IAN COLLINS Norwich School of Art and Design


In this age with its cult of extreme youth, older often means invisible – but the new MA show at the Norwich School of Art and Design is a great advert for maturity.

Although some of these post-graduate students are in their early 20s, others have taken a break from successful careers and still more are past the point of conventional retirement.

Their work is enriched by their wealth of experience – in teaching, photography, science and even midwifery.

Pauline Place, whose installations focus on the huge subject of human mortality, has already made a major public statement by hiring a Norwich advertising hoarding.

She now joins 13 fellow students in the MA graduation show being staged in the art and design school building – alongside a parallel display by those halfway through their studies – until September 18.

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The range of materials and techniques are as wide as the backgrounds of the artists – but several exhibits flow from journeys.

Nicola Billinge mixes photos of rural walks with sketches using ironwater, clay and graphite gathered en route; Emily Cole paints memories of car trips.

Former Fleet Street snapper Stuart Goodman has produced a documentary of Norwich market in a tribute to both his adopted city and his family history – his refugee grandmother sold loose cigarettes in London's Berwick Street market in the early 1900s.

The spirit of artist-traveller-poet Richard Long hovers over this assembly as words are often incorporated into visual images. Rose Stallard's artwork draws heavily on graffiti.

Former architect Tom Nash has turned doodling into an art form, with vast curving and geometric patterns pencilled on the gallery walls.

They contrast with such exquisite explorations of textiles – Ella Ravilious (granddaughter of watercolourist Eric Ravilious) exhibiting fine stitchwork.

And lest you think some of the work from the MA course led by Colin Nicholas – with support from celebrated Norfolk-based abstract artist Roger Ackling – is a little too fly . . .

In the show for those mid-way through their studies, Emma Reynolds has created a buzz with collages made from dead bluebottles.

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