Formerly known as the Salthouse Art Exhibition, this annual event celebrating Art and Coast has migrated west to Cley. Now in its twelfth year, its contemporary art attracts many thousands of visitors and has grown in reputation to become a significant event in the UK arts calendar.
This year’s exhibition is entitled ‘Aisle and Air’, curated by Isabel Vasseur, thirty four artists and architects whose specific works will be set amongst the medieval architecture of St Margaret of Antioch’s church, the environs of the village and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s coastal path, both marsh and sea.
‘My response to Aisle and Air is about the Place. Threads, an installation of books, relates to the Book within the church. Each form has multiple pages bound with linen thread following traditional bookbinding methods. The boundaries have been deliberately stretched by being exposed to rain water, creating abstract three dimensional forms. The binding and pages have buckled, forming undulating, multi layered shapes, evocative of birds’ wings in flight, the seascape, contours and geological strata of the surrounding countryside. Within this everchanging landscape generations of people visit Cley church and migrating birds return to the same place.’
Submitted by artist Vanessa Vargo
‘The principal attraction that drew me to participate was the site…. It doesn’t get much better than the North Norfolk coast and designing in response to the beach and the marshes is very rare. I’m also interested in exploring how architecture interacts with other art mediums and where the boundaries between separate disciplines become ambiguous, particularly in the case of site specific works, more so than abstract pieces.
This project was a good vehicle to explore those ideas. The hide responds to the wind-swept form of the bank, the surf line and the swooping sea birds. Lying-in-wait the hide is a stealthy visitor of and from the sea air’
Submitted by architect Rob McVicar, A-Squared Architects, Norwich.
Creatures of Cley
This is a collaboration between the artist Jessica Perry, photographer Kevin Elsby and the teacher and children of Sheringham Primary School. It is a response to the migration of Norfolk birds, and the maritime trading patterns of Cley harbour over the past 800 years. Influenced by the work of Jessica Perry and Kevin Elsby, the children have created imaginary historical documents and artifacts. The work can be seen in the Observatory Building of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre on the A149 coast road.
This is the Horizon Pavillion by Jenske Dijkhuis, (click on the image to do it best web-based justice) temporarily at home on the shingle bank at Cley. The exhibition hopes to demonstrate that art within public spaces can encompass a variety of locations, not just traditional gallery settings.
An ambitious project in both aisle and air.
The Annual Cley 12 in 2012 runs from 5th July to 5th August The exhibition is open daily, free entry, from 10am – 5.30pm with a few late openings till 8.30pm.
A varied programme throughout the month including events held in Cley Church; debates, artists talks and a children’s quiz, guided tours, a ‘bat evening’ with the Norfolk Bat Project (they live in the church!) ‘Vocality’, a North Norfolk based group of singers offering ‘Music from Land and Sea.’
There is also a programme of creative day time artist-led workshops on offer. Choose from a wide range of genres including printmaking with an etching press, poetry and stained glass and copper foil. One which intrigues me; ‘Drawing The Invisible’ will be looking at ancient surfaces, shadows, organic forms; interpreting the visual world in experimental and unconventional ways. Participants are encouraged to bring their own chair and magnifying glass!
Just turn up in July, explore your surroundings, discover the art, browse their website, book specific events or workshops, enjoy the opportunity, dip your toe in to contemporary art.
Story image ‘Canute’ by Mary Crofts. A sea defence made out of fleece from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s ‘flying flock’. A metaphor for man’s transient ability to control nature.