The Norfolk Way Art Trail 2023
A series of dynamic new artworks
The EXPERIENCE project at Norfolk County Council has commissioned a series of dynamic new artworks to form the Norfolk Way Art Trail, an exciting outdoor public art trail spanning 250 miles of Norfolk, England.
Proposals were invited from artists from across the world to respond to locations along the Norfolk Way Art Trail to design multi-sensory, accessible public artworks that would engage local communities, reveal hidden stories and inspire visitors to explore the county between October and March. A total of 15 artists were initially shortlisted and a public online exhibition showcased their proposals where members of the public could view and give an indication of which artworks they liked the best for each area. Four artworks were then chosen from the shortlisted pieces:
- Plain Sight, concept by Studio Squash for King’s Lynn
- Iron Reef, concept by Studio Maetherea for Reedham Ferry Inn, Reedham
- Flock, concept by toyStudio for Diss Mere, Diss
- Honing Passage, concept by Studio Sabine Marcelis for Honing Station (relocated site along the North Walsham & Dilham Canal)
The EXPERIENCE Team are now working with artists to develop their proposals. To see the winning proposals, please click on the links below for each area. To get regular updates on the progress of the project, please follow @norfolkwayarttrail on Instagram
This initiative is funded by EXPERIENCE a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme. Led by Norfolk County Council, it aims to deliver innovative and sustainable growth via a new tourism strategy. It is project-managed by Creative Giants.
King’s Lynn is steeped in maritime trading history, has strong links with Europe and is a proud member of the Hanseatic League, which it has been part of for centuries.
Situated on the Western edge of Norfolk, its sense of space, fresh air rolling in off the river, its fishing community, characterful rural villages and unspoilt wildlands are all part of its identity. It is also home to Britain’s oldest working theatre, the 15th Century Guildhall where it is it is believed that Shakespeare himself may have performed.
Diss is a cherished market town in South Norfolk. Nestled within the beautiful Waveney Valley, Diss historically traded in the wool and linen textile industries. One area, known as the Heritage Triangle, has recently undergone a £3.4 million regeneration programme, designed to transform its commercial centre.
It is also home to one of the deepest natural inland lakes in the United Kingdom. The six-acre body of water, known as Diss Mere, has been subject to considerable speculation: according to ancient folklore, it was once considered bottomless and formed in the crater of an extinct volcano. Geology suggests, however, that its origins extend back to the Ice Age. Nobody knows for sure.
A beautiful, frequented spot at the entrance to Diss Park and mouth of the Mere invited an application for a new artwork.
This section of the North Walsham and Dilham Canal was transformed by its owner Laurie Ashton, who sadly passed away recently. He dedicated 20 years of his life to opening up the area as a waterway for the community, creating somewhere for people to come and relax. He cleared silt and laid 60,000 bricks by hand to restore Bacton Wood Lock and renovated it to make the area the haven it is today.
Wild swimmers, model boaters, canoers, families, anglers and walkers are attracted to the site and North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust volunteers upkeep the area with great care, seeing it as a ‘green gym’, a place for enhancement of personal wellbeing. During the pandemic this harmonious spot has experienced an increased number of visitors, celebrating its wildlife, nature, peace, fauna and flora.
Laurie was the owner of the canal and a brilliant engineer. Applications are invited for artworks that celebrate Laurie’s vision for the area.