'Knitting, netting and knotting' exhibition to highlight the skills of Norfolk seafaring folk
PUBLISHED: 12:08 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:14 13 June 2019
A major new exhibition featuring marine-themed rustic crafts will mark the start of a packed programme of events at Sheringham Museum.
Entitled Folkart: Time on our Hands, the show, which runs until October 31, includes artwork ranging from woodcarvings, ganseys and 'pierhead' ship portraits, to model boats and a ship in a bottle made in 1888 by museum manager Lisa Little's great-great-grandfather, Sheringham fisherman Elijah Farrow.
The exhibition, which has been curated by Ms Little and museum trustee Lesley Lougher, also includes paintings and embroideries by fisherman artist John Craske, who found fame in the 1930s when his work was exhibited in galleries in London and New York.
Plagued by physical and mental illness after being invalided out of the army in the First World War, Craske completed his first artwork - an embroidered calico pudding cloth - in 1928, and went on to paint sea-themed pictures on discarded items ranging from a bait box lid, to bread boards.
Also included in the exhibition is the Sheringham-born artist's final work - a 13 feet-long, panoramic embroidery of the evacuation of Dunkirk inspired by the cliffs at Weybourne, which was left unfinished when he died in Norwich hospital aged 62.
Ms Little, who is former assistant curator working across 10 sites for Norfolk Museums Service, said the show highlighted the ingenuity of fishing folk, who created art from materials including old lifejacket linings and driftwood, to putty and worn out rope.
"It's knitting, netting and knotting," she said. "It was a way of life for them and we wanted to showcase not just John Craske, who is surprisingly still one of Norfolk's best-kept secrets, but also other seafaring folk who eked out a living by creating an awful lot with very little."
Museum chairman Tim Groves said the Folkart show was part of an exciting era for the seafront venue, which welcomes more than 15,000 visitors a year.
Other new exhibits include a rarely-seen series of paintings transferred from Sheringham town hall after the council headquarters was moved to Holway Road community centre, and a permanent exhibition of work by famous Norfolk photographer Olive Edis.
Folkart: Time on Our Hands exhibition events
Special events running at Sheringham Museum as part of the Folkart: Time on Our Hands exhibition include:
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June 21 from 12.30pm-1.15pm: Lunchtime talk with curator insight and tour.
July 26 from 12.30pm-1.15pm: Lunchtime talk on the East Anglian Dulcimers with the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust.
August 31 at 11am and 2pm: Melodian workshop and performance with the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust.
September 20 from 12.30pm-1.15pm: Lunchtime talk on the work of artists Alfred Wallis, John Craske an Colin Millington, with Luke Scott of Paffron and Scott.
October 25 from 12.30pm-1.15pm: Rachel Donal on the home arts and industries and Miss Jefferis' wooodcarving class for fisherboys.
The will also be an end-of-exhibition symposium on November 1st and 2nd, including a drinks reception followed by a day-long programme of workshops and talks.
The exhibition opens tomorrow (June 14) and runs until October 31. Opening times are: Monday-Saturday from 10am-4.30pm and on Sundays from 12pm-4pm. For more information, or to book event tickets, visit: www.sheringhammuseum.co.uk or phone 01263 824482.