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Innovative artists awarded commission to install new public art in Norfolk

11 May 2022

2022 Art Trail

Innovative artists awarded commission to install new public art in Norfolk

The EXPERIENCE project is delighted to announce the winning artist concepts for art works at four sites along the Norfolk Way Art Trail, a ground-breaking new public art initiative for Norfolk.

The Norfolk Way Art Trail is a new, long-distance walking and cycling route to enhance and join up existing trails.  The 250-mile circuit has been designed to pass through locations off the beaten track, celebrating the unique natural and cultural assets our county has to offer. 

The four artists are Studio Squash’s Plain Sight installation for Boal Quay, Kings Lynn; the Iron Reef viewing platform by design studio Maetherea for the Reedham Ferry Inn site; toyStudio’s Flock sculpture for Diss Mere and Studio Sabine Marcelis’s Honing Passage which will be situated at Honing Station.

The artists have been commissioned to develop their concepts for fabrication over summer, ready for launch in 2023.  The artwork sites were chosen in consultation with the local community. Plans are in development to place further public artworks at sites in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.   

Cllr. Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member, Communities and Partnerships said: “Norfolk County Council is delighted to have worked with local communities and stakeholders to commission innovative public artworks that residents can be proud of and that will attract new visitors to our county”.   

In Kings Lynn at Boal Quay, Studio Squash’s Plain Sight concept will take people away from their smart phones and laptops to reengage with their senses and the world around them. The installation is designed to make use of and appreciate the different shades of light experienced throughout the day.

Elements of the work will involve local communities and will seek to connect with local stories and history.  

The winning Flock concept by toyStudio for Diss Mere is inspired by the flocking behaviour of birds in flight, schools of fish and the swarms of eels which are synonymous with the Mere and the nearby River Waveney.

Flock not only mimics the behaviour of local wildlife, but also represents the movement of people. Just as wildlife migrates to Diss, many different communities have also arrived and been welcomed into the town.  The local community will be invited to share their stories which will be showcased as part of the installation. Flock is formed from a collection of curved, metallic, tubes of varying lengths, spiralling upwards. Each one of these tubes represent the individual directions we take within a community and how we move forward together as one.

At Reedham Ferry Inn, the design agency Maetherea modelled the Iron Reef as an amphibious structure resilient to and shaped by the ebbs and flows of winter tides. It stands proud as a landmark between the reeds seeming to connect the sky whilst also being submerged in the water. The light metallic structures give form to the gentle ramp and lead to a raised viewpoint over the river and surrounding landscape. The Iron Reef will be planted with appropriate aquatic, oxygenating plants that will grow around and on the structure.

Dutch designer Studio Sabine Marcelis created Honing Passage to be a unique place for the community to interact, reflect, and enjoy nature. Honing Passage embraces the beauty of the local landscape along the Weaver’s Way at Honing Station, near the North Walsham and Dilham Canal. The installation will frame its surroundings through a unique lens, inviting people to experience an ever-shifting showcase of colour, light and nature. Offering a new way to look at a natural site, Honing Passage will be activated by its surroundings and the seasons; when the sun hits the piece, beautiful light reflections are cast, and when it’s raining, beads of water will trickle down the surface in a mesmerising nature. A static piece, yet forever evolving and interacting with the natural world it inhabits.  

The Norfolk Way Art Trail initiative is part of the European Union funded EXPERIENCE project – a €23.3 million project to promote off-season experiential tourism and sustainable economic growth. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.  It sits under the ERDF’s Natural & Cultural Heritage funding category (€16.1 million) and is co-financed and managed by Norfolk County Council (€1.8million). 

The wider project focuses on six pilot regions in England and France.  The aim is to promote off season tourism which is more sustainable for the environment, local businesses, and residents.  

The EXPERIENCE project supports local tourism and hospitality businesses across Norfolk in developing new, low-environmental impact, off-season tourism experiences.  The project contributes to Norfolk County Council’s plans to cut carbon emissions and support nature recovery.

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