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Artist inspired by views from former Star and Garter pub in Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:55 08 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:55 08 February 2016

Artist Rachel Thomas has been painting the riverside view from a vantage point at the former Star and Garter pub on Hall Quay.

Picture: James Bass

Artist Rachel Thomas has been painting the riverside view from a vantage point at the former Star and Garter pub on Hall Quay. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

Drab industrial landscapes are transformed into worlds of vibrant colour in the hands of artist Rachel Thomas.

For months she has looked out of the same window at the former Star and Garter pub in Great Yarmouth’s Hall Quay watching the world go by.

Being based in the abandoned first floor room amid the bustle of builders has helped focus her artist’s eye, seeing vivid blooms of colour in the everyday vista. In her pictures a slab of green is recognisably the Lydia Eva as brightly coloured masts and dark funnels mingle in the busy scene.

Elsewhere her attention is focused on the inside of the former pub where rickety staircases are transformed into wedges of colour and shade.

She said the changing light made for ever-interesting riverside views with the early morning casting a lovely yellow glow. While other people enjoyed pretty landscapes it was the glint of rust or the colourful geometry of cranes that inspired her to dip into her palette, she said.

The residency will result in around 15 large oils depicting river views, the inside of the pub, and some nudes as she attempted to personalise the scenes.

They will be hung in the room she has been working from since last summer as the building’s new owner celebrates its transformation with an exhibition of her striking pieces.

Mark Duffield, director of Aldreds, bought the building after the pub closed around two and a half years ago.

Restoring it has been a labour of love for the sailing and art enthusiast who wants to make it a hub for both his passions.

Already the lettings branch of his business has moved in downstairs as renovations continue upstairs to create a meeting room and exhibition space, as well as two flats.

Mrs Thomas, 48, who lives with her artist husband Edward Bush and two daughters Harriet and Bronte in Martham said Yarmouth’s harbour was “stunning.”

So far the project had been an artistic success, and a huge investment in terms of time and money.

Having painted the same view multiple times she saw something different on every occasion, with ships becoming huge slabs of colour reflecting on the water for contrast.

“It is about trying to capture the beauty in ordinary things,” she said.

As well as staging the building’s first exhibition, hopefully in April, Mr Duffield hoped the large room would also host meetings of Great Yarmouth’s newly re-formed yacht club.

The town’s previous yacht club ran from 1863 to 1937 when it merged with the one at Wroxham.

Mr Duffield hoped in re-connecting the club with its history it would again become part of the fabric of the town.

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