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Giant spider sculpture and knitted beehive among the exhibits at community arts festival

PUBLISHED: 15:48 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:08 16 April 2019

St Mary's Church, which is the venue for the annual Colkirk Arts Festival, which runs on May 11 and 12. 
Photo: IAN BURT

St Mary's Church, which is the venue for the annual Colkirk Arts Festival, which runs on May 11 and 12. Photo: IAN BURT

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Paintings by artists aged from six to 90 will be on show at St Mary's Church, Colkirk, near Fakenham, as part of an annual festival aimed at showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the north Norfolk area.

Marjani, by Vanda Richards, one of the 100-plus paintings going on show at St Mary's Church as part of Colkirk Arts Festival.
Photo: submittedMarjani, by Vanda Richards, one of the 100-plus paintings going on show at St Mary's Church as part of Colkirk Arts Festival. Photo: submitted

The event, which runs on May 11 and 12, was organised for the first time last year by Vanda Richards, who wanted to give her fellow artists a chance to exhibit their work.

“I wanted to have an arts festival which artists could afford to enter and, hopefully, get a sale,” Ms Richards said.

Stack, by Nick Elliot, one of the 100-plus paintings going on show at St Mary's Church on May 11 as part of Colkirk Arts Festival.
Photo: submittedStack, by Nick Elliot, one of the 100-plus paintings going on show at St Mary's Church on May 11 as part of Colkirk Arts Festival. Photo: submitted

Held over two days, the event last year raised more than £1,000 towards new LED lighting for St Mary's, which was specially decorated on the theme of angels.

This year's festival, whose theme is All Things Bright and Beautiful, will feature more than 100 paintings, as well as work by children from Colkirk Primary Academy and decorations made by a 90-year-old from Whissonsett.

The Beautiful Earth, by Graham Bell, one of the 100-plus paintings going on show at St Mary's Church as part of Colkirk Arts Festival.
Photo: submittedThe Beautiful Earth, by Graham Bell, one of the 100-plus paintings going on show at St Mary's Church as part of Colkirk Arts Festival. Photo: submitted

Festival visitors will be welcomed by a giant spider sculpture created by David Rowe, with other displays including a full-size bee hive complete with knitted bees and flower garden, a display of bonsai trees, a crocheted flower obelisk, an illuminated underwater scene, a stainless steel swan, and a pair of painted lions, which will guard the entrance to the church.

Pottery by local ceramicist Richard Hirst will also be on show, with refreshments on sale as well as stalls run by Norfolk-based arts organisation Xen Arts and Nick Loades, of Fakenham, who, with his wife Elaine, has raised thousands for sick children since losing his daughter Ellie to cystic fibrosis at the age of just 16.

Ms Richards, who is also inviting youngsters to take part in a competition to create a miniature garden, said proceeds from this year's event would go towards a project to repair the floor of the Lady Chapel at St Mary's.

She added: “The festival is not just about art and fundraising, it's about becoming involved and being part of a team.”

Colkirk Arts Festival will run on May 11 and 12. Opening times are: Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday, 10am-4pm. For more information, email: vandarichards29@gmail.com

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