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Eastern Open winners revealed as exhibition opens at King’s Lynn Arts Centre

PUBLISHED: 19:17 13 October 2013 | UPDATED: 19:17 13 October 2013

Start of the Eastern Open exhibition 2013 at the King's Lynn Arts Centre - Megan Nurse looks at the selected works on show. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Start of the Eastern Open exhibition 2013 at the King's Lynn Arts Centre - Megan Nurse looks at the selected works on show. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2013

The waiting was over for the cream of East Anglia’s art world, as the winners of the prestigious Eastern Open were announced.

Some 597 visual artists from across the region entered paintings, photographs, drawings and postcards in the 44th open.

Just 75 works were chosen by the judges to go on show in King’s Lynn Arts Centre’s four galleries.

Liz Falconbridge, chief executive of the King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust, said while the standard of entries was high, those visiting the show would find plenty of surprises.

“I’ve had a wonderful time with the hanging of it this year,” she said. “I got landed with 75 pictures I knew nothing about.

“I get these pictures and I have to work out how best to display them all. I try to make links, little story lines between them.

“Some are very big and very striking. Others are very small, but the small pieces can be just as impressive.

“We have a pool of artists who enter, year in and year out. It’s a huge undertaking.”

Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member with West Norfolk council, one of the event’s many supporters, said: “There’s such a variety, which makes it a very interesting exhibition. I know the judges have had a difficult job.”

Judges noted a resurgence in the art of drawing this year, including works in pencil, charcoal and ink.

Images in the three main galleries ranged from a view of Platform 2A, at Ely Station, to a surreal tree hung with tyres and a china horse with a broccoli floret grafted onto its hind leg.

Postcards included landscape drawings of familiar scenes, a saucy sun-bather, a man with a headdress made from haddock and a dancing wheelbarrow and garden tools.

At the official opening of the exhibition, on Saturday, awards totalling £4,000 were presented to 15 artists.

Mike Harding, from Salhouse, won the GMC Best in Show and £2,000 for his photograph Radiation Tester.

Lee Madgwick, from Ely, won the Wyss Foundation Award and £1,000 for his oil and acrylic painting The Swings.

Gary Lawrence, from Wethersfield, in Essex, won the Wendy George Memorial Drawing Award and £250 for his ballpoint drawing Cruise of a Lifetime.

The exhibition is open at the Arts Centre, in King Street, until Saturday, November 30 (10am - 5pm, 11am - 4pm after November 1).

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