Wednesday, 26 March 2014

New at Fairhaven Garden – Access for All Afloat in the Norfolk Broads

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, in the Norfolk Broads, will be offering boat trips for the first time for visitors in wheelchairs from Mother’s Day, Sunday, March 30.

The Fairhaven Garden Trust has purchased a wheelchair accessible boat for £20,000, supported by a £2,000 grant from Geoffrey Watling Charity. The boated named Primula, after the garden’s famous candelabra primulas, can take up to 12 passengers and will run alongside existing boat Primrose.

Twenty-minute boat trips run daily from Mother’s Day to the end of October on Fairhaven’s private broad and South Walsham Outer Broad. Fifty-minute excursions are also offered every day at 12noon and 2.30pm down the river to St. Benet's Abbey. Visitors can see local wildlife including kingfishers, grebes and swans and possibly an otter and find out about the history of the local area. Short boat trips cost £3.75 adult and £2.75 child and St Benet’s Abbey is adult £6.75 and child £4.75.

John Brownlee with driver, Peter Smith
Louise Rout, Manager Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “Purchasing Primula has fulfilled our long held ambition to offer access for all afloat. We hope that our friends and members, along with visitors to the Broads, will enjoy this additional facility and get close to nature out on the water. I would like to thank Geoffrey Watling Charity for their support and also would like thank JB Boats who sold Primula to us.”

Barbara Greasely, Chairman Broads Tourism and Director Norfolk Boads Direct said: “Almost two years ago I had a fall and badly broke my leg. This resulted in me being in a wheelchair for a short time. It wasn’t until that point that I realised how vulnerable and left out people in wheelchairs can feel. It really is true that people tend to speak to the person pushing you.”

“My first outing after coming out of hospital was to Fairhaven. My husband pushed me around the accessible paths, but I would have loved a boat trip out on the broad. I am really delighted that Fairhaven now has a passenger boat suitable for wheelchair users. This really is a great asset to the Broads tourism offer and I would like to congratulate Louise and her team for their persistence in bringing this great facility to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.”

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, t. 01603 270449,,

The garden is open daily all year 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day and closes 4pm during the winter), also open Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August. Entry is £6.10 adult, £5.60 concessions and £3.60 child (under 5 free). Free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and boat trips (additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available.

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

City Frames Gallery – New Norwich Art Gallery Opens with Norwich 20 Group Show

City Frames Gallery on Hall Road, a new art gallery for Norwich, opens on Friday, March 14 with Seven from Twenty, an exhibition of abstract paintings and sculpture by seven Norwich 20 Group artists.

The exhibition runs from March 14 to May 17, open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm and Saturday, 9.30am to 5.30pm, free entry. City Frames Gallery is at 65b Hall Rd, Norwich NR1 3HL, t. 01603 624932,

Fractured Union by John Rance

Brothers Jeremy and Jon Israel set up City Frames in early 2013 as a picture framing business. Picture framing will continue alongside the art gallery.

Jon Israel said: “We are delighted to be launching our new gallery with an exhibition of abstract work by Norwich 20 Group (N20G) artists. We have offered a permanent ‘home’ to N20G, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and will be running a rolling programme of N20G shows with a new group of artists every two months.”

Artists featured in Seven from Twenty are: Anne Allanson, Martin Battye, Chedgey, Oliver Creed, Michael Horn, Mary Mellor and John Rance.

History Man by Chedgey
N20G was founded by Walter Thomas Watling, art master at CNS, supported by Aileen Law, art teacher at Blyth School and 12 other local artists in 1944.  Stimulated by contemporary art movements, they wanted to raise standards of local professional art to something worthy of Norfolk’s artistic history. N20G now has more than 80 members from across Norfolk.  All aspects of the practice of contemporary fine art are represented, sculpture, print, photography, painting, digital media and installations.

City Frames Gallery caters for the whole spectrum of framing, including conservation work, commercial work, mount cutting and canvas stretching. Anything can be framed e.g. photos, paintings and T-shirts. Recent commissions have featured work for art exhibitions, box frames for shoes and medals and conservation work for Tibetan Thankas.

The gallery is accessible to visitors with disabilities and a number of free one-hour parking bays are available directly outside.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Fairhaven Green Festival andNorfolk Broads Green Boat Show Combine – June 22

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden's Green Festival has joined forces with the Norfolk Broads Green Boat and Tourism Show to stage an action packed day of entertainment and fun environmental activities on land and afloat on Sunday, June 22.

The Green Festival and Green Boat Show at Fairhaven Garden, South Walsham, supported by, will run from 10am to 5pm. Normal entry charges apply on the day: adult £6.10, concessions £5.60 and child £3.60 (under 5 free).

Entertainment includes music from 9 out of 10 cats reduced, The He Hews and St Edmund's Youth Orchestra, The Pedants Revolt Morris Dancers and Stevie Spud’s circus skills workshop.

Pedant's Revolt Morris Dancers
Rutland Pedalcraft, Nancy Oldfield Trust (sailing for visitors with disabilities), Free Spirit Canoe Tours, Broadland Cycle Hire, Burnt Fen Alpacas, Compassion in World Farming, Green Home Energy Solutions, Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, Happy Bee Company, Home Grown Revolution, Master Composters/Gardeners, Norfolk Hedge Baskets, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB, The Broads Society, The English Shepherd's Hut, The North Walsham Dilham Canal Trust and have all booked to attend with more exhibitors to be confirmed in the run up to the event.

Green Boat Show 2013
The Green Boat Show, which has been running since the early 1990s and claims to be the longest running show of its kind in the UK, has moved from Salhouse Broad. Peter Howe one of the organisers said: “Combining the Green Boat Show with the Green Festival will make a bigger, better and more interesting event. The facilities on Fairhaven’s private broad are ideal for demonstrating the advantages of quiet, low-impact boating. Together with the exhibits, food stalls, demonstrations and entertainment in the garden, the event will be a great family day out.”

Louise Rout, Manager Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “Our Green Festival has been a firm family favourite for the last 15 years. It’s a fun event with lots of hands-on activities and promotes business and charities with a ‘green’ focus. Green boating naturally complements our activities on dry land. Our visitors are going to enjoy getting out on the broad in the canoes, dinghies and other environmentally friendly craft.”

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden. Mobility scooters are available. Nancy Oldfield Trust will be providing sailing opportunities for visitors with disabilities on June 22. Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance.

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

Exhibitors who wish to book in their water or land based activity should contact Sue Telford,

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, tel. 01603 270449,

Norwich Artist Anthea Eames Launches Wymondham Arts Centre’s 2014 Season

Anthea Eames - Australian Goldrush triptych - work in progress - to be shown for the first time at Wymondham
Norwich artist Anthea Eames is launching Wymondham Arts Centre's 2014 season with a solo exhibition of abstract work inspired by the African, Australian and Norfolk landscape. The show runs at Becket’s Chapel from Friday, March 21 to Sunday, April 13 and is open daily, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm and Sunday, 12noon to 5pm, free entry.

Anthea’s paintings stem from her continuing relationship with the African, Australian and Norfolk landscape. She has lived in Norfolk for 30 years, but before that worked in Zambia and Nigeria as a teacher and illustrator. Her discovery of Australia is more recent and began when her son emigrated in 2007. A new 10ft x 4ft triptych called Australian Goldrush will be completed for the Wymondham show.

Anthea Eames - Desert Sky

Anthea’s connection with Africa has been renewed over the last two years by leading women’s art workshops at the Chongoni UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dedza, Malawi, part of the Norwich Dedza project. She returns in May and June this year, training women to design greetings cards drawing inspiration from Chongoni’s Stone Age rock art. Video of her work in Malawi will be included in the Wymondham exhibition.

Anthea Eames explained: “I’m really interested in the history of landscape – how human activity has transformed it through time. I do not try to record the subject, but rely on my memory and intuition and imagine that I am looking down on the landscape when I work. I love Norfolk; it’s a wild and beautiful county with gentle colours set under a vast sky, a wonderful contrast to Australia with its intense reds and glowing oranges and deep blue sea.”

“I create multi-layered textured surfaces using the earth itself, gathering red and yellow ochres, sand, chalk and shingle from places that have a particular resonance for me, like Winterton beach in Norfolk or the Chongoni area in Malawi. The process involves grinding and mixing these materials with resins to create my own paints.”

Anthea Eames - Saltmarsh Reflection
Wymondham Arts Centre Director, Arthur Lucas said: “We are privileged to present a solo show by Anthea Eames, as this season’s opening exhibition. It is very exciting for us to exhibit work inspired by three continents, created by one artist. Anthea’s paintings are both literally and figuratively multi-layered, with her richly textured surfaces and deserve close attention. “

Wymondham Arts Centre is at Becket’s Chapel, Church Street, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 0PH, email

Monday, 10 March 2014

Norwich 20 Group – Three 70th Anniversary Exhibitions Open Tuesday, March 18

Norwich 20 Group (N20G) opens three exhibitions in Norwich on Tuesday, March 18 to mark its 70th anniversary.

N20G was founded by Walter Thomas Watling, art master at CNS, supported by Aileen Law, art teacher at Blyth School and 12 other local artists.  Stimulated by contemporary art movements, they wanted to raise standards of local professional art to something worthy of Norfolk’s artistic history.

N20G now has more than 80 members from across Norfolk.  All aspects of the practice of contemporary fine art are represented, sculpture, print, photography, painting, digital media and installations.

Flotilla by Nell Close

20 now 70 – Norwich 20 Group Artists’ 70th Anniversary Exhibition, curated by Amanda Geitner, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, is in the Atrium at The Forum, from March 18 to 31. Visitors can meet N20G artists every day from 10am to 6pm.

20 Group Underground, curated by Frances Martin and featuring larger works, installations, video and sound pieces, is at The Undercroft, Norwich Market from March 18 to 31, 12 noon to 3pm daily.

The Norwich 20 Group - 70 years 1944-2014, an exhibition about the history of the group, curated by Clotilde Wang, is at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell from March 18 to May 24.

A series of talks at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell about the impact of N20G on the cultural life of Norwich has been arranged to complement the exhibition. Former N20G Chairman, Martin Battye, launches the series with Art Matters at 12 noon on Friday, March 28. Tickets for the talk only are £2.60, or free with museum admission, booking essential, t. 01603 629127.

The museum opens Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4.30pm. Last admission is half an hour before closing, adult £4.95, concessions £3.95, young person (5-18) £2.95, family ticket (2 adults and all children) £12, family ticket (one adult and all children) £8.  Museum Pass holders, Friends of Norwich Museums and companion with a disabled visitor free.  Pop in for £1 every day one hour before closing time.

The exhibition at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell includes graphic panels illustrating N20G’s history, a display case featuring documents and artefacts associated with the group and digital projection of past and present members’ art. A leaflet about N20G history will also be available.

Girl with Hat by Ros Newman

Linda Chapman, Norwich 20 Group Chairman said: “Our 70th anniversary is a very important milestone for the group. We are looking forward to sharing our work with friends old and new at The Forum and The Undercroft. I also hope many people take the opportunity to explore the exhibition about our history at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell. I would like to thank Norfolk Museums Service for hosting this exhibition.”

Steve Miller, Head of Norfolk Museums Service said: "As the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell celebrates the very best examples of artistic design and production in the city over centuries, we are delighted to play host to this exhibition which highlights artistic talent and tradition in Norwich."

Over the years N20G has included nationally known artists, for example, Michael Andrews, Bernard Reynolds, Edward Barker, Leslie Davenport, Mary Newcomb, Jeffery Camp RA, and Cavendish Morton. Many current and past members have received patronage, exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Galleries in East Anglia, London and internationally, with works in both private and public collections.  Some have received prestigious awards, including election to the Royal Academy.

N20G has strong links with Norwich's twin cities and has held joint exhibitions with Novi Sad, Rouen, Koblenz and El Viejo.

The group has a licentiate scheme and invites four graduates annually, from Norwich University of the Arts, to become members and exhibit with the group free of charge for one year.

Talks Programme at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell. 
All talks are £2.60 for talk only, or free with museum admission. Booking essential on 01603 6291267. A ticket for all five talks is available at a cost of £10.00.

Friday, March 28 12 noon
Art matters – a perspective on the role, function and outreach of N20G and the perception of the arts in the community.
Martin Battye, N20G Chairman 2011-2013

Friday, April 4 at 12 noon
Memories of the N20G – gives an insight into the development of the group – looking back at the members’ aspirations, difficulties and involvement.
Jane MacKintosh, N20G Chairman 1978-1980

Friday, April 25 at 12noon
The history of the N20G through the archives – tells the story of a unique group of artists in Norfolk from research through several private and public archive collections.
Clotilde Wang, Curator of the exhibition

Friday, May 2 at 12noon
Twin Cities Shows – how and why N20G reached out and collaborated with artists from the Norwich Twinned Cities of Koblenz, Rouen, Novi-Sad and El Viejo.
Barry Watkins, N20G Chairman 2005-2007

Friday, May 16 at 12 noon
About the life drawing workshop – a brief account of the history and purpose of the life drawing workshop which has existed on a drop-in basis for 40 weeks of the year, every year, without interruption for the last 30 years.
Linda Chapman, N20G Chairman 2014