Thursday, 4 June 2015

Norwich 20 Group Back Underground – The Undercroft – opens June 9

Untitled by Rebecca Kemp (screen print)

Norwich 20 Group (N20G) is making a return visit to The Undercroft, beneath Norwich War Memorial (entrance at The Guildhall end), with Norwich 20 Group Back Underground from Tuesday, June 9 to Saturday, June 27, open daily 12noon to 5pm, free entry.

This exhibition of new large works and 3D installations follows Norwich 20 Group’s successful first visit to The Undercroft in March 2014, during the group’s 70th anniversary year.

Forty N20G artists, plus three invited artists who work in installation media, Viv Castleton, Ivan Chambers and Lloyd Smith, are producing work specially for the exhibition. Ivan Chambers and Lloyd Smith graduated from Norwich University of the Arts last summer.

There will be work from both long-serving and newer members; Geoffrey Lefever, an abstract artist, joined the group in 1965, Frank Pond (age 90) who has been a member since the early 1980s and David Lakshmanasamy, who produces 3D installations, has just joined N20G after serving one year as a licentiate member*.

An evening fundraising event, The Language of Love – Sound Underground, featuring music and poetry is being staged in The Undercroft on Friday, June 26 from 7pm to 9pm. The event is free to attend, with a retiring collection for The Norwich Centre and Norfolk based charity Nepal in Need.

Poetry from N20G’s 2009 exhibition Voicing Visions, Artists and Poets Collaborate, will feature in the Sound Underground event. Poetry panels from the exhibition will also be included in the Back Underground exhibition.

One of the poems is The Hand by Bill Jervis, inspired by the late David Holgate’s sculpture of Julian of Norwich at Norwich Cathedral. Bill’s evocative and thoughtful poem reflects on the transience of life and the eternal nature of sculpture.

The piece will endure, linger long time
Connecting our living to eternity

from The Hand, Bill Jervis

Frances Martin, curator of Norwich 20 Group Back Underground, who is also exhibiting in the show said: “The Undercroft is a superb venue for the larger pieces and installations, which would not normally be included in our annual shows at The Forum. I am very pleased that so many of our members are getting involved and contributing new work.”

“One of the more reflective pieces by Viv Castleton, called Labour of Love, considers the impact of dementia on a loved one. The textile work in knitted wire and wood asks the viewer to consider how we communicate other than visually or verbally.”

“Our Sound Underground event will perfectly complement the main show. It has been a pleasure to revisit the Voicing Visions exhibition and breathe new life into the poems written for that show.”

N20G member Andy Reeve is running an 'Art Surgery' in The Undercroft on Saturday, June 13 from 12noon to 5pm.  He will be offering advice on art education and related matters. Andy explained: “Are you thinking of going to Art School? Do you worry about qualifications, finance, portfolio preparation? Head to
The Undercroft on June 13 for a chat and I will answer your questions.”

N20G is returning to Norwich Theatre Royal for an exhibition curated by Sarah Cannell, opening on July 22, featuring smaller works on paper.

Norwich 20 Group

N20G was founded in 1944 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 installation.

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.

* Every year, up to four graduates from Norwich University of the Arts are invited to become licentiate members, and exhibit with the group for 12 months, after which they are eligible to be elected as full members.