhibition.  Lovely - discussing elements etc. 
  •  Hugely thought provoking.  Amazing collection of used objects brought into a totally new meaning.  Well done 
  •  Very thought provoking exhibition 
  •  Very pleased to be given a guided tour of the art studios.  Much to think about there, and hopefully I will be a bit more observant of my surroundings, for a few days at least! All the items here are very interesting.  Thank you very much! 
  •  Guided tour by a very enthusiastic man.  Very enjoyable visit. 
  • Thank you for a very enlightening guided tour – in the short time I learned a lot about the Keep and history 
  •   A very interesting guide to the keep.  The keep itself is delightful.  Thank you very much for the hour. 
  •   A fascinating building – let’s hope funding becomes available to repair/conserve it for the long term 
  •  Fascinating and very friendly and informal trip round a local landmark I’ve walked past many times and wondered about! 
  •  Wonderful to get a sneak-peek inside these studios!  Interested to see more 
  •  The art was really lovely and so different what I’ve seen before.  Thank you! 
  •  Wonderful experience and unique for a Sunday 
  •  Friendly staff/volunteers who are approachable and ready to answer any q’s.  Honoured to have seen upstairs working space in the watch tower and displays downstairs were thought provoking.  A trip back in time.


2012

  • Lovely space, well curated, wonderful history with an insight into the Royal Berkshire Regiment 
  •   Have lived in Reading my whole life, always wanted to see inside the Keep. Thank you it’s a most interesting display of the history 
  •  Great tour, great children’s activities! We’re very glad we came along! 
  •  It was great to see inside this place. I’ve walked past so many times. So thank you 
  •  An interesting hour. The tour around the artist studios was particularly enjoyable 
  •  Most enjoyable. Would be good if restored for people to see in years to come 
  •  Reading needs exhibitions like this to demonstrate the history and culture of the town. Very informative 
  •  Fascinating and thought provoking. Great to have a window into Reading’s Victorian past like this. My eldest is studying Victorians this term so we appreciated being able to visit somewhere so connected with major events of that period but conveniently on our door step 
  •  A wonderful experience, & chance to view part of Reading’s history which is not widely known or appreciated. Thank you 
  •   The open days are absolutely out of my expectation and I learn a lot here. Thank you very much 
  •   A wonderful exhibition plus a marvellous opportunity to tour the studios which must be kept 
  •  As a former soldier from the RGBW it was fascinating to gain a small insight to the history of past regiments and the building 
  •  The opportunity to explore ‘The Keep’ was much appreciated. Equally fascinating was the chance to see studio artworks in preparation 
  •  Great to be able to look inside the Keep. Loved going upstairs into the Keep. Good work - keep it up. 
  •  Very interesting. Exciting to come in here after looking at the building as you drive by so many times. Interesting display. Thank you. 
  • Very interesting building, well worth preserving


2011

  • Superb - many thanks for the insights. 
  •  Fascinating - loved the art and history. Thank you for showing us around the studio 
  •  A very interesting tour & very knowledgeable staff. I have really enjoyed my visit 
  •  A fascinating location. Wonderful to know that such premises are so creatively used. Thank you for the inspiration and being shown round 
  •    A wonderful exhibition which really brings alive the history associated with the Keep. The military and personal memorabilia give a fascinating insight 
  •  A brilliantly interesting exhibition. We particularly loved being shown around the artists’ studios upstairs 
  •   What a wonderful space for artists & information for the public - really interesting, thank you 
  •  I’ve always wanted to see inside this building - I am really impressed that the space is so well-used. Thank you too for making it appealing to children! 
  •  Fantastic building and great exhibition. A wonderful place to display art. Really beneficial to have things out for young children to do!!