An exhibition curated by the YNA Collective
ReConnect, ReEngage, ReDiscover is an exhibition inspired by the experience of the Young Norfolk Arts Collective and young people in Norfolk, returning to friends, family, nature, community and the city as lockdown eases.
The Collective have selected works by artists aged 11 to 25 from an open call and artist commission call out. Their work embeds and explores the definitions of what ReConnect, ReDiscover and ReEngage mean to them:
ReConnect: Connect back together and re-establish a bond of communication, emotion, community and place.
ReDiscover: To find something lost or forgotten once again.
ReEngage: Attract and re-establish a meaningful contact, or involvement, of someone or something.
You can also share your own responses to this theme and to the exhibition using #ReConnectReDiscoverReEngage
The Collective commissioned 4 emerging artists aged 18-25 from across Norfolk to create work inspired by the theme of ReConnect, ReEngage, ReDiscover.
Prophecies is an audio work about the future. Maddie has interviewed Jane Hedges (the Very Reverend of Norwich Cathedral), Penny Francis (a psychic medium), Vonnie Spooner (a spirit guide) and a group of 7 year olds from Earl Soham Primary School to ask them what the future looks like. Harnessing a range of voices, Prophecies will invite listeners into a moment of intimacy with each speaker and open a space for reconnecting with dreaming. The past year has plunged many into survival mode and Prophecies pushes us to be curious again. Religious spaces are a place people often look to for answers and hope, and as such, being set in the Cathedral grounds, the short trail can act like a modern pilgrimage.
“In crises, we pray. Our engagement with religion continues to change, and I wondered how God can act as guidance in the modern world. In the dark days of post ww1 Britain, spiritualism became so popular it almost overtook the Anglican Church, and that same thirst for spiritual comfort has been mirrored during covid. I spoke to a spirit guide and a medium to see what messages and spiritual lessons we can take forward. Working with a group of children from Earl Soham Primary School, it was refreshing and surprising to see what the young think the world will look like in 25 years, allowing the content to be both playful and poignant, two things I always strive for.”
I’m a conceptual artist and writer based in East Anglia. Research and project based, working across painting, installation, film, performance, text and drawing. My work focuses on examining life, to highlight poetics and connections.
How to listen to Prophecies
Download the ECHOES application to your smart phone. You will be able to search for “Prophecies” or scan the QR code to reveal the locations and sounds for each project. The sound will be triggered (headphones recommended) outside of The Crypt, Cathedral Close, Norwich. If you can’t make it to the location you can also listen to the audio below.
We’ve Grown Out Of It
Mixed-media collage animation
I’ve always been intrigued by the arts; meaningful concept-driven design especially, and more-recently I’ve enjoyed playing with experimental mediums and processes, particularly through mixed media motion pieces.
My film captures a collective sigh of relief from us all to the slow-but-sure departure of the pandemic, and just how fed up with it we all are. Demonstrating breaking-free of the loneliness and isolation that was so prominent over this period, I’m celebrating the return to our loved ones and to the outdoors! Experimental in nature, the collaging of photography and the digital allows for more freedom in use of colour and texture to convey the optimistic tone intended.
I am an illustrator and printmaker based in Norwich. I draw inspiration from my mixed cultural heritage, celebrating diversity and identity is important in my practice. ‘Connect’ shows me embracing a loved one and aims to demonstrate the sense of relief we’re feeling as we come out of lockdown and are able to do simple things such as hug each other again. It has been a tough year, and I am grateful for the people I love near and far. I am looking forward to being able to connect once more with people, nature and my community.
You can find more of Tricia’s work in her portfolio
Within my piece I focused on reconnecting with nature throughout the Pandemic, taking inspiration from the ‘Lound Lakes Nature Reserve’ and the ‘Norfolk Broads’. The textures included within the piece were heavily influenced by my experience visiting and photographing these locations.
I am a current Illustration student at Norwich University of the Arts and enjoy experimenting with unique textures and digital layering within my work to combine traditional collage with digital processes. My aim for this piece was to capture a sense of ‘tranquillity’ and emersion in the natural environment, whilst also drawing attention to the incredible landscapes we have on our doorsteps here in Norfolk.
The Collective have curated an open call of artists aged 11-18 who submitted work inspired by the theme of ReConnect, ReEngage, ReDiscover.
Holly’s piece explores rediscovering her love for dance after not being able to attend dance lessons over lock down.
“My main inspiration for the garment I produced is centred around the North Norfolk coastline. I really wanted to focus on pollution and how it can scar the Norfolk landscape. I investigated my garment design using metal which I then rusted to make it look more authentic. The unconventional nature of this garment whereby it has one full length sleeve and a single chain with metal circular detailing has been composed to reflect the irregular nature of the landscape. I have hand dyed the base cloth to create the illusion of the natural landscape. I used an embellished, knitted wire, pleated copper and digital transfer techniques to further create a series of unpredictable layering effects.”
John Oswald Crichton
“The design was inspired by the stained-glass windows of many local cathedrals and churches such as Norwich Cathedral. Religion is such an important aspect of so many peoples’ lives and really helps many people feel welcome in such a global community. This garment design was conceptualised before the January and February lockdown meaning I had dreamt of more elaborate elements such as heat mouldable plastic but due to being at home it was not possible. This difficult situation encouraged me to reconsider my base concept of the geometric stained-glass windows. This led me to develop my concept into looking at sewing. The main essence of this garment is all centred around religion and the diversity of their community.”
This piece explores the feeling of being alone and loss, but seeing the glimmer of hope and communication again in the crowd in the distance.
The piece is 3D and was created using wood, papier mache, printed images, tissue paper and recycled beads.
“I chose thoughtful because I usually go in my own world and think about my past. I chose the colour purple because when I am in my thoughtful mood I see the colour purple. I put sparkly beads because if I didn’t it would be a bit depressing and I put them on and the sparkles to make my day. I put a film tape on because I can think pf all my past memories. I did fuzzy eyes with 2 beads because I am sometimes in my own world and sometimes I cannot listen to anyone. I put a speech bubble because I sometimes think what I’ve got in my head.”
My work thoughtful is because I am thinking about coming back to normal and I think we should all be thoughtful about it. going back to normal is not easy because I had a big change in the middle of lockdown and had to think about it a lot. I don’t know why I like doing art but it does make me feel relaxed and I can block everything else out, some people think art is boring but they should just try it.”
“I have produced this jacket inspired by a walk in Norfolk at Holkham beach. I recently visited Holkham beach on a family holiday and found the formations of the sand dunes with the wind creating a constant movement of sand and marram grass contrasting to the squelchy and heavy stillness of the salt marshes, very inspiring. I decided to produce a jacket reflecting this harsh yet beautiful contrast. The seams are inside out to present the inner structure of the natural surface as the wind strips the beach of sand creating the mounds of sand dunes. I wanted to present the light and subtle movement of swirling sand in the repeat pattern I produced on the calico fabric with puffy paint for added texture to reflect the marshes. The royal ruffle lining the front edge of the jacket and the sleeves represents the flow of the sand, shaped by footfall and wind creating an uneven, bouncy surface. The collar is created with the technique of reverse appliqué. I wanted to add the contrast of the rough and smooth textures of the salt marshes depending on high and low tide as more sea water created a squelchy, soft surface whereas when the marsh was parched of water, cracks appeared creating rough textural aspects. “
Oil paint on canvas
I am 17 from Norwich. I have been painting for around 4 years now, I work mostly in oil paints, and in an expressionistic style to paint nature. This piece is inspired by photographer Ana Mendieta’s work, which I completed for my GCSE art portfolio. The painting is based on a photograph I took of a friend in a small forest in my village in the heart of Norfolk, In the painting I wanted to show her closeness to nature and how they almost became one.
It took me around 80 hours and allowed me to find my love of art beyond just subject material for exams. I think this piece relates to this year’s theme of the exhibition as it shows the reconnection to nature as we are granted more freedom out of lockdown as the flowers “flourish” brightly around the figure, as well as my own personal rediscovery of art and painting for relaxation.
Peaches In The Garden
Acrylic paint on tote bag
Throughout lockdown I began painting tote bags with acrylic paint in order to earn some money, try a new medium, and also have a place in which to exhibit my art to the people around me, when galleries and exhibitions were unable to open and share work. I think this fits well to the theme of this year’s exhibition as we have all had to change, adapt and adjust to change and find new ways to do things and access the things we enjoy. I think this painting could be interpreted to represent the reconnection back to nature and the things we previously took for granted as we are coming closer to normality.
“Flora and Fauna”
“As lockdown restrictions were lifted, I rediscovered the flora and fauna in Norfolk I previously had taken for granted. My first connection going back into the outside world was through dog walks across fields where livestock grazed. Particularly inspired by the Norfolk Horn sheep, I used free hand embroidery to emphasise the strong sculptural form and gnarled texture of the rams’ horns. To balance this textural feature, I sought to emulate the softer, speckled surface texture of the thistles that populated the footways. To achieve this, I created the base of the garment through devoré of a floral design inspired by Crewel embroidery of flora and fauna from Norfolk. This historical reference of regional textiles influenced me to maintain a focus on tapestry-like layering of soft burgundy and plum tones. I then embellished layers of organza into the curved outlines left by devoré to pay homage to the dotted surface texture of the thistle flower when seen in groups. I aimed to compose complementary curving forms to reflect the harmony of the natural environment of Norfolk, and celebrate its dynamic and enduring activity, despite the interruptions and changes in human life due to coronavirus. By reminding ourselves of the evergreen ‘Flora and Fauna’ in Norfolk, we can feel hope in a return to normal life, and in re-engaging with the beauty in our environment, and therefore lives.”
“My name is Viktorija. My main language is Lithuanian. I loved art since I was born, most of the time I spent practising. When I was still in primary school, mostly I would draw since I had no friends. That was the point when I started to have fun drawing. Also when I changed schools I found a few friends who were also big fans of art. When I was giving up on a drawing they encouraged me to carry on.
I decided to choose Reconnect because I wanted to show how after Covid 19 when I met my best friend at the airport.”