Review: It’s Happening in Norwich at Elm Hill

Norfolk and Norwich Festival' N sculptures at The Forum. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival' N sculptures at The Forum. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Getting a sneaky peak into Norwich's secret places is often a Festival perk. This year, Polish film makers Janek Turkowski and Iwona Nowacka have decided to house their work in one of the Merchant's Houses on Elm Hill. What a treat.

Last year, the duo teamed up to make Margarete – a portrait of East German life during the 1950s and 60s. The material was gleaned from a market in Berlin, where they found a set of private 8mm films.

This year they have repeated the format, using the work of Norfolk man Charles Scott, an amateur film-maker who recorded his observations of Norwich over a forty year period from the 1930's.

As it turns out, his work is only a jumping-off point for a series of observations, both by the pair and by various helpers, who explore different locations in the city through a camera's eye. As their collective video journey winds its way back to the venue on Elm Hill, they cleverly shift the focus. It's suddenly as if the place is watching us, and not the other way around. Informative and claustrophobic, this intimate work creates an intense atmosphere.

Eve Stebbing

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• It's Happening in Norwich runs until Sunday, May 29 as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. For more information and to book tickets, visit or call the box office on 01603 766400.

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