It has been ages since the last update as I have been working a lot in King’s Lynn where there are lots of exciting things developing and busy with a number of projects in the first part of the year including new editions of Art in Norwich and Music in Norwich, but now I am back and excited by a number of new events coming up this week and lasting through May. This is going to be a long read I’m afraid and it's taken a few days to pull it all together so I hope you get it in time for the weekend.
This week, everyone has been excited about the Norwich City Football promotion which will be great for Norwich in many ways and has certainly given the city a lift already. But there is more going on in the city centre this week and next.
Norwich City of Stories
This week Norwich BID and Visit Norwich rebranded their organisations and also launched a new brand for the city too, building on the UNESCO City of Literature and the City of Stories campaign. The brand is intended to help everyone who loves Norwich to tell other people about the city through the stories of the city and their own stories – everyone has a story to tell and Norwich has many, both historical and contemporary. It is a good theme to work with and will help enable people to get to know the inner depths of this multi-layered city. The new brand launched on Tuesday 7 May with a brass band parading the city streets and a new poem dedicated to the City of Stories called 'What is a Norwich' which you can hear here. You can also find out all about the City of Stories campaign and how you can get involved here. https://www.cityofstories.co.uk/a-new-brand-for-norwich
The Norfolk & Norwich Festival is preparing for its big public launch event today in the city centre as circus artist Chris Bullzini undertakes a daring tight-ropewalking act - he will go on a 230-metre-long balance from Jarrold’s department store across Norwich Market, to the top of The Forum, on a journey celebrating Norwich, its history and its people. It’s a free event and crowds of people are expected. It starts at 9pm so get there in good time. I am not sure I will be able to watch – it is mad! https://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/what-s-on/n-n-festival-2019-tighrope-walk-norwich-1-6040181
The launch kicks off a whole 17 days of events - so much so that I don’t know where to start. They are packed throughout the days and evenings with lots of free events. I’ll be attending events and will be blogging plus letting you know about good events to attend so follow me on www.theshiftnorwich.org.uk or on Facebook group @makingnorwichUKcityofculture or on Twitter @norwichcultcity. You should also follow the Norfolk & Norwich Festival Twitter feed@NNFest for updates as well as their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NNFestival/
Also part of the Festival is the Norwich City of Literature weekend Friday 24-Sunday 26 May programmed by the National Centre for Writing with a whole host of literary events, some at Dragon Hall and some in the Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens in the centre of Norwich. Again too much to list all but some highlights are the Harriet Martineau Lecture with Sarah Perry and also on 21 May the wonderful Ali Smith appears at Norwich Playhouse. Tickets for this show from nnfestival.org.uk or 01603 766400
W.G. Sebald exhibitions
Timed to be part of the Festival are also two linked exhibitions dedicated to Max (WG) Sebald, a writer and lecturer at UEA who was much-loved before his untimely death in 2001. This year would have been his 75th birthday and so Norwich Castle and the Sainsbury Centre have brought together a duo of exhibitions to celebrate his life and work. Although many people in Norwich may not know much about him, he was a very well-respected international author and these exhibitions are a great opportunity to find out more about him.
Sebald was born in Germany in 1944 and relocated to Norfolk to become Lecturer at the University of East Anglia in 1970. In the space of a decade, Sebald underwent a meteoric rise from unknown academic to internationally celebrated writer, winning numerous awards before his premature death in 2001.
He is primarily known for his four novels that he described as ‘prose fiction’, Vertigo (1990), The Emigrants (1992), The Rings of Saturn (1995) and Austerlitz (2001). His literature explores history, memory, loss, identity and what it meant to be German in the wake of the Second World War. The exhibition at the Castle is sponsored by East Anglian Art Fund and The BookHive. The Book Hive, Norwich ‘s independent bookshop in London Street has a special interest with bookshop owner Henry having published Ariadne’s Thread – a book written by Philippa Comber about Sebald’s transition as a writer. The Book Hive is running a Sebald Book Club through the summer – find out about it here – you can buy a membership with or without a set of Sebald books https://www.thebookhive.co.uk/shop/
The two exhibitions are:
W.G. Sebald: Far away – but from where?
Sainsbury Centre, UEA 11 May – 18 August 2019
Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7TJ
Lines of Sight: W.G. Sebald’s East Anglia
An exhibition celebrating the work of the author W.G. Sebald
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
10 May 2019 – 5 January 2020
The exhibition includes many photographs and artefacts relating to one of Sebald’s most well-known books The Rings of Saturn, a prose fiction which traced a walking journey around the Suffolk coastline, starting on the train in Norwich and returning there some months later. The book is slow, walking pace even and pensive. I started to read it many years ago and didn’t finish but this exhibition has inspired me to try again. I found this article in the New Yorker very illuminating and helpful.
Looking around the exhibition today, it is clear that he was writing and taking photographs of even the smallest incident or detail - a kind of collector of life, a documenter or recorder of minutiae. He started writing as an escape from academic writing, his job, sadly curtailed by his early death from a heart attack resulting in a car accident at 57. Anyway, he is clearly someone that should be better valued and celebrated in Norwich and hopefully these exhibitions will bring him more clearly into the public eye and heart as he was evidently very much loved and respected at UEA. I’ll let you know about the Sainsbury Centre exhibition in the next missive as it opens on Saturday.
Also at Norwich Castle (and other venues around the city centre) as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival artist Will Teather is exhibiting his amazing painted globes, three dimensional scenarios. Very clever and show Will's skill as an artist. He is also doing a talk and a workshop - details below.
Saturday 11 May – Sunday 1 September
Globes Across Norwich City Centre
Artist talk, Wednesday 22 May, 2pm, Norwich Castle, included in museum admission.
Artist workshop, Wednesday 22 May, 3pm, Norwich Castle, included in museum admission, but spaces are limited, call 01603 493625 to book your space. More info
East Gallery NUA
Anthony Caro : Iron in the Soul at NUA East Gallery 8 May to 20 July
Sadly I missed the preview of this exhibition which opened earlier this week at the East Gallery in St Andrew’s Street with a piece in St George’s Street outside the main entrance to the University of the Arts. A post-war artist, Caro was internationally-renowned, working for many years until his death in 2013. The exhibition includes 20 pieces that have not previously been on public view spanning from 1951-2011. Monumental pieces with bright colours, Caro was a 1960s revolutionary who changed the face of gallery sculpture. The exhibition is curated by Neil Powell of NUA.
Henry Moore at Houghton Hall 1 May – 29 September 2019
Further afield, a new exhibition has opened at Houghton Hall, near King’s Lynn - it’s a set of sculpture by Henry Moore, curated by Sebastiano Barassi and the Henry Moore Foundation. The exhibition shows the link between Moore’s work and his observation of nature and natural forms. I spent a very happy few hours there last week and also at the pop-up art and craft show Norfolk by Design which is in the Old Stables. I have written a review with some photos here. It is highly recommended as you can buy a ticket to tour the house, the permanent outdoor sculpture collection as well as Moore and Norfolk by Design.
The Edge of Things at Blickling 17 May-27 October 2019
If you like large stately homes then the National Trust Blickling Estate also has a new exhibition starting 17 May called The Edge of Things. Following on from their very successful and dramatic The Word Defiant last year, they are continuing to work with their book collection, this time with artists Neville Gabie and Joan Gabie. Looking through a contemporary lens, the artists bring to life four books exploring lost language and the edge of science, space and discovery.
Find out more at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling or on Twitter and Instagram @BlicklingNT Facebook @BlicklingEstateNT
GroundWork Gallery, 17 Purfleet, King’s Lynn
GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn also has an exhibition which opened in March. GroundWork specialises in environmental art and this current exhibition is called Water Rising, concentrating on the effects of rising water levels and runs to 1 June 2019.
Curator Veronica Sekules is running two events next week – a one-day conference on 17 May (details and booking here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/water-rising-art-innovation-change-and-development-tickets-59087414046
and a Creative Writing Masterclass with Patricia Mullen on Monday 20 May 10am-4pm
A Journey Through Water exploring Poetic Geography
Bring lunch and your preferred notebook and pens but tea, coffee and materials are provided. £45, students and under 25s £25
Find out more https://www.groundworkgallery.com/
Open Studios and Harleston & Waveney Art Trail
Many other exhibitions start during May including the Harleston and Waveney Art Trail and Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios which sees artists studios all over Norfolk opening their doors over weekends. It is a great opportunity to buy work and also see how artists do what they do, and maybe you will also be inspired to have a go yourself. You can pick up one of the yellow brochures from many places around the county and also download a map here
Fairhurst Gallery, OUTPOST, The Hostry and Mandell’s Gallery also have new exhibitions – you can find out about these and more at www.artinnorwich.org.uk or by perusing the ISSUU version of the booklet here.
We’ve talked a lot about visual art but there’s lots of music coming up too. The Norfolk & Norwich Festival has a full programme of classical music including the Radio 3 New Generation Artists – young up and coming musicians as well as more established performers such as Britten Sinfonia playing Beethoven with renowned conductor Thomas Ades, Rachel Podger and Tenebrae with more contemporary musicians – keyboard player and organist Kit Downes returns to his native Norwich, and also not to miss, vibrant entertainer Chilly Gonzales, Norwegian jazz pianist Tord Gustavsen Trio and Venezuelan singer Nella Rojas. There is really too much to mention here so best to check out the Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme here at www.nnfestival.org.uk
Music in Norwich
The Festival dominates the music in May but there are many other great concerts including the Russian Philharmonic at Theatre Royal on 19 May, Mozart Orchestra on Saturday 11th May – for other concerts please check www.musicinnorwich.org.uk
Tuesday 14 May St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth
Creative Centres Summit: Exploring Creating Great Places in Changing Times
Following on from last year’s very successful Creative Places Summit about artist spaces which brought together people who run artists’ spaces from all over the UK. This time the focus is on changes to the high street. The Creative Centres Summit will explore the changing nature of town centres and high streets and the role of creatives (individuals and organisations) in creating great places in this dynamic environment.
Keynote Speech by Bill Grimsey
Setting the scene - how and why the high street has changed so dramatically and rapidly as well as predictions for more changes to come. Bill Grimsey worked his way up from a butcher's boy in a local department store to being head of Iceland food stores and has earned a well-founded reputation as a turnaround specialist. He recently wrote the Grimsey Review, highlighting that radical transformation is required if our high streets are to have any chance of survival. www.vanishinghighstreet.com
There are many more speakers and it will be a great value day. It is programmed by Kaavous Clayton of originalprojects; who has organised this summit as part of Making Waves Together, a Creative People and Places project funded by the National Lottery.
Book via eventbrite reduced price tickets for residents at £20, full price £40
Also by originalprojects;
'At the End of Lines' 11 May to 13 July 2019, noon to 6pm
An exhibition of paintings made in Norwich and Great Yarmouth in 2019.
originalprojects; have taken over the former Marks & Spencer store in the middle of Great Yarmouth and are starting to programme exhibitions. It is called Ex Marks the Spot and I would suggest that we all watch this space in the coming months. End of the Lines involves 29 artists from Norwich and Great Yarmouth, with many well-known names exhibiting alongside newer artists and is part of Making Waves Together, a Creative People and Places project funded by the National Lottery. With thanks to National Lottery Players.
Thanks also to support from the East Anglia Art Fund.
Into Opera are currently recruiting for two roles in Norfolk:
Norfolk Into Opera Festival Coordinator
Deadline Saturday 11th May.
More job opportunities
Norfolk Arts Forum has a whole list of job opportunities with some great roles in arts and culture. Rather than list them here, here is a link to the latest newsletter and jobs.
That's all for now as I need to send it out before it all goes out of date, but stand by for more next week.
PS Just to be clear and upfront, I don't get paid to write any of this, it is just me sharing what I know about. I sometimes get invited to previews and launches and that enables me to know more and so I can write better guidance. If you want me to send something out let me know and I will if I can. Also follow me on Facebook @marioncatlin @artinnorwich @musicinnorwich
Twitter @norwichcultcity @marionofnorwich @artinnorwich @musicinnorwich
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