ABC Taxi’s Guide To Exciting Open-Air Art In Norwich
Art is everywhere in our Fine City. Whilst some of our favourite galleries can’t be with us right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t marvel at the amazing talent that the artists in our area have put on display for our enjoyment. Inside and out, there is so much colour in Norwich.
Today, we’re taking a minute to appreciate the wonderful installations that decorate our daily walks.
St Stephen’s Underpass – The Underground Gallery
Curated by local street artist and pineapple enthusiast, Ruth Knapp, St Stephen’s underpass is home to an eclectic and diverse collection of wall art known as The Underground Gallery. The gallery celebrates the wealth of visual talent that sparks excitement in our city and is bred by the abundance of inspiration that Norwich has to offer.
It’s a dynamic installation that changes constantly. After all, new art is bursting at the scenes here in Norwich. No matter what your tastes, you’re sure to find something you love and something that tugs at your curiosity: abstract shapes, faithful portraits, humorous manifestos and touching tributes. This roundabout is proud to show-off the many different styles that make up Norwich’s pool of talent.
City of Stories Murals
Norwich has a proud history of fantastic stories and wonderful characters. It’s only right that we should celebrate them! The Norwich BID has enlisted the help of some of our amazing visual storytellers to throw up vibrant murals that pay tribute to our rich history of storytelling.
Each mural taps into Norwich’s prolific historical background. You might have been greeted by a certain friendly face that watches over Red Lion street. Dragons have always been a companion to Norwich, a friendship dating back all the way to the middle ages.
Some of these murals transport us back in time to the medieval period which is historically notorious for not having any global pandemics whatsoever. Simple times. Arcade Street is home to Joey LaMeche’s time-bending tribute to Norwich’s bustling market. Featuring Norwich favourites such as Queen Boudicca herself, Joey’s mural feels like walking into a magical storybook.
Recently, a whole lot more of these murals have popped up in our famous market. Some of these murals were created by Norwich schools and other organisations that help breed artistic talent for future generations of artists. These murals celebrate the past, comment on the present and lay out our hopes for the future.
All over Norwich we are proud of our history and tell it vibrantly.
Grapes Hill Underpass
Let’s take a look at a more chaotic, free-flowing site of art in our city.
Grapes Hill’s graffiti might not have the same prestige as our previous hotspots, but the energy of this place is undeniable. To through a tunnel where the art talks with and over each other is an amazing display of how artists communicate through their medium. To those less familiar with graffiti, take a look at where each tag is placed relative to others. You start seeing friends, cliques, big fish, followers. You start seeing characters, relationships. If you keep coming back, you see stories.
It’s a romantic way to see splats of paint, but with clubs and pubs not operating as normal, where else are we going to see this kind of Saturday night drama but in a tunnel crowded with colourful shouts?
Earlier we mentioned the curator of the underground gallery, Ruth Knapp. She’s also known as the ubiquitous artist “Knapple”. If that name is familiar to you, it’s because it’s everywhere. If not her name, her iconic trademark: A colourful pineapple.
You can take a walk far away from the city centre and still spot these tags everywhere you go. Even without going far, tunnels, abandoned buildings and secret alleys all have a high chance of attracting Knapple’s artistic eye.
She’ll even paint your bins if you like! Wherever you go in the city, Knapple has made it her mission to fill our streets with colour and dazzle our eyes with vibrant renditions of her favourite fruit.
We challenge you to see how many pineapples you can spot on your daily walks. We guarantee you’ll lose count.
We don’t know when gigs will come back and how. Will there be moshing? Will there be dancing? Will we all be in hamster balls?
Lockdown can’t keep a good band down. Whether you nip out to the city for your lunch break or you’re on your weekend shop, the music of Norwich’s buskers are always an uplifting sound for weary ears.
Since new buskers are always popping up, the soundscape of Gentleman’s walk and London Street never gets stale. Plenty of folks have been going out of their way to catch the funkadelic stylings of The High Points, who perform near Jarrold’s with insanely energetic jams. The beat is infectious and you’ll always catch yourself strutting to the rhythm. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one as the whole street is full of people tapping their feet to the talented group.
That’s not to say we’ll ever fall out of love with our musical mainstays. Somethings should never change. Whether it’s the classical stylings of guitarist Pete Turrell, the folk sounds of Emma O’Reilly or many more of our familiar faces, we’re definitely glad to hear these songbirds sing throughout quarantine.
If you have a favourite busker, let us know!
These are only some of the hotspots for seeking out colour in the open air. With the city always moving, there are bound to be new places to find art being thrown up as we speak! The only way to see these new pieces pop up is to get yourself down to the centre and have a ramble. Thanks to Facebook Messenger, getting a ride to the centre of town has never been easier. Whether you want to book or ask for a quote, just send us a message and we’ll have a quick chat.
There’s also time to have a look at some of the fun Christmas activities put on all over the county. Merry Christmas from all of us here at ABC Taxis.