Norfolk is famous for its sandy beaches, hiking and cycling trails, areas of natural beauty and world-class bird-watching opportunities. In the past, the region has appealed to those with a love of the outdoors, but times are changing and there are increasing numbers of galleries popping up around the county. The boutique hotels in Norfolk are now busier and more popular than ever as art enthusiasts travel to the county to explore its cultural delights.
Anetoros Arts Foundation
The Aneteros Arts Foundation has a contemporary approach to traditional skills and supports local artists by providing the space for people to explore and develop new skills. The main hub is situated in the city of Norwich, while the Bergh Apton centre, to the south of the city, provides a rural retreat for artists wanting to learn and study. Weekend courses are run throughout the year, with the focus on specialist skills that take time to perfect and traditional art techniques, including stained-glass work and egg tempura painting.
This is an impressive venue in the town of Holt, close to the Harper, North Norfolk which offers luxury accommodation and fine dining. The gallery displays a selection of contemporary painting from the UK, alongside sculpture, designer jewellery and glass works. It has been committed to the world of contemporary art for over 25 years and has earned itself an excellent reputation. The exhibitions change regularly and feature both emerging local talent and more established artists.
This unique little place has resurrected the ancient art of creating dyes from the yellow-flowered relative of the cabbage known as woad. The plant is used to create deep blue colours without the use of any chemicals. The farmer and wife team responsible for the project give regular talks about the cultivating and production of woad-based dyes, explaining some of the traditional processes they have used to create the wonderful homeware items and garments on display.
This contemporary art business is situated in Wells-next-the-sea, approximately a 15-minute drive from Holt. Exhibitions take place throughout the year, alongside an open studio and a picture-framing service. The gallery itself is bathed in natural light which brings out the best in its exhibition of paintings, ceramics, sculpture and jewellery.
Made in Cley
In the village of Holt is an unusual pottery experience, provided by Made in Cley, where a number of potters have clubbed together to share influences and exchange ideas in the creation of unique, individual pieces. Wheel-thrown pottery is central to this exploration of techniques, although you’ll also find some exquisite sculptures, lamps, jewellery and paintings on display.
Cat Pottery (and Railway Junk Yard)
England’s most popular cat potter is situated in the medieval market town of North Walsham where she creates a collection of life-size cats with exquisite eyes made from cathedral glass. Jenny Winstanley is now breaking the mould, so to speak, and extending her collection to include a few dogs as well.
These are just a few of the attractions the county has to offer in the field of arts and crafts and, with the area’s natural beauty and wide range of Norfolk accommodation to suit all budgets, it’s a great destination for those with a love of natural and artistic excellence.