Posted in Arts

Open Studios BrochureFor many the Norfolk and Norwich Festival is about recitals and music, but hidden away in garden sheds, ancient barns and back rooms are sculptures, painting, jewelry, textiles, wood turning and much, much, more.

Imagine our delight to find local artists, and by local I mean, in North Elmham, Worthing, and Longham.

True to Elmham News ideals, Mike and I went out there to meet them and to find out more about these hidden treasures. Mike took the photographs and I chatted to the artists.

I cannot do them justice in words, but suffice to say, that we had a totally interesting and absorbing afternoon and would urge anyone out there to go and visit them.

There is only this week and weekend, so if you want to look you will need to be quick.

You can download the brochure (if you have not seen it) which gives information on all of the Open Studios09 initiative, detailing what is happening throughout Norfolk. It is available at then just click the download link


We are featuring

Sculptures by James Paul Castle, 74 Holt Rd

Illustrative paintings and prints by Beth Morrison, 97 Eastgate St

Acrylic paintings by Jennifer Thorneley, Worthing

Paintings, mixed media and textiles by Marion Barnett, Longham 

James Paul Castle

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James Paul Castle lives at Brookside Farm, 74 Holt Road and is exhibiting his work in the garden  and his studio.

The garden offers a lovely view of fields which form a suitable backdrop for the intriguing sculptures in stone and carvings in wood. Lead castings adorn the shed walls and garden walls. Inside are more tactile wooden carvings, though perhaps

James finds the subject in the wood and uses his skill to draw it out, rather than wholly carving it..

Lead  and bronze castings figure quite prominently and the detail in the unusual casting of his "Twigs or sticks" has to be seen to be appreciated, these are unusual in that it was the wood that was burnt away rather than the normal lost wax, hence these are totally original and impossible to repeat..

He is a skilled caster in metal and is currently working with another sculptor at the Chelsea Flower Show and close examination of his work shows why, it is both elegant and highly skilled.

If you are around Holt Road over the weekend James will gladly explain his work in more detail. The studio is open from 23 - 31 May.

Tel: 01362 668079



Beth Morrison

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Beth Morrison at 97 Eastgate Street is originally from Enfield but also previously lived at 74 Holt Road in Elmham (which is where James Paul Castle now lives). It must be something about the air in Holt Road !

With a degree in Jewelry design from Middlesex University, she is exhibiting interesting wooden pictures, prints and accessories which are inspired by home, old photos and creatures.

Her work has a really interesting naïve primitive style (although the draughtsmanship says otherwise) with a distinctly quirky style of illustration that shows a real sense of fun. It is readily apparent why she illustrates a children's comic strip (Squirrel Boy in the Arts and Science magazine OKIDO), her style is just so suited to the genre and is quite charming.

You can shop on line for brooches, badges (what do you expect with a degree in Jewellry design), cards and bags. The studio is open 23-25, 30-31 May

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Tel: 01362 667146



Jennifer Thorneley

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Jenni Thorneley is exhibiting in the Green Door Studio, The Old Stables, Swanton Morley Road, Worthing NR20 5HS.

We were both intrigued with a truly magnificent model railway layout, belonging to Jenni's husband which in itself is an awesome (used in its proper context!) work of art.

Jenni previously lived in Brighton where she painted portraits and took life classes, before settling in Norfolk.

Her bold, colourful expressionistic style in acrylics, inks and pastels is influenced by landscape and nature, but her portraits of African ladies are both elegant and expressive.

Her paintings of animals are quirkily coloured but totally appealing.

Nice work in a lovely setting, very well worth a visit.

The studio is open 21-25(10am-5pm), 26 & 28- 29 (2pm-5pm), 30-31 May.(10am-5pm)

Tel: 01362 668804

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Marion Barnett

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Marion Barnett can be found in her charming green shed (her Husband would not let her have a pink one! - wonder why?) at Skinflints, Chapel Road, Longham NR19 2RN, along with her equally charming but very shy cats (apart from Advo - aka ASBO who rules the neighbourhood cats,).

A Scot from Edinburgh, she and her husband have found Norfolk and love it.

Marion works with paint, mixed media and in textiles, and also produces handmade books and cards.

The fabrics she works with are really industrial polymers with very unusual textures which gives her an unique canvas on which to work with paint, and thread, the feel of some of the works is almost sensual. Marion was a delight to talk to, if you go to see her you will not be disappointed.

She offers workshops for groups up to 10 people but also offers smaller ones for up to 4. The subjects range from "Finishing Quilts, using these new fabrics of Lutradur and Evolon, to learning to dye, paint and print.

The studio is open 23-25th May and 30-31st May.

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Tel: 01362 687710