Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Saltaire Arts Trail

Not long to go now before the Saltaire Arts Trail on 5th - 7th May and we're really looking forward to our first fair of the year.  If it's anything like last year, it will be a weekend packed with contemporary art and craft, activities for the kids and even the odd opportunity for tea and buns!

Sue will be exhibiting at the Makers' Fair in Victoria Hall where she will be one of 60 designer / makers showing and selling a range of handmade ceramics, textiles, glass, jewellery and homewares.  Sue will also be demonstrating the craft of constructing and decorating her delicate porcelain boxes, so come along and watch her in action!

Once again the residents of Saltaire's historic village will be opening their houses to the public, playing host to  exhibitions of original artwork by another 60 new and established artists.  Download a map and follow the trail.

And you are only 5 minutes walk away from  Salt's Mill which today houses one of the largest collections of David Hockney, along with other gallery spaces, a fantastic bookshop, homewares and furniture shops, as well as cafes and restaurants.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

A Tonic on the North Norfolk Coast

I have just returned from a fantastic week on the North Norfolk coast where I visited some of my most treasured places and spent time walking, beach combing, visiting galleries and whiling away the time drinking coffee in cafés.  I feel really lucky to have spent my childhood in this area and I am always inspired and energised when I return from this distinct landscape.

The week began with a lovely walk in the sunshine around Castle Rising where I lived from the age of nine. It's an historic village with a famous Norman Castle, a Trinity Hospital, quaint carstone cottages and with a population of only 225.  Not much there for a teenager searching for the bright lights and night life, but I now appreciate the beauty and tranquility of my home village.   

It wasn't only me that was enjoying the weather!

The next day we headed inland to Norwich spending most of the day wandering the streets of the Cathedral Quarter. One of the most famous areas here is Elm Hill, a medieval cobbled street, once home to merchants, craftspeople and civic dignitaries. Today it is full of galleries, individual shops and cafés. 

The weather was even warm enough to have lunch outside! 

The rest of the week was spent at various locations along the coast from Hunstanton to Sheringham, taking advantage of the amazing spring weather (at least most of the time!) and the sea air.

There is a lovely coastal walk between Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton which has an amazing backdrop of sand dunes, unique cliffs made up of chalk, red chalk and carstone (a gritty sandstone), and seaweed-covered rocks. 

The best beach combing and rock pooling ever! 

In contrast to Hunstanton, further along the coast is one of the most unspoilt and beautiful stretches of white sand at Holkham. You may have seen this beach unknowingly when Gwyneth Paltrow walked across the sand at low tide during the closing scenes of Shakespeare in Love

We walked through pine trees before getting to the dunes, where we had a picnic with lashings of ginger beer! 

Next along the coast we stopped at Wells-next-the-Sea, a small seaside town where beach huts sell for £60,000! 

The famous windmill at Cley-next-the-Sea and the flint faced cottages are a real draw for visitors wishing to get a flavour of the typical north Norfolk coast.  There is a great gallery too called, appropriately, Made in Cley, as well as the Pinkfoot Gallery, a smokehouse and a fabulous deli, Picnic Fayre

It was a great opportunity to hand deliver some of Sue's new work to the Appleyard Gallery in Holt, which was just in time for their spring exhibition.  One of the main artists displaying her work was Nicola Hart, who  produces beautiful wildlife collages by applying layers of collage made of different colours and textures. They are stunning.  Holt is lovely Georgian town three miles inland from the sea, characterised by antique shops, galleries and independent shops. 

A visit to Burnham Market (or Chelsea-on-Sea as it is whimsically known) is always worthwhile, especially as there was an Alice Scrutton exhibition at the Fairfax Gallery showing her exquisite North Norfolk seascapes.  She captures the amazing light of the wide skies and coastlines using a subtle palette.  Another gallery worth a visit is the Grapevine Gallery exhibiting a range of contemporary art and craft.