Looking Closer – Open Encounters

Todays’ blog post is to let you know about an exciting event that is coming up THIS Friday (8th July)!

Open Encounters: A Panel Discussion will feature experts from art, philosophy and writing joining together to discuss how encounters with artworks can open up rich personal engagements, memories and aesthetic connections. Read on to find out more about our fantastic panellists:

shaun camp     Shaun Camp – Fine Art lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts

Shaun Camp is a lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts, and an artist and graphic designer in his own right. Examples of his work can be found on his website: shauncamp.com. He is currently engaged in research on the idea of the third space, or memory, across a variety of artistic mediums – including film, and photography, and the role of play in teaching creative subjects.

Image – NUA

JC_photo_Ian_Tyson   John Christie – Artist, film-maker, and author

John Christie is an artist, film-maker, and author most well known for his letter writing collaboration with John Berger that came to be the book, I Send You This Cadmium Red. His latest project with John Berger, Lapwing and Fox, is the basis for our exhibition, and he has been involved from its’ inception. He is a founding member of the Full Circle Editions publishing company, and examples of his artworks can be found in galleries across the country.

Image – Ian Tyson

ChrisGribble_2003  Chris Gribble – Chief Executive of the Writers’ Centre, Norwich

Chris Gribble is the Chief Executive of the Writers’ Centre based in the centre of Norwich, and a founding member of the organisation. He has a PhD in philosophy and poetry from the University of Manchester, and maintains links to literature development in the city through their University Centre for New Writing. He is currently the co-chair of the National Association for Literature Development, and is on the Board of Directors of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). The Writers’ Centre’s aim is to ‘explore the artistic and social impact of creative writing through pioneering and collaborative projects regionally, nationally and internationally.’1

Image – Writers’ Centre

Time: 6 – 7.30 pm / Elizabeth Fry Lecture Room 01.08 / University of East Anglia campus

The event is free to attend – book your place now by emailing i.phillips@uea.ac.uk. Hope to see you there!



Poetry and Art

The summer has well and truly started – though the weather has yet to get the message – which means that our fantastic events programme is underway!

Friday 17th of June was the Live Poetry Evening. This event showcased poetry that had been produced at our Looking Beyond poetry workshop the week before. We would like to extend a huge thanks to all of the poets who took part in the workshop and in the poetry evening. The poetic responses that the participants produced were wonderfully poignant, and made me think much deeper about the way that visual art is viewed and interpreted. Art does not end with the image, but continues to grow in the imaginations and sparks of inspiration in each individual viewer. This poetry made me think differently about pieces of art in the exhibition that I had seen so often, and yet always the same. It is exciting to discover new perspectives in a familiar environment!

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These poems were used as inspiration for the zine-making workshop that was held on Friday 24th of June.  The zines produced are to be displayed in the exhibition space – so make sure you head over to the exhibition to read the poems for yourself displayed in beautiful handmade zines.


The Looking Beyond events programme is running throughout July, so be sure to check out the Events page for more information!






Your Responses #1

We have been receiving some wonderful, and thought provoking responses to the exhibition over the past two weeks – so we wanted to share some of them with you here:


TOP: Sketch of Mother and Child by Henry Moore/ BOTTOM: The chance to sit and write a few words for a stranger is a fine one. To take the time out and concentrate on your thoughts. I’m not use what the message should be. But seeing as the sun is shining, I’d advise you eat as much ice cream as you can. Such fun.


TOP: My animal totem would be a cat!/ BOTTOM: I last came to UEA as a 15 year old to be shown round the site as a prospective student. I didn’t like it and never applied. But I clearly remember seeing an ant nest on the grounds and being fascinated. On returning today and walking round this gallery I looked out the window to see a raven ants on the tarmac. Thirty five years is a long time for an ant.


TOP: Smile when you feel happy, but never when you’re not. Don’t be afraid to feel. BOTTOM: I like to walk around the SCVA and find all the little objects that are easy to miss. There are so many tiny metal figurines which require you to look closer to discover the specific forms of animals bodies. When they are placed around impressive, larger works it might be easy to glance past them. They remain unnoticed.

The exhibition Looking Beyond: Conversations between John Berger and John Christie is now open at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Be sure to share you’re thoughts in the message exchange too!

1 Day to Go: Message Exchange

Only 1 more day until opening, and today we want to let you know about an ongoing activity that will be running in the exhibition! The exhibition, and the source correspondence, are based on written responses to artworks, and we wanted to bring that experience to life for every visitor. Similar to the question that we asked yesterday – What artwork sums up your day? – the responses, that we are encouraging visitors to share, can take inspiration from the questions posed in the exhibition. They can also be inspired from any of the art in the Sainsbury Centre – or even the building itself! We encourage creativity, and any personal response you may feel.


We are giving each visitor the opportunity to record their thoughts on a specially designed postcard. (see above) This postcard can then be dropped into the exchange box in the centre of the space.Once you have written a response, you are then welcome to take one of the ones that someone else has already contributed. Come along and read other peoples’ responses to the exhibition, and take away a unique souvenir!

The exhibition, Looking Beyond: Conversations between John Berger and John Christie opens tomorrow at 10am, at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Check out our Visit Us page for information on how to get there.

And make sure you let us know what your thoughts are at @LookingBeyond16, or in the comments below, we look forward to hearing from you!



2 Days to Go: Which artwork sums up your day?

Only 2 days to go until the exhibition is open to view! Today we invited the team from  UEA: TV to film the next part of the installation for a exciting digital package that they are putting together for us. Watch this space for more information about it in the coming months!


Today’s blog post is a sneak peek, for all of you non-UEA readers, at the digital screens that have been circulating around the university campus. Here is one of the brilliant screens that Rose, our designer, put together


The exhibition aims to get everyone to really think about artwork in their everyday life. So, which artwork sums up your day?

For me (Helen from the marketing team) it has to be the amazing conch shell on display at the Sainsbury Centre, which originates from 300-900 AD Guatamala and is made from terracota.


It makes me feel so happy – it has such clean lines and fascinating shapes. It also reminds me of the beach which is definitely on my mind given the wonderfully sunny day we are having!

Let us know what your answer would be! @LookingBeyond16, and #LookingBeyond16









3 Days to Go: Progress so Far

Today marks 3 days until the opening of the exhibition, and the first day of installation into the gallery! The blog today is an update of our progress so far:

Condition Checking


Yesterday saw the Collections team condition check all of the pieces of art that are to be put on display. This involved inspecting every item carefully and documenting every aspect. As you can imagine, this takes great attention to detail and meticulous note taking. Above is a photo of Ruth and Stephanie checking over works – blue gloves and all! It all went smoothly, and so we can now move on to:




Today marked the first day of installation on Looking Beyond. It’s exciting to think that all of the ideas that we have discussed are finally becoming concrete! Today the curatorial and collections teams, with the help of the technical team at the Sainsbury Centre, mouted the artworks onto the gallery walls. The rest of the week will then be dedicated to mounting graphics, and labels, establishing our interactive message exchange, and positioning lighting. One step closer to opening!


We are pleased to announce some special events that we are putting on for students at the University of East Anglia! There will be a special poetry workshop for responses to our exhibition led by Andrea Holland on June 10th.  If you attend the workshop then you’ll have the chance to perform your poems at our Evening of Poetry and Spoken Word on June 17th.

The poems produced will then be published as part of the zine-making workshop that is being held on 24th June by Norwich University of the Arts illustration graduate  Zara Gardner. These zines will then be on display in the exhibition space itself for visitors to read and interactive with.

I know that’s alot of information – Check out our events page for more a break down of all of the events taking place!

(and may the 4th be with you all )

4 Days to Go: Death through the Lens of Art

Today’s blog post is from Helen, one of our marketing team, in the lead up to the opening of our exhibition in 4 days time!

As part of our coursework assignment alongside the planning of Looking Beyond we were tasked to write a critical analysis of the exhibition source text – Lapwing and Fox. I chose to write about discussions of death in the public sphere – specifically in published book form or displayed as part of a museum exhibition.

As the common phrase goes, death and taxes are the only certainties in life. The subject of death is one that has produced a large catalogue of artwork and literature in an effort by so many people throughout history to understand this certain unknown. Berger and Christie share stories, in Lapwing and Fox, on how photographs and artwork make them remember friends and family who have passed away. The art acts as a opening for the men to talk about difficult topics, and to share painful memories. Art and artefacts have the power to conjure memories and often we form emotional bonds with these inanimate objects themselves. These responses are the basis of our upcoming exhibition.

 Museums and galleries are ideal places to deal with the difficult subject of death – after all, historical museum collections are echoes of the past themselves. Death is a shared certainly. Psycological studies show that taking about death openly is beneficial to a healthy awareness of mortality, and of reflection on life. However, this does not always  mean that people are happy to discuss death in a public setting. Over the course of the 20th century, death has become an increasingly private affair; mysterious and unseen. Death happens behind closed doors, and spoken of in hushed tones.

Would you be comfortable sharing views on death in a public space? In writing or out loud? How do you feel about discussion of on death in museum and gallery displays? 

Let us know @LookingBeyond16 and on #LookingBeyond16