Suffolk's great artists under one roof

Art at Orwell Park, An Exhibition Of Paintings and Sculpture is at Orwell Park School, Nacton, Ipswich. Viewing an art exhibition and listening to a school girl have a violin lesson at the same time was a first for me.

Art at Orwell Park, An Exhibition Of Paintings and Sculpture is at Orwell Park School, Nacton, Ipswich.

Viewing an art exhibition and listening to a school girl have a violin lesson at the same time was a first for me. Thankfully, she was a pretty good fiddle player. Orwell Park School is actually quite a good space to stage an art exhibition; the music room, with its huge sash windows and views over open ground is rather beautiful and grand. It's also rather nice that funds from this show will support an art bursary.

Where to begin? Cobbold and Judd have certainly pulled out all the stops here, la crème de la crème of East Anglian artists are all featured; alive and kicking and also dead. The music room is literally packed out with astonishing paintings, drawings and sculptures. It's not unlike taking a trip to the British Museum, albeit on a smaller scale.

Maggi Hambling's little oil Long Wave is so subtle and so full of meaning that it is extraordinary to behold. Belinda King's paintings of woodlands, which explore the spirituality of colour and form, also stop you in your tracks. Forget conceptual art; what we have here is about progression and light. Astonishing. Annabel Gault's paintings of harbours at night are as loose as an old pair of levis, but they fit in every way. Her hues are fixating and so is her style, more is less.


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Nicky Brown's The Willow Cutter is one of the finest paintings in the show; and expresses the relationship between man and the land in the most fundamental of ways, but at the same time is innovative. I was reminded of Harry Becker, one of East Anglia's most unsung artistic talents. Transfixing. Also fascinating are Tory Lawrence's paintings of trees, particularly Three Suffolk Oaks, which uses paint in the most luscious of ways, playing with texture and delving into the area of pretty art, and questions the whole nature of beauty.

There are a number of sculptures in this show including Joanne Brogden's Running Girl, which is exceptional. There are also some rather large wild cats, both in delicious walnut and stone. Prepare to go on a safari.

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An outstanding and unforgettable show in every way.

Sonia Carvill

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