23 May 2017
King’s Lynn Festival artistic director Ambrose Miller is well aware that “the quality and breadth of the programme puts the festival on a level with the most prestigious festivals in Britain.” This year includes the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as well as folk and dance performances, from The Demon Barbers, Blazin’ Fiddles and many more.
This is the 67th year of the Festival and we are looking forward to sharing some of our Alfred Wallis collection with Festival-goers in an exhibition entitled ‘Ships and Boats’ as part of the exciting music and arts programme.
Kettle’s Yard Director Andrew Nairne emphasises the nautical connection between our Wallis collection and King’s Lynn. “We are delighted that paintings by Alfred Wallis, from our collection in Cambridge, are part of this year’s Festival. Wallis was a remarkable 20th century artist, vividly expressing his own experience of seafaring in his native Cornwall. We hope visitors will enjoy discovering these unique paintings, especially in the context of King’s Lynn’s maritime history.”
The works included in the exhibition depict ships and boats at sea, a subject handled frequently by Wallis. Born in Devonport, Alfred Wallis was a fisherman and later a scrap-metal merchant in St. Ives. He found inspiration from this environment and painted innovative seascapes on found fragments of card and paper. The collection will be on display at the Fermoy Gallery in King’s Lynn, which sits by the water. Senior Curator, Dr Jennifer Powell, notes the ideal setting. “The Fermoy Gallery is a wonderful gallery space in the heart of King’s Lynn and right next to the River Ouse that we are excited to curate and to welcome everybody to see these special works from the Kettle’s Yard collection.”
Festival chairman Alison Croose said “We are delighted that Kettle’s Yard at Cambridge University is so keen to give Lynn Festival this rare chance to feature Alfred Wallis’s work. “With the support of an anonymous sponsor Lynn Festival will be staging an exhibition of great interest and with a most appropriate title for the Wash port – Ships and Boats.”
Wallis has always been one of Kettle’s Yard’s visitors’ favourite artists in our collection and we are excited to have the opportunity to share his work with people who may not have had the chance to visit the Kettle’s Yard House. We also currently have an exhibition of paintings by Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood at The Fitzwilliam Museum. ‘Sea to Shore’ offers another opportunity to see paintings by Wallis, as well as those he inspired by Christopher Wood and will be on display until August.
The 2017 King’s Lynn Festival takes place from 16-29 July. For more information about ‘Ships and Boats’ click here. To read more about the Festival’s programming please visit the King’s Lynn Festival website.