Suffolk has an abundance of wild game and a long tradition of making the most of this plentiful food source.
Over the last few decades this tradition has been dying out, denying people the chance to enjoy meats such as venison, pheasant, quail, wild boar, even squirrel. The Wild Meat Company was set up in 1999, their mission to take the ‘muck and mystery out of buying, preparing and eating game’ and bring it to people’s plates once more. Initially comprised of just Robert Gooch and Paul Denny, The Wild Meat Company swiftly grew, gaining acclaim from Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall amongst others. Now from their farm near Woodbridge, Suffolk they and their team supply game and ethically sourced meat from farms and estates to kitchens across the country.
One of the few sculptors who casts his own work, Laurence Edwards is fascinated by human anatomy and the metamorphosis of form and matter that governs the lost-wax process. The driving force behind his work is bronze, an alloy that physically and metaphorically illustrates entropy, the natural tendency of any system in time to tend towards disorder and chaos. His sculptures express the raw liquid power of bronze, its versatility, mass and evolution, and the variety of process marks he retains tell the story of how and why each work came to be.
In May 2016 his newest work, A Thousand Tides, was at his Suffolk studio, Butley Mills. You can find out more about the process behind its creation in this video.
Christopher Le Brun PRA praised Edwards specifically for his ability to blur the boundaries between man and nature. And organic forms continue to literally influence his work, be it Suffolk grasses mixed into the process clay, or cast into elements that transform his figures into something allegorical or mythic.
2016’s edition of FlipSide Festival, in partnership with Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, East Anglia Art Fund and Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, presented an exhibition of Ron King’s work at Skippings Gallery, Great Yarmouth.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1932, Ron still has a strong attachment to the country and its culture. At the age of 12 he became fascinated with the macabre photograph that he saw in a book of his father’s of the decapitated heads of the infamous bandit leader Lampião and his notorious band. It’s this image that was the basis for the exhibition at the gallery in May 2016.
Fairhurst Gallery in Norwich is host to an Oliver Bedeman exhibition.
Oliver Bedeman is a figurative painter whose work focuses on imagined and often dream-like portraiture. He takes inspiration from the city through drawing, and in his studio combines this observation with a colourful interpretation of literature, music and story-telling – with figures such as Alan Ginsberg, Stephen Foster and Nature Boy recurring as silent characters.
In May 2016, The Cut in Halesworth was temporarily home to an exhibition of British abstract painter John McLean’s work.
The exhibition featured some of McLean’s paintings and prints. The vitality in everything John McLean makes is heartfelt and engaging.
It’s possible to see some of McLean’s work on permanent display in the East, too. In Norwich Cathedral his three, large stained glass windows are installed in the North Aisle, and can be seen year-round.
Plan a trip to Halesworth to visit The Cut, where there’s a year-round programme of great performance, art and film.
Joanne Harris visited the University of East Anglia in April 2016 as part of the UEA Spring Literary Festival.
Joanne Harris is one of the UK’s best loved and most versatile novelists. Working for many years as a school teacher, she secured global recognition with Chocolat in 1999 (later made into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp). Two further novels created the sensuous, magical Lansquenet trilogy (Lollipop Shoes, Peaches for Monsieur le Curé). She has since written many highly acclaimed novels in diverse genres including historical fiction, fantasy based on Norse myth, and the Malbry cycle of psychological suspense (Gentlemen & Players, Blueeyedboy). Different Class, her latest novel, enters into this territory and reveals a writer operating at her darkest and most unsettling pitch.
UEA holds two literary festivals each year. Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.
This walk, around Brancaster Staithe on the Norfolk coast, is a birdwatcher’s dream.
In the winter it’s a place where thousands of pink-footed geese congregate; six months later you can see little terns fishing for their supper off the quay. It’s an area with Redshanks, Oystercatchers and numerous other wading birds, but it’s not all about ornithology – look out for the Roman fort of Branodunum on the way back to the harbour.
We’ve explored Thomas Wolsey’s ambitions for Ipswich in previous Culture365 posts, but today we’re taking a closer look at Wolsey himself.
Wolsey was born in Ipswich in March 1473, and his father was widely thought to have been a butcher or cattle dealer. These humble beginnings would serve Wolsey well, as Henry VII introduced measures to curb the power of the nobility, instead favouring those from modest backgrounds.
During his fourteen years of chancellorship, due to his close relationship with King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey had more power than any other Crown servant in English history. From 1515 to 1529, Wolsey’s rule was undisputed. Henry VIII delegated more and more state business to him, including near-complete control of England’s foreign policy.
Traces of Wolsey’s links to Ipswich can be seen to this day, with a number of places in the town named after the chancellor, including a pub, and of course, the New Wolsey Theatre.
Another of Norwich’s lesser-known children, Harriet Martineau was a social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist.
Born in 1802, Martineau wrote many books and a multitude of essays from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and perhaps most controversially, feminine perspective; she also translated various works from Auguste Comte. She earned enough to be supported entirely by her writing, a rare feat for a woman in the Victorian era. A young Princess Victoria enjoyed reading Martineau’s publications. The queen invited Martineau to her coronation in 1838 —an event which Martineau described, in great and amusing detail, to her many readers.
One of Norwich’s lesser-known notable children, Luke Hansard was a writer who revolutionised the recording of Parliamentary debate.
He printed the Journals of the House of Commons from 1774 till his death. The promptitude and accuracy with which Hansard printed parliamentary papers were often of the greatest service to government, and often saw papers drafted and then presented at the Commons with a remarkably speedy turnaround.
The Hansard is still used in a largely unchanged format since its debut in 1774, though now, of course, it’s largely digitised.
For more information about Luke Hansard, and other famous Norwich writers visit 26 for Norwich.