Curator of East Gallery Caroline Fisher says 'From 10 May to 4 June we will be hosting Fierce Light, an exhibition of new poetry and film commissions commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the defining moments of mechanised, trench warfare of World War I. The works on show have been commissioned by the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Writers’ Centre Norwich and 14-18 NOW, the body responsible for commissions such as Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014 and its subsequent tour. NUA has also played a key role in supporting and facilitating the exhibition.
Fierce Light will feature new works by five poets and five film makers who have been asked to respond to the Battle of the Somme using narrative forms in their broadest sense. We anticipate that this will be a poignant and moving installation where the film makers have responded to the content of the poems, but will have also brought their own unique vision to the works. The films are currently under post-production here at NUA and we are delighted to have played a major part in their production and be presenting them at East GalleryNUA.
Alongside the film work will be new visual work by Simon Armitage - a set of photographic pieces overlaid with Armitage’s new poems, version of excerpts from Virgil’s work The Georgics, originally written in around 29BC.
During this exhibition our opening hours have been extended the Gallery will be open 12noon to 7pm Tuesday to Saturday - the perfect opportunity to take in the exhibition after work and before going to one of the Festival’s many evening entertainments!
We are also delighted that Sam Ruddock of Writers’ Centre Norwich will give a brief lunchtime introduction to the exhibition on Friday 3 June at 1.30pm. Admission is free - just turn up.
At 10pm at The Forum I watched an interesting aerial performance called Flat . A single performer (Rodrigo Pardo), suspended on an aerial harness in front of the Forum building, lived out a day and night in his life, on a blank white backgroup with block shapes which were transformed into features of his home (table, sink, cooker, loo) and a bed by video projections. In particular a dream sequence made it easy to forget that he was moving around a vertical surface in a 30 minute show which messes with your sense of reality. It is on again at 10pm tonight and is free. So pack a jacket and go. If you get there early, there are deckchairs. i found it easy to get a good view
Details of all Festival events www.nnfestival.org.uk
Art exhibition openings
Just launched in the Undercroft there is a new exhibition of artists' collective Stray from Cambridge with a show called 'Beneath The Surface' curated by Norwich artist Gena Ivanov - varied work with some interesting pieces. I especially liked the neon art by Susie Olczak and Sue Shepherd.
And the Fairhurst Gallery in Bedford Street also launched their new show with Holly Scholfield on Thursday
- in fact if you pick up an Art in Norwich booklet you will see that there are a number of shows opening this week including Mandells Gallery in Elm Hill with Garry Raymond Periera, Greenhouse Gallery Inundation and Norwich Arts Centre with
an exhibition by Lone Twin Gary Winters - you can get a hard copy of the booklet in the TIC or Theatre Royal and all round town
or download a pdf from the websitewww.artinnorwich.org.uk
Tonight I am going to see The Tempest at The Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth - the Hippodrome is one of the only circus venues in Europe which can still be filled with water, yes, real water and the play has been directed by NNFestival Director William Galinsky . There are lots of performances of this so I will let you know what I think but I strongly recommend that you get a ticket and go - it will be an experience without a doubt.
On Sunday is the Story Machine, a very special, event, which I am really looking forward to. I did want to go and see the James Plays which is a full day in three parts about the Kings of Scotland, all day and evening either on Saturday or Sunday, which I think would be fascinating but I couldn't fit everything in - if you like historical/political plays then I think the experience will be well worthwhile so instead I am going to:
Step into The Story Machine …
Produced by Writers’ Centre Norwich, for Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016
Sunday 15 May
Tickets £15 (under 25s £7.50)
12.30 - 15.30 * almost sold out and 19.30 - 22.30
This Sunday embark on a journey through the garden, cellars, halls and hideaways of 15th century Dragon Hall, as eighteen stories unfold around you. Pick and choose your pathway through live-performances, video installations and soundscapes, making time for a literary themed cocktail or two. Literature meets immersive theatre in an unforgettable three-hour adventure.
Jump in a Honda Jazz with Jon McGregor (‘One of the top ten writers to see live’ - The Guardian) as he tells tales to those huddled in the back seat, be inspired by Claudia Rankine’s video essays illuminating the medieval walls and listen to the voice of Etgar Keret whisper in the Saxon cellars. These and many more stories will stimulate your senses - even the delicious street food comes with your choice of origami story.
So pick up a Red Lotus cocktail - lychee liqueur, vodka, cranberry and fresh lime - and let yourself be carried away by stories at every turn.
Book your tickets: www.nnfestival.org.uk/festival/city_of_literature/the-story-machine
Booking hotline: 01603 766400
Lots more coming along and I will let you know what is good to pick up on as we go through the Festival