Yarmouth street art photography display attacked

Emerson display vandalised Great Yarmouth

Part of a display celebrating the work of Peter Henry Emerson has been destroyed in Great Yarmouth - a town working out the best way to protect its Banksy graffiti art. - Credit: Kaavous Clayton

Some nine panels showcasing the work of a trailblazer photographer have been ripped from the sea wall in Great Yarmouth.

The pieces were put up several months ago to celebrate the work of photography pioneer Peter Henry Emerson.

Emerson photographs damaged in Great Yarmouth

Gloomy skies in Great Yarmouth reflect local disappointment after panels relating to a photography exhibition were ripped down. - Credit: Kaavous Clayton

The destruction was discovered by dog walker Ann Guyton, who said she was "really disappointed" to see the panels ripped from the wall and laid out on the promenade behind the Pleasure Beach.

Kaavous Clayton, of Original Projects one of the organisations behind the exhibition, said Emerson was a local interest artist and the pictures were there to inspire people.

Drawing parallels with the Banksy "Spraycation" he said he hoped as much energy would be put into finding out who ruined the display as had been in protecting works by the anonymous street artist - which could also be regarded as vandalism.

Emerson images destroyed by vandals in Great Yarmouth

Some of the photographs relating to The Great Wall of Emerson installation remain in place in Great Yarmouth after they were targeted by vandals. - Credit: Kaavous Clayton

"They are quite hard to pull down.

"They must have needed the exercise.

"People passing really enjoyed them. I guess if you put something in the public domain there is a risk.

"They would be easy to print again but I don't know if we could afford to do it.

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"It (the vandalism) could be connected  to Banksy in terms of a big conversation about what is art?

"Whoever did this probably does not have much joy in  their life."

Emerson panels vandalised Great Yarmouth street art

Although vandals have attacked outdoor exhibition panels in Great Yarmouth, some remain in place showcasing the work of 19th century photography Peter Henry Emerson. - Credit: Kaavous Clayton

The installation, The Great Wall of Emerson, is one of a six locations included in the Emerson festival which culminates in a photography competition with the winning entries due to go on public display later this year.

Mr Clayton said the focus should remain on the panels that were left, rather than those that had been destroyed.

Emerson was born in Cuba and was a noted scholar and athlete. Later he abandoned his career as a surgeon to become a photographer and writer. He argued the case for realism in photographs and between 1885 and 1895 captured images around Great Yarmouth and the Norfolk Broads.

Ms Guyton said the panels were "easy pickings" for vandals looking to wreak havoc unseen by CCTV cameras.

"Someone made an effort to brighten the place up, it was a point of interest," she added.

To find out more about the Emerson festival and to enter the competition visit www.utternonsense.co.uk.