Norwich’s Urban History Celebrated In New Exhibition


The architectural and industrial history of Norwich is set to be celebrated in the latest art exhibition coming to Norwich Theatre Royal.

Sally Hirst will showcase her abstract and multi-textured work inspired by the city’s urban look at Norwich Theatre Royal from July 19 to October 2 as part of the venue’s ongoing partnership with Targetfollow Arts to highlight creative talent from the area.

For the past year, Sally has fully immersed herself in the story of Norwich’s buildings and industrial heritage.

They have inspired her to create a series of paintings, prints and collages which highlight the design, structures, signs and materials used in many iconic buildings.

These include The Mustard Factory, Crown Brewery, Bullards Chimney and Sovereign House.

Bullards Chimney by Sally Hirst

Some of the work is inspired by those that are still around now while others are based on old photographs and records.

Each piece in the exhibition also varies in style between the abstract and realistic but all aim to treat their subject sensitively encouraging people to think about the past and present of Norwich’s urban landscape.

Sally’s artistic career began in the classroom where she was head of art at the likes of Hethersett High School, Lowestoft Sixth Form College, and the City of Ely Community College in Cambridgeshire.

Since 2010, she has been a freelance tutor at The Art Trading Company in Bungay in Suffolk.

Her latest exhibition at Norwich Theatre Royal comes after a host of previous showcases of her work in the area at the likes of Norwich Arts Centre, The Forum and the city’s Perfect Pad Gallery.

Her work has also been enjoyed nationally and internationally too at Gainsborough House in Suffolk, the Bankside Gallery in London and The Projects Gallery at Art Basel in Miami.

Sally said her environment has always played a huge part in the creation of her art. She explained: “My work has always reflected where I live, places I visit and journeys I embark upon. The texture, architecture, signage and structures of each new environment dictate the development of my artwork.

“I describe myself as an experimental artist. For me, it means that I enjoy bending rules, inventing processes and exploring layers of imagery. I am somewhat irreverent and always curious, always learning and always experimenting.”

Sarah Cannell, of Targetfollow Arts, said the exhibition will allow you to look at Norwich in a different way. She said: “Through the layers of information and meaning, transparency and opacity, ambiguity and nuance, these images aim to inform and enrich understanding of our fine city.”