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Preview: Norwich art exhibitions into April

PUBLISHED: 09:15 12 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:15 12 April 2013

Washi exhibition

Washi exhibition

Archant

Japanese handmade paper from the 19th century Parkes Collection, based at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and from the Washi: The Soul of Japanese Collection of contemporary washi makes up the latest exhibition at the NUA gallery. Plus: Fiona Mackay, John Sell Cotman, Gerard Stamp

WASHI: THE ART OF JAPANESE PAPER

The Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts, St George’s Street, until April 20, Tues-Sat 12pm-5pm, free admission, www.nua.ac.uk

Japanese handmade paper from the 19th century Parkes Collection, based at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and from the Washi: The Soul of Japanese Collection of contemporary washi makes up the latest exhibition at the NUA gallery.

Washi, or handmade Japanese paper, has long held a central role in the domestic, spiritual and cultural life of Japan. Its aesthetic of simplicity, purity and tranquillity mirrors a fundamental aspect of Japanese culture itself.

The exhibition is part of The Art and Soul of Paper – a comprehensive international exhibition of handmade paper and paper art showing at Anteros Arts Foundation, Fye Bridge Street; Mandell’s Gallery, Elm Hill; and Artshoproject, Earlham House shops.

The exhibition features 56 international papermakers and is the largest international exhibition of paper artworks that has ever been staged in the region.

www.artandsoulofpaper.com

FIONA MACKAY: SYNTAX

Outpost Gallery, Wensum Street, Norwich, until April 21, daily 12pm-6pm, free admission, 01603 612428, www.norwichoutpost.org

The latest exhibition at the artist collective-run Outpost gallery features works by Aberdeen-born and Glasgow School of Art trained artist Fiona Mackay.

At first, her paintings hark back to mid-century US abstraction. On the one hand, her work recalls Barnett Newman’s stripes or Mark Rothko’s fuzzy planes; on the other, the slightly later generation of colour field artists, such as Morris Louis or Helen Frankenthaler, who applied pigment to absorbent canvas so there was no point at which the paint ended and its fabric base started.

Mackay brings experiments in making paint and its support one and the same up to date, putting a new-agey, domestic twist on what’s often a male-dominated pursuit.

Her paintings are created using batik dye and wax on very thin canvas. The results are unpredictable, giving a playfulness and freedom to Mackay’s creations.

JOHN SELL COTMAN/GERARD STAMP

Norwich Castle Museum, 12.30pm-1pm, £6.80 (£5.80 cons), £5.30 17-24, £4.90 children, 01603 495897, museums.norfolk.gov.uk

The latest exhibitions at Norwich Castle are inspired by its Norman origins. John Sell Cotman: A Picturesque Tour of Norfolk and Normandy (until next March) and Gerard Stamp: Conquest; Norfolk’s Norman legacy reflected in watercolour (until September 29) together celebrate the stunning Norman heritage of Norfolk and Normandy.

Norfolk has a vast heritage of architecture, and a significant part of that heritage is Norman.

John Sell Cotman’s active career spanned four decades; the middle two decades (approx 1811-1830), were devoted almost exclusively to architecture, rather than to landscape.

Gerard Stamp went to school under the shadow of Norwich Cathedral and during those years, developed a passion for painting and drawing mediaeval buildings, as well as a love of Cotman’s work.

Together the exhibitions feature rarely-seen drawings, watercolours and prints.

DON’T MISS

ALFRED WALLIS

Time and Tide Museum, Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth, until September 8, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm/Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm, normal admission prices, 01493 743930, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Alfred Wallis was a former sailor who depicted his life at sea and captured a period of change and modernisation in the fishing industry. His pictures inspired some of the leading figures of modern British art, including Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood.

WILL TEATHER: NIGHT CARNIVAL

Norwich Theatre Royal, until July 9, 9.30am-6pm, until 11pm performance nights, free admission, www.willteather.com

The latest exhibition at the Theatre Royal focuses on some of Norwich artist Will Teather’s performance-inspired paintings, featuring performers from touring theatre groups such as Les Enfants Terribles, plus a portrait of Peter Wilson, theatre producer and chief executive of the venue.

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