December 10th, 2011
by Mark Pembrey
Still struggling with the seasonal shopping? It doesn’t all have to be trawling through Amazon or fighting the crowds at Churchill Square. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to support the arts and buy something truly special. Here are three of the best places in Brighton to buy creative Christmas gifts.
LMNOP Shop are only just over one year old, but they’ve already gathered an impressive range of high quality prints and artist’s books. The hot Christmas item here is the LMNOP 2012 calendar. Following an inspired brief on the theme of ‘self motivation’ (something we could all do with) twelve images by local artists were selected and printed using the risograph printing process. The result is a quirky and beautiful calendar at an affordable £10. Alternatively an artist-made book would be in a similar price bracket. Prints generally range from about £15-£100. Have a look at the ‘CHRISTMAS’ section on the website for more ideas.
17 Monpelier Place, BN1 3BF
This well-established print shop have just opened up their Xmas Knees Up exhibition, with plenty of Christmas cards and smaller gifts as well as the more expensive framed pieces. As you walk in you’ll notice a bizzarre vending machine standing by the entrance. Pop two pound coins in and you can take away a mutated toy monster in a plastic ball. Not advisable for sensitive children’s stockings. Then there are all the prints to choose from, whether you’re after something fun and silly like a Graham Carter screenprint; a colourful Maria Rivans collage; or a surreal drawing by Kate McMorrine. As with LMNOP, the website is comprehensive and easy to navigate.
96 North Rd, BN1 1YE
IO is divided into an upstairs with mainly crafts and jewellery, and a downstairs where you can find prints and drawings. There are plenty of affordable things here that would serve well as unusual Christmas presents, plus a conveniently-positioned framing shop straight opposite where frames can be prepared in under a week. IO may not have the most user-friendly website, but the shop is well worth popping into on your way through the lanes.
39 Sydney street, BN1 4EP
Good luck and Merry Christmas!