Winter of art at the Forum

EMMA LEE The Forum in Norwich’s three-week winter art exhibition series starts on Thursday January 25. EMMA LEE has a look at what’s in store.


Since the Forum in Norwich opened in 2001, it has become a hub of the community. Not only is it home to the city's main library, the BBC and the Origins centre, it also regularly hosts exhibitions of work by local artists.

The light and airy atrium is a great space to show art, and as the Forum's event and marketing executive Dorothy Smith explains, the benefits are two-fold.

“There aren't a great deal of places for artists to exhibit in this area. And because this building is so central they get a huge audience - our weekly footfall is about 50,000 people. Even if all the people aren't solely coming to visit the exhibition, they have the potential to get a much broader audience than they would in a little gallery.

“And also, the exhibitions here could appeal to people who perhaps wouldn't normally go to a gallery.”

The Forum's winter exhibition series starts on Thursday, January 23,with a show by up-and-coming artists' group Simply Eclectic and the West Norfolk Artists Association.

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Simply Eclectic was set up to help local artists show their work and the exhibition includes a mixture of illustration, fine art, watercolour and photography.

From February 1-6, two artists are taking over the atrium.

There will be another chance to see work by Caister photographer Gareth Hacon, who last exhibited at the Forum in the summer. His latest collection of includes images of the East Anglian coastline and the Welsh hills.

In 2004 his studies of the east Norfolk coast won first prize in a national competition run by Digital Photography User magazine. His photographs are often taken early in the morning, and are mostly in black and white with the occasional subtle use of colour.

Paul Cozens works in acrylic. Landscapes and Light explores the way light plays on local scenes and places he has visited, from Skye to Sienna.

Then in the series' final week, the exhibition place will be shared by Ronald Durban and Maz Jackson.

Durban's highly sought after paintings are in private collections in Britain, the USA and Europe.

He moved to Norwich in 1966 and in 1994 he and his wife opened a gallery in Woodbridge.

Jackson's show, Secrets and Celebrations, is a selection of egg tempera paintings on gilded oak panels following 15th century methods.

She graduated from Norwich School of Art in 1976 and exhibits worldwide.

t Other highlights of the Forum's winter events calendar include the first in a series of jazz performances. On Sunday February 18 saxophonist Andy Sheppard and classical pianist Joanna MacGregor will be bringing a new twist to the gospel and blues music of the deep south. And on Wednesday, February 21, the Comedy Store returns to the venue. For more information about events Forum visit