Creativity to arise from destruction

Sudbury Society's Visions of Sudbury art exhibition. Pictured is Seeing Jesse Home by Steven Binks ANL-150929-125724001
Sudbury Society's Visions of Sudbury art exhibition. Pictured is Seeing Jesse Home by Steven Binks ANL-150929-125724001

September’s Sudbury fire will inspire at least some of the paintings at a large exhibition of local work in the town next week.

The annual Visions of Sudbury art exhibition, run by the Sudbury Society, is this year topically themed on the subject of Sudbury’s listed buildings.

There is added poignancy this year with the fire, meaning that what was initially intended to be a celebration of 247 of the town’s historic buildings, is now marking 242.

Some of the artists, of which 80-90 are expected to exhibit, will actually depict the fire in the town.

Vice chairman of the Sudbury Society, Robin Drury, who is organising next week’s event, said: “I’m sure a lot of artists will be reflecting on these buildings, both before and after the fire.

“There was a sense of excitement about it all (the fire) but also a sense of loss. You don’t really see the buildings when they are there, so there’s a sense of poignancy about it all.”

The centrepiece of the exhibit will be artist Steven Binks’ large 6ft 3ins by 4ft 9ins detailed bird’s eye view painting of Market Hill in 1944 entitled Seeing Jessie Home. It depicts an aircraft from the US Air Force’s 486th Bomb Squadron pulling up over the town.

Robin said: “It really is a stunning piece of detailed work with a price tag of £6950, to reflect the huge number of hours it has taken him.

“At the other end of the scale, Josie Hensser has produced a painting of All Saints Church from her home in Church Street.

“The painting was unfortunately half eaten by her giant Airedale, Bessie.

“She was pleased with her work so has decided to exhibit it anyway, despite teeth and paw marks!”

About 150 pieces of work are set to be hung, with most for sale.

Last year the show attracted between 2,000 and 2,500 visitors and the expectation is for similar this year.

Alongside the exhibition is a showcase of small businesses operating in the area.

n Visions of Sudbury runs from October 6 to 11, 10am to 6pm, except Sunday, October 11 which has an early close of 2pm.

It takes place in St Peter’s Church, Market Hill.

n The Sudbury Society is planning to compile a book documenting the town’s historic buildings. To contribute with any materials or memories, email robin@sudburysuffolk.co.uk