Norfolk artists open their studios

Tomorrow sees the launch of Norfolk Open Studios, when artists across the county will be opening up their workspaces to visitors. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at four artists who are taking part.

Now in its 17th year, Norfolk Open Studios runs from tomorrow until June 5.

There will be a host of events and workshops taking place, and members of the public will be able to follow art trails to watch the artists at work.

The trails are spread right across the county and include east Norfolk and the Broads, Glaven Valley, Norwich over the Water, Mattishall and Welborne, The Fake, Kettle and Stone, Aylmerton to Holt and Castle Acre.

For a brochure or for more information on the artists who are taking part – and events that are being held as part of the festival – visit the website at www.norfolkopenstudios.org.uk


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Her studio is full of wool in every conceivable colour and the creation she is working on is vibrant and rich with texture. Rug-maker Anna Martin works from a small wooden hut in a garden, bordering the River Yare, at Colney.

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Here, on the outskirts of Norwich, she works on commissioned pieces, weaving her magic to create unique items, specially designed for individual spaces and tastes.

Anna, 28, is one of the few independent rug-makers in Britain.

'I love the depth I can achieve with rugs, the wonderful colours and textures that can be used,' she said. 'Each one is unique and can be very personal in its design. Making a rug is a very satisfying process.'

For more information about Anna's work visit www.annamartinrugs.co.uk

Landscape artist Shane Hyde has only started using paints relatively recently but he is already becoming known for his colourful landscapes of Norfolk.

Shane, 38, who lives at Kettlestone, near Fakenham, paints in an impressionist style, having only picked up a brush after years of being passionate about art.

'I have always been drawn to the creative but for a long time was scared of using paints,' he admitted.

Then, about five years ago, he was asked to do some voluntary work, painting murals for a community project at Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands, using household paints. And the piece he created was so successful that he was commissioned to do another, 70 feet long.

'That gave me more confidence. I started to get all sorts of commissions and realised I could work with paint and that there was potential there for me,' he said.

For more information on Shane's work visit his website at www.shanehyde.co.uk

Sculptor Berni Marfleet has always been intrigued by how we dispose of our waste – and he believes we should be more creative about it. Now he makes use of some waste items himself, putting together incredible and intricate works of art from items that are broken or have been discarded.

'I have worked with clay and pottery since I was in my 20s but it was always a hobby really – I didn't go to art school,' said Berni, 60.

'For years I was a town planner. I worked at Norfolk County Council from 1985, where I was head of planning and transportation. I have also always been fascinated with what we throw away and how we regard the waste we create.'

So about 12 years ago, Berni started making his own creations from waste, putting together unwanted items and scraps to make objects of interest and fun.

For more information on Berni Marfleet's work visit his website at www.bernimarfleetsculptures.org.uk

There is something about the Fens that Rebecca Hearle finds fascinating – and keeps her out there trying to capture the beauty of the area through her artwork.

Rebecca, who largely works in the medium of linocut, lives at Walpole Cross Keys, near King's Lynn, and will be inviting members of the public to find out more about her passion during Norfolk Open Studios.

'I wanted the opportunity to meet people who might be interested in my work,' she said. 'I would like to tell them more about what I do, and why I find the Fens so inspirational, and to show people that there is quite a lot of process to what I do.'

For more information on Rebecca's work visit www.rebeccahearleprintmaker.co.uk

To find out more about Norfolk Open Studios and the artists see the arts special in the EDP Sunday supplement in tomorrow's bumper EDP.

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