Artists, galleries and art dealers from across the world are set to arrive in Norwich next week as Art Fair East returns to the city. Meet some of the artists taking part
As one of the biggest contemporary art fairs outside of London, Art Fair East is about to mark its re-emergence with more than 1,000 artworks on display. Exhibitors and organisers alike are excited to share the buzz of the real-life art world after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic. Visitors can expect to see a range of contemporary art including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video art, installation, performance and original limited-edition prints.
It’s a chance for people to see artworks from a range of artists and with all the work for sale it’s a fantastic opportunity to choose a unique artwork for your home, to start Christmas shopping or perhaps invest in a future star of the art world.
The fair was founded in 2015 by leading Norfolk-based artists Will Teather and Brian Korteling, who will both be exhibiting at the event at St Andrew’s Hall – in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter.
The duo is passionate about bringing contemporary art to the region, supporting artists and creating excitement around the visual arts.
Will Teather says: ‘We are thrilled to see the fair finally return after an extraordinary year. We can’t wait to see the artworld we know and love re-emerge.
‘Artworks are objects to be seen and enjoyed in the flesh, rather than online, and there is nothing quite like meeting the artist in person or talking to an expert, as is often possible at art fairs.
‘We have received a record number of applications to take part in the event and alongside national and international artists being brought by dealers we have many well-loved local talents such as Mary Mellor, John Sparks and Tracey Ross bringing paintings and sculpture to this year’s Fair.
‘We also have some excellent galleries such as Hunter Gallery from Bury St Edmunds and Clifton Fine Art from Bristol who stock everything from pop art to contemporary landscapes and bronzes.’
A spokesperson for The Hunter Gallery in Bury St Edmunds says: ‘We are very excited to be part of Art Fair East for the first time. We will be bringing the works of well-known British artists such as Harry Brioche, Emma S Davis RWS PAI, Edward Noott RBSA among others as well as international artist Alfredo Palmero. It also gives us an opportunity to showcase some of the region’s finest artists.’
Painter Jane Cochrane, who works from her studio in Ufford, Suffolk, says: ‘After two years of constraint, Art Fair East will shine out as a beacon of innovation and creativity. Visitors should expect to feel thrilled, challenged, and energised. I’m so excited to be a part of it.’
Photographer Shelley Nott, who composes still life images using the traditions of classical masters, says: ‘I am so excited to be back at Art Fair East this year. It’s such an inspiring collection of artists with so many different media and styles. It’s been a very long two years and I am sure our visitors will feel the same.’
Paul Kane, a painter from Bedfordshire, says: ‘After a challenging period I can’t even measure my excitement at the prospect of showing my work at Art Fair East. Real face-to-face exposure to a new audience is fantastic especially in such a well-established show.’
Artworks typically start from £40 upwards for signed prints by emerging talent to tens-of-thousands of pounds for major pieces by established names. Dan Brown, a fine artist with experience in graphic design and digital art, says: ‘Art Fair East is a great event with a wide variety of art for sale. I always enjoy seeing the work on show but really look forward to the connections to be made with other artists, art lovers and collectors from all over the world.’
Painter Gabriella Buckingham, who is based in North Norfolk, says: ‘I’m really looking forward to taking part in Art Fair East this year; It will be the perfect way to start the festive season.’
Suffolk-based figure and portrait artist, Karen Turner was shortlisted for the Women United Art Prize last month. She says: ‘I’m really looking forward to Art Fair East. It’s played host to some incredibly talented and inspiring artists and I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to exhibit at such a prestigious event.
‘I’m most intrigued to see how visitors will react to my pieces. My work aims to challenge the conventions of body image so it’s always fascinating to see how audiences respond.’
Art Fair East which will showcase the legacy paintings of Norwich artist John Link, who had an impressive career as a theatre Director, TV producer, tutor and dialogue coach, and died in August after a long battle with cancer.
Judi Dench has said of his work: ‘I have been a fan of John Link’s work from the moment I first saw it. The portraits are bright and colourful, which I love. You know immediately which character is being portrayed, and you know there is a story there somewhere. I would fill my house with these paintings if I had the room!’
St Andrews Hall is in the middle of the city’s cultural quarter and visitors can take advantage of a café which will be on site for the duration of Art Fair East.
Organiser Brian Korteling adds: ‘It’s really great to be able to transform St Andrews Hall into an art space once again. I know for a fact that artists have not been resting on their laurels during lockdown so we can expect to see lots of new, vibrant and inspirational works of art.’
This year’s Art Fair East runs from Friday December 3 to Sunday December 5. Friday December 3: 10.30am to 5.30pm; Saturday December 4: 10.30am to 6.00pm; Sunday December 5: 10.30am to 5pm. There is no need to book in advance, tickets are available on the door and are £3.50 or £3 for concessions with under 16s free. Art Fair East is sponsored by Musker McIntyre and Chadwicks. For more information visit Art Fair East, Facebook Instagram and Twitter.
Featured image: Karen Turner in her studio (Credit: Phil Turner)