Free exhibition - featuring Henry Moore and David Hockney - to launch new Great Yarmouth art gallery
14:09 15 June 2014
Great Yarmouth’s new commercial art gallery will officially open tomorrow with a free exhibition of original prints by internationally renowned artists.
David Hockney, Henry Moore, Victor Pasmore, and Maggi Hambling are among famous names who will be helping to launch the space at 133 King Street.
Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust has transformed the 18th century former merchant’s house and warehouse, to create the cultural hub close to the newly refurbished St George’s Theatre.
The grade II-listed property was last used as a shop around 15 years ago and was on Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s buildings at risk register due to structural issues.
The gallery will be officially opened on Monday with a special show of prints and paintings on loan from David Case, former director of London’s Marlborough Fine Art Gallery, who is a trustee of the Diss Corn Hall.
Included in the exhibition – Prints at 133 – are works by artists with East Anglian connections such as Maggi Hambling, Michael Carlo and Norman Ackroyd, one of Britain’s most celebrated landscape artists.
Some works will be for sale and any profits will be shared between The Preservation Trust and Diss Corn Hall.
Visitors can also view the rest of the complex which comprises a three-bedroom flat, a single-bed residential unit with studio, and three artists’ studios.
Leading the invitation-only opening will be preservation trust patron, Viscount Coke.
But the free exhibition will open to all from Tuesday, June 17 until Thursday, July 10, on Mondays to Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm.
After the opening exhibition, it is hoped to lease the gallery as an independent commercial enterprise, cementing the district’s reinvention as a vibrant cultural quarter.
Mr Case said: “It’s been a great privilege to be asked to curate this exhibition to mark the official opening of this fabulous new gallery and studios, which will provide a unique and exciting space in which to create and display art, further enhancing the cultural life of Great Yarmouth.
“Artists depicting landscape may not be fashionable, but in Maggi Hambling, Norman Ackroyd and Michael Carlo, I have chosen three excellent exponents, each illustrating an aspect of the East Anglian landscape – water, earth and sky – and each working in a different medium.
“The other part of the exhibition takes me back to my early contact with the art world and the work of Henry Moore and Victor Pasmore, and continues with successive generations, grinding to a standstill before the Britpack artists like Hirst and Emin.”
Trust chairman Bernard Williamson, and the borough council’s cabinet member for transformation and regeneration, said: “This landmark project will both preserve a building at risk and further the regeneration of the historic King Street area.
“An appropriate end use is vital when restoring historic buildings. An art gallery and studios is ideal because it complements King Street’s emerging cultural character and because there is local demand for both a contemporary art gallery and cost-effective studio space.
“The trust is extremely grateful to David Case for loaning and curating this prestigious opening exhibition and also to all the funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.”
The project is part of the £4m Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme, an area-based conservation-led regeneration scheme for the King Street area, whose centrepiece was the refurbishment of the grade I-listed St George’s Theatre, which dates from 1714.
The shop last traded as Skippings, but before that it was owned by draper George Carr.