Alan Marshall: Norfolk Gems
Norfolk is a county rich in both history and natural history. Its geography has been shaped by a farming heritage that extends back to the pre-Roman era, although the Romans laid the foundations for Norfolk’s agricultural might. As well as vast tracts of fertile farmland, both flat and rolling, the county claims more than 160km of coast and 320km of inland interconnecting waterways. Combined with the appeal of its ancient buildings and a wealth of wildlife, these features draw millions of visitors every year.
Given the number and variety of artists located in the county, it is no great surprise that this book brings together a dazzling array of styles. As an artistic destination, Norfolk has become increasingly important for wildlife, landscape and even abstract painters and printmakers. This volume is a compilation of contemporary printmaking organised by location, taking readers on a journey from the south-east to the north-west of the county.
We cannot promise that you will find your favourite place among these pages. Artists are proudly independent and notoriously free-spirited. Their subjects are seldom chosen solely for commercial appeal, and they will often avoid the more predictable locations.
Norwich, of course, has enduring appeal, and the portfolio of images paying tribute to the city is particularly large and diverse. Even here, there are remarkably few repetitive interpretations of the most obvious locations such as the Anglican Cathedral, Norwich Castle or the 17 surviving medieval churches.
It will come as no great surprise that the long and spectacular span of north Norfolk coastline attracts the most artists. Both the Brecks, a vital natural environment crossing into Suffolk to the south of Thetford, and the Broads also provide the basis for many linocuts, etchings, collagraphs and wood engravings.