Norwich 20 autumn exhibition

Keiron Pim Since its inception in 1944, Norwich's 20 Group has been a focus for the city's artistic talent and it is going strong today, as the forthcoming autumn exhibition at the former Bally Shoe Factory proves.

Keiron Pim

Since its inception in 1944, Norwich's 20 Group has been a focus for the city's artistic talent and it is going strong today, as the forthcoming autumn exhibition at the former Bally Shoe Factory proves.

Art Sans Frontières Trois features 230 works, combining art from 60 of Norfolk's finest artists with contributions from art groups in Norwich's twin cities, Novi Sad, Koblenz and Rouen.

The group stages two exhibitions a year - one in the early summer and the other in September - and usually invites a guest artist to exhibit.

This time that honour has gone to Brian Whelan, who lives at Denham on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. He will be showing some of his most recent work and has chosen 'A Table of Welcome' as his theme, as a gesture to the guest European artists.

Spokeswoman Flicky Ridel said: “The art on show is wide ranging, from traditional figurative painting to abstract painting, sculpture, stone carving and imaginative site installations responding to the space of the old factory.

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“As well as the exhibition of large works, there will be an opportunity to pick up many small items in the Art Bazaar. All Art Bazaar items are donated by Norwich 20 Group members to raise money for the group and are sold for £15.”

When it was founded, the group comprised 20 artists, mainly professionals from the Norwich School of Art and Design. The group is no longer limited to 20 and now has more than 60 members, several of whom exhibit regularly in London and abroad.

Over the years the membership has included nationally-known artists such as Michael Andrews, Bernard Reynolds and Jeffrey Camp. The renowned pop artist Colin Self has taken an active role as have numerous art historians and architects.

“Mary Newcomb, one of Britain's best loved artists, famous for her visionary ruralist paintings, who died in Suffolk recently, was a member of N20G for many years,” said Flicky. “Her work often sold at exhibitions for around £20. It now changes hands for five figure sums.”

Members of the 20 Group review the final degree show at Norwich School of Art and Design each year and invite talented young artists to join the group as 'licentiates', meaning that they become members of the group for one year free of charge and are qualified to take part in exhibitions. This year's artists are Kazumi Hyodo, Samuel Halstead, Cheryl Synett and Linda Chapman.

t The Norwich 20 Group Exhibition opens on Monday September 15 at the former Bally Shoe Factory, Hall Road, Norwich, courtesy of Targetfollow Group. It runs until Friday September 26. Opening hours are 10am to 5pm and entrance is free.