The Press Gang: Exhibition of Prints.

The Press Gang Printmakers

June 2017 Exhibition

Come and see the gang’s vibrant and varied work in our gallery downstairs. The exhibition will run through June.

The Press Gang printmakers work from the print room at The Wilson Marriage Centre and are tutored by Judith White. They share a passion for the traditional art of printmaking including monotype, linocut, drypoint and collagraph techniques.

You can find out more about the group from The Press Gang Facebook page

Centuries of Change: The History of St Mary’s at the Wall, Colchester

For best part of 40 years now St Mary’s Church has flourished as a much loved arts venue. The building which shakes now to the sound of heavy metal bands was once shaken by the impact of 38lb canon balls during the siege of Colchester as well as by the earth quake of 1884.

The current building is actually the third built on the site. The first was St Mary the Virgin which only later became known as St Mary’s at the Walls.

The church has witnessed the burning of protestants in 1557 within yards of the west door. During the Civil War, a cavalry charge led by Charles Lucas, repelled the parliamentary invaders with the help of a cannon hauled to the top of the Church’s tower.  During the siege that followed, cannon were trained on the tower and a relentless bombardment resulted in the church’s destruction.

The fabric of the current building is lovingly detailed; the stonework, paintings, bells, and stained glass are all described and illustrated with photographs.

This fascinating book traces the history of a church that has been at the heart of Colchester life for so many generations.  The one disappointment for some might be to discover that St Mary’s famous link with Humpty Dumpty is unfounded!

An Audience with Sarah Perry

Red Lion Bookshop, in partnership with Appetite Book Club, are delighted to host this event with Sarah Perry, who will talk about her wonderful novel, ‘The Essex Serpent’ at
Colchester Arts Centre
Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 6.30 pm

The Essex Serpent’,  is set largely in and around Colchester towards the end of the nineteenth century.

A series of misfortunes out on the Blackwater estuary lead to rumours that the legendary serpent (or dragon) is stalking the land once more, roused from its slumbers by the earthquake of 1884.

It has been shortlisted for many prestigious, national literary awards, including the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Costa Fiction Prize and the Wellcome Book Prize. It has just been announced winner of the British Book Award 2017.

The Arts Centre doors will open at 6.00pm with the event starting at 6.30pm sharp.

There will be the opportunity for audience Q&A and the event will run through to 7.30pm.

Tickets at £5.00 can be bought from the shop during normal opening hours of 9 – 5.30pm.

Tickets are also available online from  Colchester Arts Centre website for £6 where an ordering charge is also applicable.

All profits from this event will be donated to  Read Easy, a charity that works to help adults learn to read.

Find out about the excellent and important work they do here

Battlefield Essex

Through history Essex has been the scene of many battles and this book documents the many different kinds of conflicts that have taken place in our county.

There was, of course, Boudicca’s legendary revolt against the might of Rome. After the sacking and burning of Colchester she headed off down the A12 (or its equivalent) with a growing army to give London the same treatment. The Peasants Revolt of 1381 and the Siege of Colchester during the Civil War are featured, but it is the many less well-known slices of history that make the book so interesting. The Battle of Maldon in August 991 saw the Anglo Saxons crushed by the Viking invaders who had already attacked Ipswich with their fleet of 90 ships. It is described in a remarkable Anglo Saxon poem.

Also covered are more recent and, fortunately, less bloody battles. Like the ‘mods and rockers’ bank holiday clashes at Clacton in the sixties and the ‘Battle of Brightlingsea’ in the nineties when protesters attempted to block the export of live animals to the continent.

There is plenty in this book to inform and entertain anyone with an interest in the fascinating history of Essex.

Paperback, price £8.99

‘Ancient Japan: an exhibition of prints and textiles by Norah Stocker

 ‘Ancient Japan’ by Norah Stocker
Exhibition runs from 2nd – 26th May 2017

Printmaking: This is a series of prints inspired by works of Japanese artist Utamaro (1753-1806) his beautiful detailed work using woodblock printing. Utamaro uses line and pattern on sumptuous fabrics and courtesans in their daily life.

For the last three years I have been exploring the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi in my art and textile work. Natural forms and the spiritual symbolism, the cycle of life and rebirth, impermanence, decay and incomplete. Fine art printmaking will be incorporated into future works of my art on textiles and papers as it will in my teaching.

I am exploring ideas of creating visual decay in methods of applying the inks in soft tonal colours and ghost prints to create small ancient art. Papers will play a very important part of my future work. 

Textiles: The Boro – Japan: exploring stories through threads of life of an impoverished past Japan 15C. Woven, patched, indigo, rags from worn-down workwear and covers in todays world. frayed

Norah is a qualified Printmaker, Art, Design & Textile Artist and teacher of City & Guilds.

 She exhibits throughout East Anglia annually at Quay Gallery Snape Maltings, Braintree Museum, Colchester Minories Gallery and at many other venues.

Find out more about Norah’s work here


Meet the authors: Stephen May and Emma Kittle Pey

Thursday 27th April at 6.30 pm

Come and meet two authors and hear about their new books.

In a unique partnership this event will be hosted by the irrepressible

Anthony Roberts

on a rare night off from the Arts Centre!

This is a free event but space is limited so please email to reserve a seat.