Six Great Yarmouth venues to host celebration of 'ahead of his time' artist

An old photograph of a man with a telescope.

The Great Yarmouth Photography Festival focuses on the work of Peter Henry Emerson. - Credit: Mark Cator

A Great Yarmouth photographer known for being ahead of his time will be celebrated in a new exhibition of his work across six town venues.

An old photograph of a man with hay.

The festival begins on Saturday, June 5 and will take place across six venues around Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Mark Cator

Taking place on Saturday, June 5, Great Yarmouth’s 'Finding Emerson Photo Festival 2021' plans to place Great Yarmouth within the history of photography and the work of the 19th century photographer Peter Henry Emerson.

Contemporary photographers, academics and curators have been invited to share their own understanding and practice with residents through a programme of seminars, break-out sessions, exhibitions and art installations.

The festival will provide people with the chance to discover more about P.H. Emerson, the history and development of photography as a whole, contemporary photographic approaches and the cultural heritage of Great Yarmouth.

The festival is a collaboration between Utter Nonsense and originalprojects and is being funded by Arts Council England.

An old photograph of a busy river.

PH Emerson focused a lot of his photography on East Anglian life in the late 1800s. - Credit: Mark Cator


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Six Great Yarmouth venues will be used for different parts of the festival, including: 

  • St George’s Theatre
  • Primeyarc Gallery, in the old Debenhams unit of Market Gates shopping centre
  • Skippings Gallery, on King Street
  • The Yare Gallery, in the old Nelson museum on South Quay
  • Time and Tide Museum
  • Utter Nonsense Studios, down Battery Road near the Barrack Estate

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All events are free, apart from the seminars, which will be asking for donations between £2 - £8.

The seminars, along with the breakouts must be booked in advance to manage numbers.

Photographer and founder of Utter Nonsense, Mark Cator said: "We are incredibly proud to be bringing to life such an important part of Great Yarmouth’s heritage.

"We would love as many residents as possible to be part of this.

"The art installations will be positioned around the town, including The Great Wall of Emerson along the seafront, recordings of Emerson’s writings by a Norfolk based poet and the installation of a blue plaque in Emerson’s honour.”

Black and white photograph of a busy river.

The even organiser, Mark Cator, wants as many people of the town to take part. - Credit: Mark Cator

Following its launch, the festival will feature workshops and installations with local schools.

In the Autumn, an open art competition and exhibition, will take place at the Time and Tide Museum.

Full details of the festival including location and booking can be found here.

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