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May is the time for this very special yearly festival with international artists, concerts, performances and exhibitions.

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(Source: BBC) The Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2009 is set to put the county on the map as a home to one of the great celebrations of music, arts and culture.

The prestigious annual event is one of the oldest city festivals the UK.

“In scale and ambition, this ancient festival is now one of the top five in the UK,” said festival director Jonathan Holloway.

The festival, featuring an international line-up, takes place from Friday, 1 to Saturday, 16 May, 2009.

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“Festivals have never been as popular as they are today,” said Jonathan.

“I may not know the value of my house in these times of turmoil in 2009, but I will always remember the first time I was moved to tears by great music or my first ‘gasp’ at a piece of theatrical magic.”

“Extraordinary experiences of art and creativity are priceless and last a lifetime,” he added.

Free events

Opening the festival this year will be two free musical-comedic performances by French-duo Ulik and Le SNOB outside The Forum, Norwich, on Friday, 1 May, 2009.

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Dressed in cone-shaped gowns and hats spouting flames, the pair will showcase a contemporary art fiesta with music, humour and the promise of bizarre irregularities!

Les Commandos Percu will provide a loud and spectacular show on Saturday, 2 May, 2009, at Earlham Park encompassing pyrotechnics and fireworks along to the beat of their highly percussive performance.

World-wide reputation

The annual festival of the arts has a reputation for drawing upon an artists’ roster from around the world.

Philip Glass

This year’s line-up includes contemporary composer Philip Glass, jazz pioneer Courtney Pine and soul sensation Mica Paris.

Philip Glass will be performing his first UK solo show since 2007. He has composed a number of operas, symphonies and has collaborated with artists Twyla Tharp, Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen and David Bowie.

His solo performance at the Norwich Theatre Royal on Friday, 15 May, 2009, is a festival exclusive.

Courtney Pine and his Jazz Warriors will perform with their funk and reggae-influenced Afro-Caribbean jazz music and Mica Paris has been performing for more than two decades as a singer, working with artists such as Prince, but she also shot to fame in her own right as an actress and a TV and radio presenter.

Voices raised in song

Festival regulars The Voice Project Choir, based in Norfolk, makes a welcome return to this year’s festival, showcasing Norfolk voices in song with a concert at Norwich Cathedral.

The Voice Project Choir performing in Norwich (Photo: Alexandra Bone)

“The cathedral is beautiful and I think the moment the choir arrive in it, the whole gear changes and the performers love the space,” said Sian Croose, conductor of the choir.

“To actually stand at the altar end and sing down the nave is quite an extraordinary experience,” she added.

The community choir will be singing I Prefer The Gorgeous Freedom, a major new work for choir and jazz quartet, written and performed by BBC award-winning jazz composer Gwilym Simcock.

The festival’s classical programme also includes performances by the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Academy Of Music, the Tallis Scholars and Nicola Benedetti, part of the Benedetti Trio, who made a name for herself as the 2004 BBC Young Musician Of The Year.

Family fun

The N&N Festival is keen to offer something for all the family. In 2009 the festival presents it’s most extensive children’s programme to date.

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The Norwich Puppet Theatre invites you to relive the drama of 18th Century murder courtesy of Sweeney Todd.

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Mary who lives with her family in Norwich is a wonderful dynamic and creative woman. Her unusual career shows her many talents and how versatile she is.

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Originally she trained as a pianist in her native Canada, and these days she continously performs in concerts, mainly in Norfolk. .

When she moved to Norwich in the 90s, her career took a complete new direction, as she qualified and worked as a hypnotherapist.

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Her latest training made her a qualified art therapist. During her studies  a prolific flow of artwork, mainly abstract expressive paintings, began to develop. Her paintings are vibrant and very powerful, open to the viewer’s interpretation.

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Alison’s art is amazingly imaginative and colourful. She lives near the North Norfolk coast.

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Super Catnap

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The red bird

Artist Statement
“My prints are produced on a hand-operated press in the garden studio and are made in small editions. I then use watercolour and sometimes gold leaf to add richness. I also paint in the same studio (when there is space among the printmaking paraphernalia!)

I like creating guardians for home or work place. I find people are pleased with the idea of a benign, protecting presence. I have been commissioned to produce ‘angels’ for private houses, a sheep farm, a church, a village hall and even a yacht in Greece! The Eastern Daily Press featured my ‘house angel’ on the cover of the 2003 Open Studios brochure.

The inspiration for my pictures comes from stories and poems, angels and lovers, mermaids and myths – though I began with angels – hence the name of ‘angel art’ for my website.

I have recently been enjoying working with ‘creative partnerships’, an organisation for promoting creativity in schools through making connections between artists and young people. I also teach printmaking and welcome commissions from anybody with an interest in my work.”

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Heavens Cloth

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Naming the Birds

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Rita’s prints are colourful and imaginative stories told by pictures.

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“Singapore Garden”

Artist Statement
“After Graduating as an art teacher I specialised in teaching children with special educational needs. I am presently working as a self-employed artist printmaker offering creative printmaking workshops from my home studio and in my local community.

I make imaginative, figurative collagaph and drypoint hand made prints. My images are based on personal memories, dreams or stories heard as a child. Less concerned with perspective, scale or realism I try to find forms to hold the feeling behind the stories being explored.

The collagraphs are taken from cardboard plates on which I score lines with a craft knife and add a variety of textures from everyday materials such as wallpaper, fabric and adhesive.

The drypoint prints are taken from Perspex or Crystaline Polypro plates, which have been scratched with a drypoint tool. Editions of prints are limited to 20. Each print is unique, varying in colour, texture and tonality as I often over work the prints in mixed media colour.”

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“Bridle Lane”

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“My green daughter”

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“Sunflowers”

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Christmas in Norfolk

We had a nice Christmas, with lots of family staying, good food and drink, decent weather and long muddy walks…

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Moyra lives in Southwold, Suffolk . Her motives concentrate very much on East Anglia’s landscapes and seascapes. (view website)

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Green Cat Scratching (Linocut)

Artist Statement
Moyra Byford“I trained at Lowestoft School of Art and St Martins College of Art, London, and lectured in Fine Art and Design in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, London and Cheshire before retraining in Art Conservation and Restoration. I pursued this career for over 20 years, also running private courses in restoration for students from many countries. I am a Guild Commended Framer, and have tutored many commercial and private courses in framing. I have had four books and fifteen videos on restoration and framing published

I continued to paint throughout my working career, but over the last 15 years have developed an interest in printmaking. Now I divide my time equally between painting and printmaking. I work in lino and wood for relief prints and etching, and collagraph for intaglio. I have recently started lithography. I am a member of a local art group, Southwold Art Circle and Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop, and I work on lithography at Curwen Studios.

My subjects are East Coast landscapes and seascapes, natural forms and animals, but after visiting Spain several times recently I find that a few Spanish subjects are creeping in.”

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Moonlight (etching)

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dusk (etching)

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Downs landscape II

What I like about Colin’s art is his handling of shapes, toether with light and shade. His etchings remind me very much of Japanese prints. Colin Bygrave lives in Briston, Norfolk, and specialises in etchings and paintings of landscape.  His subjects are taken mainly from this country and the Mediterranean and include many of his local Norfolk countryside.

Artist Statement
I was trained as a painter at Reading University under J.A.Betts, a pupil of Sickert, and have always had an interest in the representation of the visual world and our perception of it. Since retiring from teaching art, I have been painting and etching in my purpose-built studio at Briston. I enjoy landscape painting and printmaking, and since 1995 I have concentrated on etching, producing over 50 plates. My feeling for landscape is related to English Romantic painters or the 20th Century, also to a sense of underlying abstract form. I have no wish to be obscure in my work and have a straightforward approach to it; I am convinced of the importance of drawing, and I draw to reveal to myself the strangeness and unexpectedness of the world that I see. (visit Colin’s website)

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Downs landscape VIII

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