Norwich Castle's Open Art Show opens with Somewhere Unexpected

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme/Brittany Woodman

2020 was the year that forced us all somewhere unexpected, a theme which created the perfect inspiration for Norwich Castle's sixth Open Art Show, which opens on May 17.

In the year we stayed home as much as possible, the Open Art Show received upwards of 600 entries from East Anglian artists, 38 of which were selected to be on show at Norwich Castle this spring. 

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Alex Atkinson

Art became an outlet for more people than ever during the last year, with artists using their platform to process and cope with the pandemic. Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show presents us with a room full of brilliant work created out of a year like none other.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund (EAAF), is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. Picture shows curator and director of EAAF Amanda Geitner. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

The artists have created work to reflect the environment around them. As you walk through the gallery, you are struck by what it means to live in East Anglia and how blessed we have been to endure lockdown here. Green spaces, blue spaces, spaces undiscovered until now are all portrayed in richly personal and poetic forms.

Escapism is a recurring theme throughout the works and artist Kate Giles says "The subject becomes not so much the object, as what resonates between memory, presence and the feeling at the time".

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Martin Mitchell

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Clive Dunn


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Curator and director of East Anglian Art Fund Amanda Geitner, says: "Sometimes in exploring the land around us, we are exploring places in our mind. There is great stillness in many of the works, and there is also great sacra-logical depth within many of them. This idea that when we are in the landscape, we are both looking out into the world and at the same time, into our lives."

The work was selected by a panel of four curators with no prior knowledge of the artist's ages, training, backgrounds or names. The work had to stand up for itself, which has resulted in a group show so varying yet vastly talented.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Frances Kearney

Somewhere Unexpected is juxtaposed at Norwich Castle with A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome, a major exhibition of the widely celebrated Romantic era painter who founded the Norwich School of Artists. The artists selected for Somewhere Unexpected are doing just what John Crome was two centuries ago: observing the world on their doorstep.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021.

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show 17 May – 12 September 2021. - Credit: Sara Lamb

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Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show, supported by the East Anglia Art Fund, is on show May 17 – September 12. Tickets must be pre-booked online at least one day in advance and no tickets will be available on the door. All the work at the show will be on sale.

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