December 19 2013 Latest news:
Main picture: ANTONY KELLY
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The atmospheric paintings by Jane Hodgson put the art into the artisans of north Norfolk’s coastline.
Fishermen strain to bring their catch-laden boats safety ashore in foaming surf before enjoying a hearty breakfast
Reedcutters back-breakingly bend over among the soldier-straight thatching grass they are harvesting.
Oilskin-clad figures pluck mussels and oysters from their beds.
Thatchers balance on ladders and roofs - with a gravity-defying dog for company. The rusty workhorses of the shoreline, the fishermen’s tractors also have their moment of fame on her canvases.
And there is a trip inland to soft fruitpickers - gathering ingredients for jam, or cash to pay for a school rugby trip to New Zealand.
Jane’s Working in North Norfolk collection of pictures is soon to go on show at the Pinkfoot Gallery in Cley and appear, embellished with her words, in an accompanying book.
But her painting career only came about through a near-fatal car crash.
Having trained as a journalist, she was working on a farming paper in New Zealand to fund a round-the-world trip, when the crash put her in hospital for three weeks with terrible injuries.
As she recuperated she returned to the art she had dabbled with as a child, and on her return to England decided to make her home in Norfolk away from London’s traffic jams of “people with grey and strained faces”.
After training at life classes and college in Great Yarmouth she developed her distinct semi- abstract style in oils.
Her work focuses on the coast and its colourful characters, many of whom she has befriended.
The Working North Norfolk exhibition is at the Piinkfoot Gallery in Cley from October 27. Jane, who lives near North Walsham, will be signing copies of the associated book on that opening date from noon.
■See more about Jane’s story in the October edition of the EDP Norfolk Magazine, out now.