Keith finds artistic inspiration in Norwich’s forgotten corners

Keith Johnson in his studio with his Norwich paintings Keith Johnson in his studio with his Norwich paintings

Monday, May 26, 2014
1:56 PM

Paintings hidden away in dark corners for years, highlighting often forgotten parts of old Norwich, will be part of an exhibition by talented city artist Keith Johnson opening at Tudor Galleries in the city next month.

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Old Riverside with Reads Flour MillOld Riverside with Reads Flour Mill

“The paintings are all far too good to be stored away for any longer,” said gallery owner Pamela Dickerson. “They are also records of disappearing Norwich, many painted before major developments replaced many old landmarks across the city.”

“I hope people will enjoy them,” said Keith, a former teacher and lecturer, who came across the paintings while having a good ‘sort out’ in his Norwich studio.

While many artists head for Elm Hill, the cathedral or castle, Keith would be more likely to make his way to Barrack Street or Sweet Briar Road and other, often ignored, parts of the city.

Norwich and Norfolk is fortunate to have some talented artists to illustrate what a glorious part of the country we live in – and Keith is among the best.

Near Barrack Street.Near Barrack Street.

Born in South Pickenham in 1931, his family were farmers and he lived in the villages of Tottenhill and Hindolveston while growing up.

Keith went to Fakenham Grammar School and then Norwich School of Art before training to be a teacher at Liverpool. He returned to lecture at Lowestoft in various subjects including weaving.

He later moved back to Norwich where he taught in schools and began exhibiting his work in the city and in London. He has had work accepted for the highly regarded Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

So what does he think of Norwich of the 21st century?

Towards Whitefriars, Jarrold's printing from Fye Bridge.Towards Whitefriars, Jarrold's printing from Fye Bridge.

“It’s not kept as clean as it could be. Parts of it are grotty, Some of the old character has gone but Norwich is still a good place to live. There is still much to love about Norwich. It is a special place,” said Keith.

Keith Johnson’s Norwich, an exhibition of oils and watercolours, opens at Tudor Galleries near Norwich Theatre Royal on June 3 and runs until June 28. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and on Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. For more details call Pamela Dickerson on Norwich (01603) 219780 or email Pamela@tudorgalleries.co.uk

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