Four reasons why Norfolk is at the artistic forefront

Official unveiling of Antony Gormley's 3X Another Time sculptures at the University of East Anglia.

Official unveiling of Antony Gormley's 3X Another Time sculptures at the University of East Anglia. Antony Gormley with his sculpture. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

From centuries-old art to the most cutting edge, from world-famous artists to those who quietly create work away from the limelight, our region is home to a rich and varied visual arts scene.

The double portrait of Amelia Opie by John Opie, which writer Ann Farrant is trying to raise funds t

The double portrait of Amelia Opie by John Opie, which writer Ann Farrant is trying to raise funds to buy for Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Photo: Lander Gallery, Truro. - Credit: Lander Gallery, Truro

Alongside adding colour to our world, it provokes debate, celebrates our heritage, flies the flag for us on the national stage, and encourages visitors to explore the place we call home, and in this month's column I will focus on four visual arts events.

Firstly, the new Sir Antony Gormley installation at University of East Anglia – 3x ANOTHER TIME.

Featuring three figures, including two on top of buildings, it has divided opinion – with some excited about the major coup of having the renowned artist's work on display and others alarmed because they believe the works are insensitive to those with mental health issues.

It is extremely important such serious concerns are voiced, but it is also important to highlight the artist's intention is for the figures to be 'about life, not about death' and about new horizons. Before forming your opinion, go see 3x ANOTHER TIME for yourself. I'm sure the work of such a major artist will attract many visitors from further afield to do the same.

Ella Thomson takes a close look at Rush, the rushes and acorns head piece by Johanne Couldrey at the

Ella Thomson takes a close look at Rush, the rushes and acorns head piece by Johanne Couldrey at the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios preview exhibition. PICTURE: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant


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The next event takes us back to the 18th century - a fundraiser has been set up to raise £10,500 for a 1799 portrait of Amelia Opie for Norwich Castle. More than just a beautiful painting, it is a portrait of an important Norwich citizen - a novelist and campaigner - and its acquisition will help ensure her story is told for a long time to come.

Meanwhile this week artists are displaying work at Norwich's The Forum to give people a taste of Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios which starts on May 27. The exhibition highlights the brilliant variety of talented artists in Norfolk, and suggests NNOS visitors are in for a treat this year.

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Finally, a major exhibition opens this weekend at Houghton Hall in north Norfolk. EARTH SKY: Richard Long at Houghton sees the Turner Prize-winning artist present site-specific works in the historic landscape. It is another example of our region attracting the attention of major artists.

To donate to the Amelia Opie campaign, call The Friends of the Norwich Museums on 01508 578353.

Earth Sky is the new Richard Long exhibition at Houghton Hall. Pictured is A Line in Norfolk. Pictur

Earth Sky is the new Richard Long exhibition at Houghton Hall. Pictured is A Line in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

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