Norfolk Contemporary Art Society News


Plaque by trustee Derek Morris destined for Bethel HospitalMay 8

Plaque by trustee Derek Morris is destined for the Bethel Hospital

Paul King kindly broke the news to us that a bronze plaque by our trustee, Derek Morris, that he had designed and had cast way back in 1989, and had lost sight of, is finally to be placed on a wall in St Peter Mancroft church in Norwich. It was originally commissioned by the Bethel Hospital in memory of Mary Chapman, founder of the Bethel. Derek had thought that with the closure of the hospital and its conversion into flats, the plaques would continue to languish is some dusty cupboard and never see the light of day in his lifetime. So, this is good news at this present time of uncertainty. Here it is, using Derek's father’s different alphabet moulds.


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All NCAS public Events Have been PostponedMar 19
 - Sep 18

Following government advice, NCAS has taken the unsurprising decision to suspend all our public events until further notice due to the current coronavirus outbreak.

Protecting our communities – particularly the older and more vulnerable members of society – and our NHS is a priority.

As I’m sure you can appreciate these are uncertain times, however we aim to keep you informed as and when circumstances change.

It is with regret that we have had to postpone the trips to the studio of Bob Catchpole and to Gunton Hall on Friday 17 April and the prospective outing to London on Saturday 25 April. You have already received notice of the cancellation of Caroline Fisher’s talk on Wednesday 25 March.

We are very grateful for all your support and we will let you know when our programme of events is up and running again.

Free NCAS membership for all NUA studentsSep 26

 Free NCAS membership for all NUA students

NCAS has been a strong supporter of NUA and art education in Norwich for over 60 years, and we are now able to offer free NCAS membership to all NUA students. Registering for your free membership will entitle you to receive, by email, the programmes for all our talks, trips, auctions and exhibitions.

Whether you have registered or not, your student card will still entitle you to free admission to all our talks, by artists, critics, gallerists and curators (usually £4.50). Recent studio visits and talks have included Michael Horn, Wayne Hemingway, Rosie Snell, Lawrence Edwards and NUA alumna, Rachel Long. NUA students will also be eligible to submit work for our open exhibitions of Norfolk Contemporary Art.

To register your interest, receive our programme and join for free, simply email our administrator at, stating your name and student number.

More information about NCAS, including our art collections, our recent talks, future exhibitions and events and other local art news, can be found on this website.

NCAS prize at NUA degree show is awarded to Helen IrelandJun 24

NCAS prize at NUA degree show is awarded to Helen Ireland

This year's selection process was organised by artist and NCAS trustee, Andrew Eden. From a short list of five the final decision was that Fine Art graduate Helen Ireland was the clear winner for her work Evocations. Her delicate, moulded, paper objects in a bespoke perspex case, and her two associated cyanotypes of everyday items explored links to personal memories of the past. She was subsequently presented with her prize of £500 by Andrew. Congratulations, not only to Helen, but to all the students whose work was presented in this year's degree show, and thank you to the committed NUA staff who conducted us helpfully around the show.

Photo: Samuel Weston

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Norfolk Sixth Form Art Prize from NCASMar 22
 - Mar 29

 Norfolk Sixth Form Art Prize from NCAS

The annual exhibition of selected work by Sixth Form students from across Norfolk and Suffolk is again being shown in the Crypt Gallery at Norwich School. NCAS was again involved in the selection process and is also awarding a prize, selected this year by trustees, Selwyn Taylor and Andrew Eden. Their choice is a remarkably mature work, Money and Water, by Alice Weatherill from Dereham Sixth Form College. She describes the backgrounsd to her large acrylic work as follows: 

I looked at Malca Schotten's work during a workshop at Norwich Castle and I decided to look at how science and maths can be represented in art. I researched mathematicians who lived in Norfolk and found Thomas Blundeville who lived in the village of Newton Flotman. This lead me to include circles in my final piece. A trip to the science museum in London inspired me to create an abstract version of the MONIAC. I used acrylics to create both texture in the water and the colours in the MONIAC.

Alice Weatherill, Money and Water
Acrylic, 60cm X 60cm

Latest issue of Art In Norwich is now out!Mar 13
 - Jul 31

 The latest issue of Art In Norwich is out . . .

You can download a pdf here


UEA Student Visual Arts Bursary Jan 7
 - Mar 4

£1,000 UEA Student Visual Arts Bursary available

A £1,000 bursary is available for a UEA undergraduate, aged between 17 and 25, to pursue a specific project in any general field of the visual arts, including fine art, illustration, photography, video, curation or administration. The award is open to students studying in any school of UEA and in any discipline, and is designed to encourage students who have a personal and practical interest in contemporary visual art that is distinct from their formal academic studies.

Norfolk Contemporary Art Society ( and Young Norfolk Arts Trust (, are jointly making this award in partnership with Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). The bursary can be used flexibly, for example for materials, travel or research. Depending on the nature of the final project, the output from the award may be exhibited in the YNAF exhibition in Norwich in July 2019. The award winner may be required to give a presentation about their work as part of the same event. Tailored mentoring will be available if required from professional staff at NUA. The YNAF communications team of young volunteers/advocates will promote, report on and record activities associated with the project, and will liaise with local media.

Eligible applicants can apply by filling in the attached form and sending it, together with a short recommendation by an academic referee, to:

Keith Roberts, chair of NCAS, at to arrive no later than Monday 4th March.

New NCAS Administrator appointedAug 30

New NCAS Administrator appointed

Frances Martin has today been appointed as our new administrator. She has for many years been the administrator for the Norwich Twenty Group and we hope that this will further the close links between the two groups. Frances has a degree in fine art and practices as a professional artist, with a studio in St Etheldreda’s Church, on King Street. She also teaches art and runs the Big Draw events at the Forum. We look forward to working with her . . .

Beth Bartlett wins this year's NCAS art prize at NUAJun 18

Beth Bartlett wins this year's NCAS art prize at NUA

This year's selection process was organised by artist and NCAS trustee, Andrew Eden. After a short list of five works were chosen, the final decision rested with those remaining trustees who could attend the final marking on the 18th June. Their decision was that Fine Art graduate Beth Bartlett was the clear winner, and she was subsequently presented with her prize by Andrew. Congratulations, not only to Beth, but to all the students whose work was presented in this year's degree show, and thank you to the committed NUA staff who conducted us helpfully around the show.












Andrew Eden and Beth Bartlett (photo courtesy of NUA)

Her work is described here by NUA:

'Beth Bartlett’s work is heavily inspired by geometrical forms found in the spiritual faith of Tantra. These Tantric inspired diagrams represent the balance of Male and Female energies within a person. Different shapes and colours are used to represent each side of the spectrum: shapes with curves and warm colours represent the Female and straight shapes with cold colours represent the Male. When these elements come together they create a balance. As Bartlett works with two disciplines in conjunction they create layers within the original meaning, abstracting the concept and visual image. Vibrant paintings and large scale constructed sculptures, seen as drawings, create an exciting dynamic that blurs the boundaries between technical drawing/painting with sculpture. The size of the sculptures makes them command a space; this is amplified by the added projection that acts as a light source to focus the eye to the central point, further creating chaotic shadows within the sculptures.'

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NCAS Policy on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Apr 18
 - Apr 18

NCAS Policy on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

There is an important new EU legal deadline (GDPR) on the 25th May, when all charities and other organisations have to update the way they handle people’s personal data. NCAS already complies with this legislation. When you join NCAS we simply record your name and contact details and keep these on a database. This database is kept solely in order to send you our NCAS programme and newsletter, and to email you about strictly NCAS-related events. We interpret your decision to join NCAS to mean that you want to be sent this material. We neither share your data nor sell your data to others. We are very clear that you always have the right to opt out of receiving our communications at any time by emailing our administrator, who can also remind you of the data that we do hold about you.

Your data is held by our administrator in a password-protected file and is removed if, after reminders, you do not renew your membership, or if you ask for your membership to cease.


Response: NCAS awards prize at Schools 6th form open art showMar 16
 - Mar 23

NCAS awards prize at Schools 6th form open art show

Crypt Gallery,  Norwich School, Cathedral Close 16-23 March 2018

Sixth formers were invited to respond to one or other of three recent art exhibitions in Norwich. Entries from five Norfolk Schools were judged by representatives from NUA, Hudson Architects and NCAS. From among the works accepted for the subsequent exhibition, called Response, each team chose one work to be awarded a prize of a £25 book token for the Book Hive. Our judges were Selwyn Taylor and Keith Roberts, and they unanimously chose a work by Florence Wright from Wymondham High Academy as the NCAS prize winner. The exhibition was curated by Norwich School's Claudia VanOosterom. The prizes were awarded at the Private View on 15th March in the Crypt Gallery.


    Florence Wright's winning painting








    Selwyn Taylor at the Response exhibition

Derek Morris work acquired for Sainsbury collectionOct 1

Derek Morris work acquired for Sainsbury collection










Derek Morris Yellow Configuration 1994
T material, stoneware glaze. Size 290mm x 260mm x 200mm

It is very appropriate that the Russia Season is currently showing at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts. The Radical Russia show includes the work of many of the Russian constructivists, whose legacy is continues within the whole modernist movement in British art and architecture. That tradition lives on in the practice of many contemporary artists, including our NCAS trustee and sculptor, Derek Morris. So it is a great pleasure to announce that the Sainsbury Centre has just acquired one of his key ceramic sculptures for its permanent collection. Derek studied sculpture at Newcastle and then Chelsea before moving to Norwich where for nearly twenty years he was Head of Sculpture at what was then Norwich School of Art, now NUA. He was President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors between 1998 and 2004 and has been a trustee of NCAS since 2005. Congratulations to Derek, and we hope that the work will go on show in the near future.

Tina Hannay wins our annual NUA prizeJun 26
 - Jun 25

This year's NCAS prize for an NUA student goes to Tina Hannay

Each year NCAS awards a cash prize of £500 to the artist judged to have produced the best work in the degree show. This year the panel of trustees judging th eworks on our short list were unanimous in choosing the vast ceramic assemblage by Tina Hannay, called et ceter01100001. Her hundreds of porcelain light switches, some on and some off, cover a whole wall, the whole work gently mottled by subtle colour variations in the different firings. Congratulations to a very worthy winner.

The binary code embodied in the on/off switches contains a hidden message (allegedly reflecting family member's attitudes to leaving house lights on or off!). We were very pleased to learn that Tina also gained a first class degree and that her work also won the vice chancellor's commendation.









Tina is a mature student who did her Foundation course in Art & Design at Central St Martins in 1992-1993, before returning to do her degree in Fine Art at NUA. Her cheque for £500 was presented to her by NCAS chiar, Brenda Ferris together with the vice chancellor, John Last.



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Become a Trustee of NCASJun 9
 - Jul 14

Consider Becoming an NCAS trustee?

Have you ever considered becoming a trustee of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society (NCAS) and playing an important role in the arts locally?

Each year at the AGM the Society appoints trustees for a three year term. The trustees are responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and ensuring that it is governed effectively and meets its charitable and legal obligations.

NCAS can appoint up to 16 trustees who meet as a committee around five times a year, usually in Norwich. Trustees are also encouraged to actively contribute to the Events Committee or the Exhibitions Committee, the two committees which deal with our programme. . .

More details can be found here

Contact Keron Beattie if you wish to talk further about the idea


Sculpture Installation at East RustonFeb 8
 - Feb 8

Sculpture Installation at East Ruston Gardens

One of the scuptures in our NCAS ArtWorks collection is A Trouble With Worms by artist Ben Southwell, from N.Norfolk. This had been installed for many years at the old May Gurney site in Trowse, but with its demise, our 1997 work has now been installed in the wonderful gardens of East Ruston Old Vicarage in North Norfolk. This is a happy result of the very generous offer by the joint owners and creators of the gardens, Alan Gray (see sidebar photograph) and Graham Robeson.

Do go along and have a look at this ever-evolving garden extravaganza, and catch A Trouble With Worms at the same time! The garden will open on Sunday 26th March 2017 and close on Saturday 28th October 2017. More details can be found on their website.

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Barbara Hepworth sculpture finally gets its plaqueOct 28
 - Oct 28

Norwich's Barbara Hepworth sculpture finally gets its NCAS plaque

It is some time now since NCAS trustee and sculptor, Derek Morris, designed and made this proper bronze plaque to go with Norwich City's wonderful Barbara Hepworth sculpture, Sea Form (Atlantic), 1964, that sits opposite the Playhouse on St George's Street, Norwich. The unlabelled work was neither well understood nor appreciated and its complex patina was getting eroded by boistrous children. The new plaque (below), paid for by NCAS, has finally been installed by the Council to our great delight! Definitely worth a detour!

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Publication of new book, NCAS Sixty Years OnSep 26
 - Mar 31

Publication of a new book on the 60 year history of NCAS

To coincide with the launch of the exhibition NCAS Sixty Years On: Treasures from the Castle's Collection in the Timothy Gurney Gallery, NCAS has published an updated and fully illustrated book covering the history and activity of the society. Building on the original book written by Robert Short for our 50th anniversary, it has been brought up to date by Keith Roberts and is now fully illustrated in colour. It is given free to all new joining NCAS members and can also be bought from the Castle bookshop, priced at £4.

The book can also be downloaded here


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Julia Cameron wins the NCAS prize at our nca16 exhibtionSep 2

NCAS Art Prize awarded at nca16 exhibtion

The NCAS prizewinner at our biennial open exhibition at the Forum, nca16, is Julia Cameron. Her prize, a years supply of wine, was presented at the private view by Adam Edwards representing our sponsor, Naked Wines (below). The selectors were impressed with her collection of quiet, elegaic landscape photographs of the Edge in Great Yarmouth.

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NCAS Annual NUA Art PrizeMay 31
 - Jun 30

NCAS Annual Art Prize at NUA

Each year NCAS awards a £500 prize to the best work by a fine art student in the degree show at Norwich University of the Arts . This year it was another tough decision for the NCAS trustees on the judging panel. Having fairly unanimously chosen a short list of six, it was harder for the full group then to reach a final decision on the winner. But in the end we have chosen Saskia Jonquil and her set of four sculptures entitled Dirt Candy I – IV. Her cast bronze works of bio-organic forms, metamorphosed into sexually-resonant, imaginary constructions particularly attracted us, as did the immaculate, welded steels mountings. The runner-up was Ellie Davison-Archer, whose delicious and meticulous graphite studies of the minutiae of natural-history objects also charmed us. Brenda Ferris, the chair of NCAS, awarded Saskia her prize in an informal ceremony at NUA just before the degree show opened on the 31st May, and she thanked Joseph Wang who had organized this year's prize process but who could not be at the ceremony.












Saskia Jonquil with her work after the prize giving. . .

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NCAS celebrates its 60th AnniversaryJan 1
 - Dec 31

The Norfolk Contemporary Art Society will be celebrating its 60th birthday in 2016.

NCAS was founded as a charitable association in 1956 to promote the interests of contemporary art in Norfolk, and special 60th birthday events are planned for this year. Members can keep up to date with events and activities by consulting this page during the year. Check here for details of two major anniversary exhibitions in September.

Final dismounting of the Ana Maria Pacheco sculpture exhibitionsDec 15

Ana Maria Pacheco works finally leave Norwich on 15 December after nearly 40 weeks on show!

The exhibition, Ana Maria Pacheco: Sculpture 2015, was held in four separate venues in Norwich and exceeded
our original objectives for both visitor numbers and new audiences. Audiences have been higher than we predicted in our original proposal, partly because of the enthusiasm for the installations in the three non-gallery venues. The work in the NUA Gallery was part of their regular cycle of exhibitions, but even in the 26 days that this show was on, 6192 specific visitors saw the work. At 238 people a day, this is twice the number that they have ever had for their gallery exhibitions, the full range of which is 100-150 a day, clearly demonstrating that new audiences were involved. The work in the Castle Keep and in the two Cathedrals in Norwich was a huge success, such that, with the consent and agreement of the artist and her gallery, the end date has been extended twice, first to September and finally to 14 December. We were delighted that this extension was possible, a total over all venues of 845 days, but more interestingly that it was requested by the venues themselves.













Shadows of the Wanderer leave the Cathedral and line up in the 19 tonner, en route for Chichester Cathedral

Enchanted Garden, Pacheco’s new series of eight polychromed and gilded alabaster reliefs, reflects the artist’s
long interest in the famous medieval alabasters in the V&A and in the Castle’s own collection, and her friendship
with the late Francis Cheetham, Head of the Museum, who wrote the definitive book, English Medieval
Alabasters. This was the first public showing of these recently completed works and they were installed on the
balcony of the Norman Keep near to a new case of some of the Castle’s own medieval alabasters. During the
time they were exhibited, there were about 150,000 visitors to the Castle, of which total we estimate that about
75,000 saw the alabasters.

Audiences in the two Cathedrals are likewise much higher than we, or indeed they, predicted. Peter Doll, the Canon Librarian at Norwich Cathedral, besides giving the Lent Sermon on the work, wrote the following:
‘We also continue to be struck by the impact the sculptures have on our visitors. No sooner have we put out a few hundred of the free leaflet than they have disappeared. We’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve had to
photocopy more. The catalogue that goes with them has been a big seller in our shop. The lunchtime talk that we put on after the installation attracted 130 people even though Ana Maria Pacheco was not able to be there on the day. I cannot remember a time during visitor hours when there have not been people studying, walking around, and photographing the installation. It has certainly brought a new audience to the Cathedral – people who have come to see the art, but who then have also noticed the power of its context (so unlike what it would have in a ‘white cube’) and gone on to see the rest of the building. As a result of this installation, we have an audience that sees the Cathedral in a new light – as a place that not only engages with contemporary artists but also places them in the context of an ongoing tradition of art in and for sacred space.’

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Sculpture for Norwich project shelvedDec 7
 - Jan 31

Disappointment as ambitious Sculpture project is shelved. . .

We have covered earlier the troubled journey of Mariele Neudecker's wonderful projected public sculpture to celebrate the Norwich School of Painters. Sadly, and with huge disappointment, Sculpture for Norwich (SfN), the charity originally set up with funds from NCAS and the Norwich Society, has announced that it has been forced to shelve the project. Good coverage in the local paper can be found to download here

That does not mean the end of SfN, however, and they will be moving forward with other ideas for public sculpture in Norwich. See for more details.

NCAS Auction: Great successNov 27

NCAS Charity Auction at City Hall raises record £11,500. . .

Every two years, NCAS stages a charity auction in City Hall to boost its funds for commissioning new art, and that time came around again on 27 November.  This year Selwyn Taylor, Joseph Wang and their team organised a terrific event, which was packed with punters. One of the highlights of the sale was an oil painting by Maggi Hambling, and by the end of the evening we had raised just over £11,500, a record for our auctions. This means we are in good shape to do even more promoting contemporary art in the region over the next two years, which includes our 60th anniversary in 2016,

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