Heavy horse procession will bring British Art Show to Norwich

British Art Show 8 is coming to Norwich this summer. 2. Heavy horses at work: horses of this type wi

British Art Show 8 is coming to Norwich this summer. 2. Heavy horses at work: horses of this type will feature in Alan Kane’s performance piece, The History Train. Image courtesy of Norfolk Museums Service - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

Norfolk's agricultural heritage is to be celebrated in a special procession announcing the arrival of a major contemporary art event in Norwich.

British Art Show 8 (BAS8) is heading to the city in June, and more than 100 works of art are set to be delivered to their exhibition venues by a procession of six horse-drawn carts on Saturday, June 18.

The procession – which is being called The History Train – is the idea of Great Yarmouth-based artist Alan Kane.

It will see the heavy horses travel through the city centre and deliver crates full of art to BAS8 hosts Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the Forum.

The visual spectacle will be reminiscent of heavy horse processions from days gone by and a time when horses were used to work the land and for transport.

In 1908 the first Norwich and District Horse Parade was organised for horses employed within a six-mile radius of the Guildhall.

It saw farmers, builders, brewers, butchers, coal and coke merchants all represented.

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Mr Kane said: 'The horses and their tack and wagons never fail to draw a gasp from almost everyone when they are on show or working.

'Here we will be celebrating the very newest art from Britain by delivering it in one of the most traditional and spectacular ways imaginable, making an art history and transport-history collision.' To add to the spectacle of this modern-day procession, the horses will have their leather harnesses adorned with horse brasses that have been specially made by Mr Kane from designs submitted by the public.

Neil Powell, pro-vice chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts, said: 'The procession of heavy horses that launches British Art Show 8 is a great way for the city of Norwich and the wider community to have a sense of shared ownership for this extraordinary contemporary art show.

'The procession marks a unique opportunity for everyone in the region to experience a major national touring exhibition and helps to reaffirm the commitment of the university, Norwich Castle and the city to supporting creative excellence by hosting cutting-edge contemporary shows.'

The History Train is sponsored by intu Chapelfield, with support from Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council.

More specific details about the procession will be announced nearer the time.

Do you have an arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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