Resting unobtrusively among various sheds and poly tunnels in a beautiful wildlife garden near Holt in Norfolk is a wooden hut with an intriguing history. Brought to Natural Surroundings 20 years ago from Blakeney it was an army officer’s hut during WW2 when Norfolk played host to a huge influx of British and foreign military personnel as part of the British defense effort (see The 8th in the East website for more information).
This was the starting point for an art project which I’ve developed through a period of extensive research exploring the hut’s forgotten history. I’ve documented and developed the research process as a narrative comic and the art installation I’m currently working on will bring to life certain aspects of the hut’s story. I’ve devised a series of workshops and events to engage people in the project which touches on themes of local and global history as well as ordinary contemporary life. So far I have found that people are fascinated by the hut’s story and often respond with stories from their own family histories showing how rich and varied our ordinary lives and stories can be and how they link to broader historical and contemporary contexts.
With the support of Arts Council England as well as Norfolk County Council, 8th in the East and Weybourne Community Fund The Hut art project will be delivered to several locations where local people can engage and participate. The project will visit Blakeney and Weybourne this summer with a series of art workshops and events followed in September with more events at Natural Surroundings and then at The Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket throughout the autumn of 2016.