WATER MARKS Art in East Anglia
With its eroding coastline broken by river estuaries, its drained fens and flooded Broads, East Anglia is a region marked by water – and by an ever-surging flow of brilliant artists keen to record its special life, light and colour.
Water Marks builds on Ian Collins's first regional art tour, A Broad Canvas (1990), to draw a dazzling study of painters, sculptors, carvers, designers, decorators, photographers, print-makers, illustrators and cartoonists from the 19th century to date who have been moved by the atmosphere of East Anglia. Their explorations extend across the region’s birds and beaches, ports and boats, churches and lighthouses, fairs and circuses and celebrate wild places and wilder spirits both remote and close to home.
After a comprehensive scene-setter covering the creativity of two centuries, an eclectic cast list spans the makers of fine art and folk art, the famous and the curious, the serious and the comic. Presented with a mass of revelatory research, the surprising and highly entertaining survey ranges from Fabergé craftsmen depicting a royal menagerie at Sandringham to Orlando the marmalade cat holidaying in Aldeburgh, and from Francis Bacon and the last Bohemians to a succession of visionaries including Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens and Mary Newcomb.
Arranged in the form of a loose travelogue – the journey meandering from North Norfolk to Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Coastal Suffolk, North Essex, the Brecks, the Fens and then back to the Wash – scores of stories and hundreds of images combine into a very singular portrait of a painterly paradise on England's eastern edge.