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HEAD EAST – Wide-eyed wonderment

The East has long been a draw for artists and creatives, inspired by the landscape and the light from our big blue skies and bucolic sunsets. New exhibitions are now showcasing works in unique settings which add to their impact. Here are a selection of ideas to stimulate, intrigue, confront, enlighten and entertain:



Observations: The Mary Beale Collection

This exhibition will be the first time Moyse’s Hall, Bury St. Edmund’s, celebrates en-masse this collection with over 25 of Mary’s original portraits of the great and good (or questionable) of 17th Century England. Born in 1633 in the West Suffolk village of Barrow, Mary Beale would go on to become one of the 17th Century’s most prolific female portrait artists.

This exhibition explores a unique collection of paintings produced by a successful professional female artist in an Arts Industry household during one of England’s most turbulent centuries.

Accompanied by a series of lectures including one with Dr Tim Reinke Williams, social, economic and cultural historian of early modern Britain, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and senior lecturer at Northampton University, that will outline how women such as Mary Beale participated in the social life of Restoration London and contributed to the growth of the metropolitan economy in the decades after 1660. Culminating in research on women’s participation in the creative industries in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, including discussion of their production of paintings.

For more information and to book click here

(Moyses Hall, Bury St. Edmund’s. Runs until 20 January 2022)


Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years at The Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts

Grayson Perry’s ground-breaking ‘lost’ pots have been reunited for the first time to focus on the formative years of one of Britain’s most recognisable artists. Often challenging and explicit, these works reveal the early development of Perry’s distinctive voice that has established him as a compelling commentator on contemporary society. This exhibition is the last on the collection’s tour in the UK and will not be going to London.
(Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts, Norwich, Norfolk. Runs until 30 January 2022) Promo video here.


Rhythm and Geometry: Constructivist art in Britain since 1951

‘Rhythm and Geometry’ has been drawn from the Sainsbury Centre collection and is the first time this collection is being exhibited together. Rhythm and Geometry: Constructivist art in Britain since 1951, celebrates the abstract and constructed art made and exhibited in Britain since 1951 and comprises around 120 objects including sculpture, reliefs, mobiles, painting, drawing and printmaking.
Rhythm and Geometry: Constructivist art in Britain since 1951 examines the rise of this dramatic strand in post-war British art led by the example of Victor Pasmore, who famously converted to abstract art in the late 1940s.
(The Sainsbury Centre, Norwich. Runs from 2 October – 30 January 2022)


Creating Constable

Who influenced John Constable on his journey to becoming an artist?

2021 is a significant year for Constable, being the 200th anniversary of The Hay Wain, perhaps his most famous work. It is also 200 years since the death of Suffolk artist George Frost (1744-1821), Constable’s early mentor. To mark this, Creating Constable will explore the early Suffolk influences and personal friendships that created Constable the artist. It will reveal the important untold stories of Suffolk artists, local collectors and early supporters who provided Constable with the foundations on which to build a career.

Creating Constable features loans from the V&A, private collections and four new Constable artworks that have never been on display before.

The exhibition is supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and The Friends of the Ipswich Museums, and sponsored in part by Kerseys Solicitors.

Free to attend. For more information, please click here

(Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich / Runs until 24 April 2022)


Catch these gems before they finish!

Art Fair East

From 3 to 5 December the cultural heart of Norwich will host one of the region’s biggest contemporary art fairs. The return of Art Fair East is set to be celebrated as more than 1,000 works of art go on display. The event, which hosts artists, galleries and art dealers from across the world, annually attracts thousands of visitors to St Andrew’s Hall.

For more information click here

(Art Fair East runs until 5 December)


Chris Levine at Houghton Hall ‘528 Hz Love Frequency

British artist Chris Levine presents a new body of site specific-works created for the inaugural winter exhibition at Houghton Hall, Norfolk. ‘528 Hz Love Frequency’ is a major solo presentation that transforms and illuminates unique environs of the house and grounds. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Molecule of Light, a new six tonne monumental sculpture 25m in height, which comes to life as darkness falls, projecting light and 3D ambisonic soundscape across an imposing landscape. The exhibition also includes a series of new holographic artworks, prints and immersive laser and LED installations. Each distinctive work is characteristic of Levine’s unique and cutting-edge creations, which harness the immersive properties of light and sound.

For more information, dates, times and tickets, please click here

(Houghton Hall, Norfolk. Runs until 23 December 2021)


Leiko Ikemura: Usagi in Wonderland at The Sainsbury Centre

Discover the Japanese-Swiss artist, Leiko Ikemura, who presents a selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and photography in her first UK exhibition. Ikemura has selected 50 works that span three decades of her career. Her art appeals to our imagination with its childlike purity.
The exhibition’s dominant theme is the connectivity of all aspects of nature, be it human, animal, plant or mineral, in an eternal circle of life. Through her fantastical figures and primeval landscapes, Ikemura explores fragility, transience, and slow evolutionary change – choosing to address environmental issues from an empathetic, global perspective.

For more info and to book please click here

(Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts, Norwich, Norfolk. Runs until 12 December 2021)



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