Preview: Norwich exhibitions

Simon ParkinA diverse array of winter exhibitions includes images by Norwich photographer Paul Hurst to tell the story of the county's famous medieval rood screens, photographic seascapes, light images and a 20th anniversary retorspective of the Aude Gotto Collection.Simon Parkin


St Peter Hungate Church, Princes Street, Norwich, Thurs-Sat, until Match 13, free admission, 01603 623254

This temporary exhibition features images by Norwich photographer Paul Hurst to tell the story of the county's famous medieval rood screens.

A rood screen is a term used for the partition between the chancel and nave in a church. The screens, which were mostly made of oak, were painted either decoratively or with religious figures. Most, sadly, fell victim to the religious upheavals of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Norfolk has one of the greatest number of surviving screens in the UK and examples have been taken from across the county. 'On my journeys to collect these works I have discovered churches both small and large and they have all had people within their parishes caring for and being proud of these buildings,' he said.

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Norwich Playhouse, until January 31, free admission, 01603 598598

This joint exhibition by photographers Paul Lynch and Nigel Gooch showcases their interest in the coast, with both attempting to capture the magic and expansive experience of being by the sea.

Paul Lynch was born in London's East End but has lived for the past 25 years in Norwich. A photographer for the past decade, working mostly with seascapes and, more recently, portraits. 'When I was a kid, going to the seaside was one of our main treats,' he said. 'I still find it a treat to go to the coast. Walking by the sea provides me with a sense of stillness and expansiveness.'

Nigel Gooch has been capturing the Kent coastline around Dungeness for many years. 'This far reaching headland of shingle is one of the longest in the world and within three miles has two lighthouses, unexplained beach 'sculpture', evidence of a once thriving fishing industry and two nuclear power stations.'


King of Hearts, Fye Bridge Street, Norwich, until May, admission free, 01603 766129

The Gotto Collection is unique in Norfolk. There are not many private collectors in the county who make their collection available to the general public.

Built over 20 years since the opening of the King of Hearts Arts Centre in 1990, it reflects the high level of skill and creativity in the region. Many of the artists represented are well-established and even famous, but others are young and newly discovered, reflecting the purpose of the King of Hearts which was to encourage both excellence and developing talent.

Artists included in this anniversary retrospective include Derrick Greaves, John Kiki, Zheni Warner, Brenda Unwin, Kathleen McFarlane, Derek Morris, Emily Mayer, Louise Richardson, Andrew Campbell and Liz McGowan. There are also some famous outsiders such as Sir Terry Frost, Ana Maria Pacheco and Evelyn Williams.

The show provides stimulating contrasts and a wide variety: paintings, prints, sculptures, textiles and photography. There is something for everyone: landscapes, portraits, wall hangings, animal sculptures, bright abstract paintings or striking black and white prints and much more.


Assembly House, Norwich, until January 31, admission free, 01603 626402

During the late 1960s-90s Tricia Frances was a fashion designer and costumier, one of the original punk/gothic designers. Her clothes were exported around the world, were sold in Biba London. Today she teaches art in high school and her interests include photography, sculpture and textiles.

Recently she has developed an abstract technique which she calls Graffito, otherwise known as light paintings, which feature heavily in this latest exhibition.

'I thought they looked like a kind of photographic graffiti and named them Graffito,' she said. 'I have developed a way to control what I take, although never be absolutely sure of the outcome I am often pleasantly surprised.

'I created my first Graffito by accident in Toronto in 2008. The hotel we were staying in boasted 'opening windows' and in an effort to get my hand out to take a picture overlooking Toronto, the movement of the camera and the lights in the night sky created an image which I rather liked.'