Norwich 20 Group - Twin Cities

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Former Bally Shoe Factory, Hall Road, Norwich


Former Bally Shoe Factory, Hall Road, Norwich

The suite of bare, spacious rooms at the former Bally Shoe Factory, with its walls of windows to let in the light makes a fine venue for this extensive, stimulating exhibition. It showcases both the activity of the Twenty Group, which has been active locally for 60 years, and work from two of our twin cities. For good measure, art from Rouen and Novi-Sad is complemented by a display from El Viejo.

The range of styles is astonishingly wide, from quite conventional pretty riverscapes by Maurice Read to Les Burton's bolder, more searching portraits. Mirjana Nikolic's abstracts in his chalk Compositions I and II blocks of solid, vivid colour are contradicted by punctuated horizontals and diagonals.

Following, it appears, where Leslie Davenport went before, Jane Mackintosh explores the striking but fleeting geometry of construction sites, all yellow cranes and sloping scaffolds. Mary Mellor turns to a totally different medium in her Siena. A pattern of little squares and a handful of doors and windows makes the point about the importance of textures in architecture.

Gilles Bellet leaves even more to the viewer's imagination and understanding.

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A more human side is stressed by Juliet Wimhurst, when she shows a crowd, open mouthed, as stylised birds fly over.

With subdued but attractive colour, Diana Lamb captures the spirit of East Anglian landscape and does not forget to add the personal touch. Among the sculptures, the most satisfying are Barbara Leaney's rounded shapes in dogwood. Mirrors set at right angles create a sense of ever changing repetitions in depth while the smell of the clipped twigs adds an organic dimension.

t The exhibition is open daily until September 15.