Painters, sculptors and more - 10 artists inspired by East Anglia
- Credit: KATE WOLSTENHOLME
The number of brilliant painters and sculptors inspired by East Anglia over the years is truly amazing. After looking at 26 artists last week, this week we are spotlighting 10 more.
But there are still hundreds more to discover.
Born in Ipswich in 1914, Colin Moss was an East Anglian icon and acclaimed artist. His hugely varied work included watercolours, drawings, prints and oil paintings, many of which focused on the gritty reality of working class life.
His family got in touch to say: “Great piece about artists drawn to East Anglia, but no mention of Colin Moss - Ipswich’s Lowry? Lots of his work is owned by Colchester and Ipswich Museums, Norwich Castle Museum etc!”
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A dedicated teacher, Colin Moss worked at Ipswich Art School from 1947 until his retirement in 1979. Heinfluenced generations of artists, with Maggi Hambling having been one of his students. At the time of his career retrospective in 2010, she said: “His teaching, like his painting, was tough, honest and passionate.”
For many years Colin Moss was also the art critic of the EADT.
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He also had a life-long interest in life drawing, and you can see some wonderful examples on the website run by his family, colinmoss.info
Frederick William Baldwin
Born in Lowestoft in 1899, Frederick Baldwin was known for his watercolour landscapes.
Reader James Hartley wrote: “I first heard of Frederick Baldwin in 1980 when he was re-discovered by Beccles Gallery, having painted from the 1920s until the 1960s. when he gave up.
“He had the eye of an engineer and an architect. He was a superb draughtsman and had a natural grasp of line and detail. He was self-taught, but learned from artists such as Clausen and Squirrel,l who admired his talent.
“He was unusually modest for an artist and said that he didn’t like his work, but sometimes he saw one framed on a wall and thought it wasn’t so bad after all.
“He painted subjects I like and mainly painted local scenes. Buildings (particularly churches) and boats were his strength. As one artist and writer once said to me “You feel you could go to sea in one of his boats.”
Paul Stanley wrote in about one of his favourite artists, sculptor Laurence Edwards, saying: “He is one of the few British sculptors who casts his own work, in his foundry in Halesworth. His wonderful bronze, Man Of Stone, was installed in the Sainsbury Centre (UEA) Sculpture Park in 2019 and a 26ft bronze figure is to be installed in Yoxford.”
Photographer Bill Jackson made a film about him last year, showing him creating Man of Stones, which was screened at last year’s FlipSide Festival .
Laurence Edwards was born in Suffolk in 1967, and has been based at locations including Laxfield and Butley Creek. Before moving away from Butley in 2016, he sank a full-size bronze figure into the mud there, a work entitled A Thousand Tides.
Renowned sculptor Vanessa Pooley, based in Norwich, was born in 1958, and is known for her bronze and ceramic figures. They explore the female form and have a calm, soothing feeling.
During lockdown, the sculptor has been busy creating her own sculpture garden, and preparing to cast new pieces for her Open Studio, which she hopes to hold in November. Her life-size bronze, River Goddess, is one of the pieces featured in this month’s Raveningham Sculpture Trail.
Acclaimed artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, who famously created the Golden Jubilee portrait of the Queen, lived in Hacheston near Framlingham.
Born in eastern Nigeria in 1952, she was a refugee in the Biafran War as a teenager, and moved to the UK in 1975.
Many tributes were paid when she died in 2012 after a three-year fight against cancer. She was a founder member of the Sudbourne Print Group and a respected sculptor and lithographer as well as a painter.
Reader Anne Cross wrote in to say: “I enjoyed your article, but was disappointed not to see any mention of H G Todd, the still-life artist who was born in Bury St Edmunds but lived in Ipswich. He is mentioned in Harold Day’s book East Anglian Painters, and there are examples of his work in Christchurch Mansion. He was my late husband’s great-grandfather and we have a number of his works in the family.”
HG Todd was born in 1847 and was apprenticed to his father in Bury, where he trained in decorating and sign writing. After moving to Ipswich, he exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Society and he also had a still life displayed at the Royal Academy. Many of his paintings feature fruit, and his ability to paint grapes was acclaimed. As well as his still lifes, he also painted landscapes.
Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown
Famed for his pastoral landscapes, many of which featured cattle, Arnesby Brown was born in Nottingham in 1866. But he was inspired by Norfolk’s landscapes and skies.
For 50 years he had a home at the White House in Haddiscoe, which bears a plaque to him.
One of the readers who wrote in about this artist, Paul Scriven, said: “He did a famous painting of Haddiscoe Church and also The Coming Day. Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery has a number of his paintings.”
James Hartley also paid tribute to Sir John Arnesby Brown, saying: “He was to cattle what Munnings was to horses.”
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Reader Steve McAweaney wrote in to say that the celebrated Scottish architect, artist and designer once lived in Walberswick.
Mackintosh, born in 1868, lived in the Suffolk village for a year from 1914-15, after war broke out during his summer break there.
He was inspired by the area and created watercolours and drawings, but unfortunately there were rumours in the area that he was a German spy and he was held under house arrest for a few days.
Believed to be England’s first professional female painter, Mary Beale was born as Mary Cradock in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, in 1633,
As well as being one of the first, she was also one of the most successful portrait painters of the late 17th century. Some of her paintings are included in the collection at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury.
An East Anglian artist whose fame is steadily growing, contemporary painter Ania was born in 1990 and has a studio near Woodbridge. She won the Young Artist Award at the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery and was last year invited to exhibit at the Venice Bienniale, one of the biggest art fairs in the world.
Ania specialises in contemporary portraits and her work hangs in a permanent collection in Mexico and is now being collected internationally.
5 galleries and exhibitions that have reopened
Before visiting any gallery, it’s advisable to check opening times safety requirements and whether you need to book.
• Christchurch Mansion and Wolsey Gallery, Ipswich: The Ed Sheeran exhibition: Made in Suffolk has been extended until November. Timed entry tickets can be booked.
• Firstsite, Colchester: The galleries, cafe and shop are now open every day from 10am to 5pm. Several exhibitions are currently running, including Colchester and Ipswich Art Societies: Borders, with landscape pieces from over 120 local artists.
• Raveningham Sculpture Trail, near Beccles: The sculpture trail is running from August 1 to 31, with social distancing measures in place. It is essential to book your slot in advance online at raveninghamsculpturetrail.com
• Sainsbury Centre, Norwich: The centre and its sculpture park have now reopened. Booking for special exhibitions is essential before visiting. The Art Deco by the Sea exhibition has been extended until September 20 and the Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams exhibition has been extended until January 3, 2021.
• Anish Kapoor exhibition, Houghton Hall: The famous sculptor has brought his largest ever UK outdoor show to Houghton Hall, and it has now been extended to November 1. Tickets must be prebooked, and numbers are strictly limityed in the inside sections.