Norfolk artists transform Stoke Ferry church into a riot of colour

All Saints Painters at Stoke Ferry - From left, Patsy Hood, Frank Logan, Anne Wormack, Isobel Bartho

All Saints Painters at Stoke Ferry - From left, Patsy Hood, Frank Logan, Anne Wormack, Isobel Bartholomew, Shelia O'Brien and Derek Lloyd. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Six artists have brought an explosion of colour to a redundant church in the heart of the Fens.

All Saints Painters, whose ranks also include a potter, are staging a two-week exhibition at Stoke Ferry Church.

They have been loaned the 15th century building, with its Great Hall and hammerbeam ceiling, by its owner, the comedy performer and composer Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

Mr Hesketh-Harvey, who lives nearby, has conserved the imposing church for use by the village community and performs there from time to time.

Facilities are basic, but light streams through the windows flanking the hall, where more than 100 paintings and are on display along with ceramics.

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'Kit Hesketh-Harvey, who's our patron, kindly lets us have it every year,' said Northwold-based artist Patsy Hood, who has organised the annual show for the last six years. 'It's a beautiful venue, we love to use it, it's so airy and light.

'I started the Northwold Art Group in 2006.

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'Several people joined that and we decided to get together and do an exhibition and that's how it started.'

As well as Mrs Hood's watercolour landscapes and drawings, the exhibition features botanical studies by the RHS medal winning illustrator Isobel Bartholemew; contemporary mixed media flowers and landscapes by Anne Wormack; watercolours by Sheila O'Brien; oil paintings and pastel portraits by Derek Lloyd; and burnished smoked and glazed stoneware pottery by Frank Logan.

As well as original works by all six artists, there are prints and postcards on sale, along with a book compiled of old black and white postcards of Stoke Ferry and its surrounds.

The exhibition is open daily in the church, on the High Street, from 10am-5pm, from tomorrow until Sunday, June 2. Admission is free.

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