New Lynn gallery for the arts and the environment

Veronica Sekules is director of the new GroundWork Gallery at Lynn
Veronica Sekules is director of the new GroundWork Gallery at Lynn
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Summer will be celebrated with a new art gallery space opening in the historic centre of Lynn.

GroundWork Gallery, dedicated to art and environment, is situated in a newly-converted 1930s carpenter’s workshop in Purfleet Street and it will exhibit work by contemporary artists who care about how we see the world.

The official opening is Friday, July 15, and the first exhibition, Sunlight and Gravity, will open the following day.

GroundWork’s director is Veronica Sekules, formerly Deputy Director of the Sainsbury Centre, at the University of East Anglia.

She said: “King’s Lynn is a beautiful old market port and really needs a good contemporary gallery.

“I aim to bring artists who are established and with major international reputations and also to showcase the work of up and coming artists.

“This gallery will be unique for the UK in concentrating on art and environment. I hope it will bring a new energy to the town, showing that regeneration does not have to be led by huge public projects, but that a small and distinctive initiative can make a real difference.”

The inaugural exhibition, Sunlight and Gravity, marks a life-long friendship between two of the most innovative British artists who have worked with nature, the elements and the environment.

It features new works by Richard Long and Roger Ackling, to include some of Ackling’s characteristic reliefs made with driftwood, using the rays of the sun as a medium to create marks.

Long is creating a new splash drawing for the gallery using mud from Lynn’s tidal river, the Great Ouse, alongside a series of gravity images made with Avon river mud.

This exhibition is a memorial to Roger Ackling, who died at his home in Norfolk during its planning in 2014.

Some of his unique weather diaries can be seen for the first time.

Upstairs at GroundWork is a living space and gallery showing a dramatic time-based landscape projection by Tim Simmons, along with a bespoke collection of environmentally themed jewellery by Rosalie McMillan,Tina McCleod, Linda McFarlane and Danish designer Kirsten Sonne.

The gallery aims to be a convivial space to talk about art, campaign and inform about environmental issues, hosting regular discussions and events. All works will be for sale.

At the top of the building is The Penthouse, to be launched as a holiday let later this year. It will be comfortable with a unique view of the Grade I-listed Custom House and Purfleet Quay at the junction of two rivers.

The two-year programme of restoration of the building has involved sensitive negotiations with heritage and planning authorities.