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Watch how Norwich’s Henry Layte conducts Cromer’s sea from the top of a step ladder

PUBLISHED: 17:46 11 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:46 11 June 2017

Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Spectators grab their deckchairs ahead of the performance. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Spectators grab their deckchairs ahead of the performance. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

Archant

It is not your usual beach day sight but that didn’t stop dozens of visitors flocking to Cromer’s beach to sit back, relax, and watch as the sea was conducted as part of a unique arts event.

Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP. Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

Wearing a black tailcoat and bowler hat, Henry Layte, proprietor of Norwich’s Book Hive and Propolis Books publisher, took his post on top of a step ladder placed into the water’s edge at the town’s East beach.

It was all part of an inaugural event being staged by new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer - a new non-profit arts organisation providing art, events and publishing, on the north Norfolk coast.

Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP. Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

Gary Clark lives locally and brought his family along to watch the event. He said: “It’s very fitting to the atmosphere here on the beach. We all think it’s marvellous.”

Another spectator who came across the event by chance, tourist Anna Hill, said: “What a unique thing to do. It’s not a sight I was expecting to see, that’s for sure, but quirky nonetheless.

Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Everyone enjoying the performance. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP. Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. Everyone enjoying the performance. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

“Everyone seems to be having a good time and it’s certainly attracted a lot of attention while I’ve been sitting here.

“The children all seem to be having a great time too.”

Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. The crowds turn out to watch. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP. Henry Layte conducts the sea on Cromer's East beach to launch new arts venture, Kunsthalle Cromer. The crowds turn out to watch. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

The performance itself was a re-enactment of a 1967 happening and was directed by arts writer and academic Sarah Lowndes, who has recently moved to Norfolk with her husband, Turner Prize winning artist Richard Wright.

The Sea Concert (The Panoramic Sea Happening) by Tadeusz Kantor was first staged at Osieki on the Polish coast, with conceptual artist Edward Krasiski, who also dressed in a black tailcoat and conducted the waves from a stepladder while being watched by spectators in deckchairs.

While many of the weekend’s viewers took advantage of the supplied deckchairs at the free event, many others also brought their own. And as Mr Layte conducted, children enjoyed dancing around him and splashing in the sea.

- Find out more about Kunsthalle Cromer via Twitter @KnsthllCromer, Instagram ‘kunsthallecromer’, or by searching for Kunsthalle Cromer on Facebook.

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