Let your fingers do the walking - arts and culture in Norwich

2 April 2020

Let your fingers do the walking – arts and culture in Norwich at your fingertips

It’s fair to say life has turned on it’s head for all of us. Our daily routines knocked for six, what we once took for granted now seems a long-distant memory. If you lived for the moment that was the way to go. We all realise this now. Everyday freedoms have been temporarily paused, so what can we creatively do to combat the situation and keep ourselves occupied and interested? And with regular distractions taken away and the ‘noise’ gone, what can we now bring into our lives to replace it?

We might have a non-essential travel ban in place, but that doesn’t mean we need to miss out. What we can do is adjust our lives to fit our current circumstances. Norwich is full of places to ‘visit’ from the comfort of our homes. And okay – a virtual visit isn’t quite the same as the full experience in person, but it does give us time to ponder and read about what we find, quietly – with no ‘noise’ to distract us. Ready for when we can head out again for a ‘real world’ trip.

Photo: Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell

Hands up – who’s heard of Google Arts & Culture?

Neither had we until a few years ago. Google Arts & Culture is an online platform giving people access to high-resolution images of artworks. And to enable this to happen Google works with partner museums. Norwich’s Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is one such museum partner offering a catalogue of 150 Norwich images. These images tell the visual story of Norwich’s history which includes images of shoes, advertisements, art, manufacturing, household items, textiles and even a fire engine. This is a great way to spend time really absorbing some of the magnificent objects within the museum and learning about Norwich’s history. We highly recommend taking a look.

A 360 view

Norwich is a city of hidden gems and we’ve found a way of seeing some of them without taking a step outside. Norwich 360 is a collection of works by an unknown Norwich resident – now retired from publishing – who has always had a keen interest in photography. And we’re SO glad.

The mystery man (we do actually know he is a man) has painstakingly created a series of 360-degree panoramas of some of Norwich’s iconic buildings. There are 20 locations in the centre of Norwich and four further ones in Norfolk. The panoramas are incredible and include places that are no longer here, places that are not generally open to the public and places we have walked past for years. The list includes: The Mustard Shop & Museum, The Great Hospital and the Octagon Chapel.

Photo: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

5,000 years of world art

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is one of our most important buildings in Norwich not only for its incredible architecture (thank you Norman Foster) but also for its collection of artworks spanning 5,000 years. Amassed by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, it was generously donated to the University of East Anglia in 1973. And they continued all through their lives to donate works to The Sainsbury Centre. The collection, which is of incredible value, includes: Picasso, Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and many others.

It truly has to be seen to be believed. Which we know is for another day, however, right now you can enjoy highlights from the art and objects in the collection which has been divided into four categories: Culture, Design, Nature and People.