The light in Aldeburgh

I fell in love with the work of Derek Chambers today – he’s a printmaker based in Suffolk who has done some glorious work in and around Aldeburgh that, for me, captures the peculiar light and atmosphere of the place.

The Crag Path, Aldeburgh by Derek Chambers

He was a london ad man for 40 years before moving to the country and concentrating on drawing, painting and printmaking in 1994. He doesn’t seem to have his own website but can be found through the Sudbourne Printmakers, a group of prominent East Anglian artists.

Aldeburgh town steps by Derek ChambersExhibitions include: The Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, The Royal Watercolour Society, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, The Discerning Eye, The Singer & Friedlander, The National Print Exhibition, and the New English Art Club.

Steps in winter by Derek ChambersI look forward to observational drawing being the next big thing coming out of art schools, but somehow it never seems to happen. I love how this winter scene looks like an illustration from a childrens book – you can imagine it as the first page of a story about the woman and her dog going home through the snowy evening. What do they find when they get there?

You can’t be an artist in Aldeburgh without doing fishing boats on the beach. Brrrr.

Boats in winter by Derek Chambers

View and buy Derek Chambers’ work thorough the Sudbourne Park Printmakers.
NB If you’re interested in reading more about art, design and culture in East Anglia, please do follow the blog to its new home at http://flatlanders.co.uk/ – you’ll find more posts on everything interesting happening in the area.
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Sliding House

Sliding House in Suffolk

As the seasons move and the weather changes from summery to blowing freezing rain in the space of 5 minutes, the Sliding House recently built in Suffolk looks more and more genius.

Wallpaper have done a great video all about it here which explains everything better than I would.

The architects are dRMM.

NB If you’re interested in reading more about art, design and culture in East Anglia, please do follow the blog to its new home at http://flatlanders.co.uk/ – you’ll find more posts on everything interesting happening in the area.

Full of festivals

Secret Garden Party Pirate Ship

It struck me today that Cambridge, in particular, overflows with festivals. Whatever your hyperspecialised desire, there is probably a festival that will include it in this town. I just got an email from the Food and Drink festival about their fundraising quiz, where you go and drink wine and eat cheese and try and answer insanely specialist food and drink questions in one of the beautiful medieval college halls. Worth doing it for the architecture alone, which is frankly wasted on undergraduates.

The image above of dawn breaking over a pirate ship is from the Secret Garden Party. It’s a kind of English-country-house-themed tiny Burning Man, part music festival, part theatre event that takes place over four days in the grounds of a Georgian country house outside the city.

The University culture means that more cerebral festivals are strong – we’re having a Darwin Festival in July to celebrate the anniversary, and there is always the Festival of Ideas in November, to mop up anything intelligent that hasn’t been covered to death earlier in the year. Also the science festival starts this weekend under the auspices of the university, which deliciously has guidance on some events “Warning, loud bangs”. And for grown ups we can “join the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, Professor David Spiegelhalter as he discusses ‘Statistics: can we sex them up without dumbing them down’. ” Telephone booking is now open.

A particular favourite is the Shakespeare festival – it takes place in July in various college gardens, and is again worth it as much for the architecture as the acting, although the standard is fairly high.

Edit: I forgot Cambridge Word Fest, which is booking now for April with a cornucopia of literary events and workshops.

Then there is of course all the music, so much music. The Folk festival, the Summer Music festival, the Rock fest (in association with a beer festival, naturally) and on. Put out more flags, it’s going to be a beautiful year.

folk-festival-imagesImages of the Folk festival by Arkadyevna on Flickr
If I’ve left any out of my list please do let me know.
Science Festival 9-22nd March – Science fun for adults and families
Cambridge Word Fest 23-26th April – Book events and writing workshops for all genres
Cambridge Super8 Festival 29th April – 2nd May
Cambridge Beer Festival 18-23rd May – Real Ale drinking
Strawberry Fair 6th June – Free festival of music, theatre, arts and crafts
Cambridge Comedy Festival 8-14th June – Live Comedy
Cambridge Shakespeare Festival June-July dates TBC  – open air shakespeare in college gardens
Pink Festival 09 date TBC – Gay open air music festival
Darwin Festival 5th – 10th July – philosophy, literature, history, theology art and music arising from the life of Darwin
Cambridge Fringe Festival 16 July – 2nd Aug – open access performance
Cambridge Summer Music Festival 17 July – 8th Aug 09 – world class classical music
Secret Garden Party 23rd – 26th July – music theatre performance camping
Cambridge Folk Festival 30th July – 2nd August 09 – world class folk music
Cambridge Rock Festival 6-9th August – Rawk and Beer
Cambridge Film Festival 17-27th September 09 (submissions open 1st March)
Festival of Ideas 21st Oct – 3rd Nov – explore more about the society we live in
Cambridge Music Festival 8-29th Nov – Serious classical music trienniale, commissions new work
flags_and_skyNB If you’re interested in reading more about art, design and culture in East Anglia, please do follow the blog to its new home at http://flatlanders.co.uk/ – you’ll find more posts on everything interesting happening in the area.

Birds Eye View is coming to Cambridge

Still from Love you more short filmBirds Eye View will be fetching up at the Picture House Cambridge on Sunday 8th March as part of International Womens Day with a programme of interesting short films by women directors. Not many people in this country know there is an international womens day – it’s not something we think about so much here, but the fact is that only 7% of film directors in the UK are women, and Birds Eye View is doing great work in supporting more coming through and showing great work by women from around the world.

I’ve been to a few Birds Eye View events and they are always thought provoking and high quality. Have a look at the shorts programme here. They are combining it with talks and a networking event, with people from local places like Wysing and the Cambridge Super 8 film festival.

See BEV’s listing here and book tickets here.

bev-logo

International Womens Day at Birds Eye View
Cambridge Picture House
38-39 St Andrew’s Street
Cambridge CB2 3AR
Tel: 0871 704 2050
Top picture from Love You More, directed by Sam Taylor-Wood
www.birds-eye-view.co.uk
NB If you’re interested in reading more about art, design and culture in East Anglia, please do follow the blog to its new home at http://flatlanders.co.uk/ – you’ll find more posts on everything interesting happening in the area.

Holiday

I’m escaping the mud season here to a much warmer place for a week – back with increased optimism that spring will happen* at the beginning of March.

Steve McCurry Srinagar - boat filled with flowersThis beautiful photograph of India is by Steve McCurry, who has made me completely overexcited about going with his beautiful, atmospheric images. I hope the real India lives up to his books.

*I am beginning to doubt it will happen, even as I sort seed packets and see the green stubs of the first spring bulbs

Edit: I have moved the blog to a new URL at http://flatlanders.co.uk. These posts will remain here as an archive, but do come and join me for more current posts at the new blog.

Memories of the Norfolk Broads

I’ve just been spending time on a fascinating site broadlandmemories.co.uk, an archive of photos and reminiscences of the Norfolk Broads from the 1900’s to the present day.

For me the best part is the photo galleries from the 1930’s and 1950’s – the men in their one piece wool bathing suits, wearing sports jackets in the pubs. Otherwise not much has changed – the same pubs and landmarks in the same places, the ineffable joy of messing around in boats…

Also such fascinating ephemera as original invoices and provisions lists:

Norfolk Broads provisions order formThis is from the 1950’s when Dunham’s stores would deliver to your boat in time for your arrival so you could immediately set sail with your three quarters of a pound of typhoo tea, four pounds of tinned pineapple, six pints of custard powder and three pounds of jam and marmalade. Sounds like they had a sybaritic week in store…

www.broadlandmemories.co.uk

NB If you’re interested in reading more about art, design and culture in East Anglia, please do follow the blog to its new home at http://flatlanders.co.uk/ – you’ll find more posts on everything interesting happening in the area.

China China China!!!

The three exclamation points are all theirs. The China China China!!! exhibition is Chinese contemporary art at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

wang yu yang artificial moonIt aims to be a wide ranging survey of the genre, or in their own words “Reflecting different perspectives on current art practice in China, the exhibition is organised into three sections – within which each curator explores the global market for Chinese art by selecting artists who are not bound by the market’s rules, but who represent the complex reality of a modern China.”

Not speaking contemporary-art-ese, I can only say that Wang Yu Yang’s Artificial Moon pictured above is a large, hypnotic ball of a thousand low energy light bulbs, and Art Chicken in Norwich by Duan Jianyu (below) does exactly what it says in the title.


art_chicken_in_norwich

The exhibition runs until 3rd May
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts


University of East Anglia
Norwich
NR4 7TJ
T 01603 593199

Opening Times:
Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm
Wednesday 10am-8pm
NB If you’re interested in reading more about art, design and culture in East Anglia, please do follow the blog to its new home at http://flatlanders.co.uk/ – you’ll find more posts on everything interesting happening in the area.