Great Yarmouth artists stage annual display

Lesley Storey, president of the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists who are holding their

Lesley Storey, president of the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists who are holding their annual exhibition at the library.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Surging seas, local landmarks, quirky canvases - and for the first time life drawings - are among colourful works on display at one of Norfolk's oldest artistic society's annual exhibition.

Sketches and paintings of the nude human form have been added to Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists' autumn offering as members seek to stretch themselves and perfect their skills.

Chairman Lesley Storey, 45, said classes had been introduced this year in a bid to offer something different and to challenge artists in the specialist branch they could all learn together.

More than 60 works have been hung in Yarmouth library's galleries ahead of a preview tonight and public opening tomorrow, Saturday.

Among those exhibiting is former Yarmouth CID chief Rickie Botwright.

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He said he was delighted to be accepted as a member of the society which is known for its high standards.

Dark, surging seas have become his signature having pared down his palette to just five shades because of his colour-blindness.

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Mr Botwright who comes from a family of fishermen and was himself a Royal Marine has four oil paintings in the exhibition, depicting the four seasons.

Meanwhile Rachel Thomas, who is well-known for her port work, said she had been captivated by chairs this year - all four of her works inviting the viewer to take a seat.

One of her vibrant works depicts an empty upstairs room in the Star and Garter pub in Hall Quay, the bustling town and quay visible in the world beyond.

Works in the exhibition must be original and not seen on display for at least ten years.

Veteran member Julian Macey is among those displaying older works from his vast archive - all pencil drawings completed on location.

John Applegate has contributed gentle Norfolk scenes in oils alongside former chairman Margaret Carver who works in watercolour and pastel capturing the watery tranquillity of the mill-dotted Broads.

Mrs Storey said choosing how to hang the paintings and in what order was a real conundrum with each artist needing to be seen in the best light next to works that complemented them and helped the display to flow.

The society was established in 1927 and membership is at its lowest level for years.

Twenty-one artists currently meet once a month, but old age has taken some of the most loyal members and more are needed to guarantee its future.

However the variety and skill of those that remain meant that this year's 88th exhibition had all the makings of a successful event.

'I think we have a fantastic mix,' Mrs Storey said. 'We have every possible subject and medium and something for everybody. It really shows off the high standard and talent we have in the town.'

Most of the paintings are for sale, with prices ranging from £70 to £1440.

The exhibition runs from Saturday October 3 to 10, 10-4pm, most days with artists on hand at various times to explain their work and guide visitors.

To find out more or to join the society email

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