Fringe at the Factory
Former Bally shoe factory, Hall Road, Norwich
> Former Bally shoe factory, Hall Road, Norwich
Through the placement of everyday items in his Odyssey series of etched pictograms, Colin Self seeks to create narrative; a vinyl record, two critically positioned CDs and a broken set square topped off with a pair of false eyelashes are symbolic of woman in Madonna & Child.
The other fringe patron, Bruce Lacey, exhibits work diametrically opposing in style. His spiritual series of paintings celebrating natural phenomena are experienced in disturbing contrast to the prosthetic limbs and macabre medical mannequins in the Peg Nuclear Family.
Some of the 200 participating artists responded to this year's theme – handbags.
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Particularly noteworthy are Peter Offord's interpretations: a colossal suspended foam bag that subverts the notion of containment and a luscious pink resin offering that positively glows with its own impracticality.
And the portraits by Keith Fox convey the proprietorial relationship of female/handbag with utter believability.
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Lots of other references to the factory's past life inhabit the exhibition. Look out for Andrew Smith's ghostly moulded body print and several resurrected shoe lasts.
Amazingly, Sarah Cannell found time from co-ordinating this major project to produce some covetable stitched and colour-saturated landscapes.
But for sheer emotional impact my favourite piece was a sculpture created from hundreds of ceiling-hung starfish. This celestial collaboration by Liz McGowan and Margie Britz is so profoundly beautiful it dominates the shop floor.
With John Kiki's colourful schematic compositions and Sue Gunn's monumental monochromatic masterpieces, this exhibition is a visual feast.
So make sure you take time to digest or indulge yourself, as I plan to, and go back for a second helping.”
t Fringe at the Factory, showcasing the work of more than 150 local artists, runs at the former Bally shoe factory on HallRoad until October 10. For more information, see www.norwichfringefestival.co.uk