Eleanor Costello, Communicatons Assistant
I had the opportunity to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts for the first time this week. Set on the campus of the University of East Anglia, the Norman Foster designed building overlooks the beautiful Norwich countryside. Recently used as part of the Marvel Avengers set, the futuristic space houses some incredible objects. Their varied collection spans centuries and includes some very familiar names to us at Kettle’s Yard; Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, to name a few.
While we’re closed for the building project we’re trying to visit a variety of galleries and museums across the country to meet their teams and learn from different examples of great work. We spent time with their Head of Marketing and Communications and spoke about their upcoming programmes, and the exciting exhibitions and events they are planning for their 40th anniversary celebrations next year. After our meeting, with heads full of ideas and inspiration, we visited the two temporary exhibitions on display.
The underground gallery space was given to a large Paul Nash exhibition. A key figure of Modern Art in Britain, Nash’s eerie war-time paintings were made even more so in the basement setting. Organised by Tate Britain, the exhibition included a huge range of his works, from illustrations to his larger scale, surrealist paintings.
Upstairs was Rana Begum’s ‘Space Light Colour’. Before climbing the spiral staircase, where you end up in the middle of a large installation, visitors are invited to put on a neon orange rain-coat style jacket. Dubious at first, after a while intrigue got the best of me and I donned the bright colour to the amusement of those eating at the cafe below.
Rana’s immersive exhibition attempts to make the viewer want to move around and interact with the space. The jacket encouraged me to get up close and personal with the artwork, and as I approached the colours of shadows changed. The light and space of Foster’s building worked well with Rana’s work, the expansive maze-like piece used grey tones that blended into the ceiling, and the light from the windows that stretch from floor to roof on one side created dramatic shadows, emphasising the three dimensionality.
After visiting the exhibitions, we walked around some of the University grounds, not wanting to miss out on their Antony Gormley sculpture on show. UAE also has some beautiful Henry Moore work on display. With graduation ceremonies in full-swing and the sun shining, we could not have picked a better day to explore the campus. I’m already looking forward to my return and to working with them in the future.
Rana Begum’s ‘Space, Light, Colour’ will be on display at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts until October 1.