Contemporary and Country

A Fine Balance

The 2020 exhibition featured recent work by more than 40 artists and makers who explored narratives that reference our landscape, the creatures that share it, natural materials and processes, and how mankind’s activities affect and influence it.

The fine balance these artists seek is often a moment, or a tipping point that brings attention to an aspect of our surroundings that has been overlooked or undervalued. The situation we now find ourselves in collectively, as the Covid-19 epidemic runs its devastating course, means that our relationship with ‘the great outdoors’ has probably changed forever. The artists and makers we have included in the exhibition are ahead of the curve, creating memorable images that will chime with the public, post lockdown. During the last four months we have all had to become aware of our vulnerability to forces we mistakenly assumed we had mastered. We respond viscerally to a favourite view or landscape, much as we would if our home or family were under threat. The exhibition holds up a mirror to what we perceive, or have hidden, in the complex confluence between the sustainable and natural, the artificial and man-made.

Some of the artists and makers have chosen to look at a highly maintained version of the countryside and our place within it. Others employ sustainable materials to create pleasing pieces intended to be handled and used every day. Others look into the natural phenomena and practical activities that are frequently personal to us in terms of our physical impact on the planet whether through recycling and re-assigning waste to new purposes. While others explore areas that are not quite urban or rural, but like much of modern Britain, somewhere in-between.

Thanks to Lord and Lady Cholmondeley for their generosity and vision in providing such a beautiful exhibition space.



Contemporary and Country (C&C) present contemporary art and the handmade by established artists and makers based in the East of England in pop-up exhibitions at non-gallery spaces that celebrate our rural surroundings. The artists and makers we display live and work in rural locations, or include the natural world in their subject matter or production process. Together they bring about a closer understanding of the countryside, its people and landscape. They look creatively beyond the passing trend and encourage greater consideration for nature, as its appreciation and preservation becomes ever more prescient to our time.



Zarya Austin-Fell
Debby Besford
Lorraine Bewick
Katarzyna Coleman
Polly Cruse
Ferenc Cseh
Will Cutts
Amanda Edgcombe
Judith Ellis
Kate Giles
Gareth Hacon
Ruth Howes
Linda Jamieson
Suzi Joel
Liz McGowan
Pandora Mond
Verity Newman
Natalie Odile Lang
Maria Pavledis
Tracey Ross
Colin Self
Tim Simmons
Liz Taunt
Molly Thomson
Maryrose Watson
Paul Wolterink
Peter Wylie


Keron Beattie
Jonathan Clarke
Mark Croxford
Dan David
Roger Hardy
Bridget Heriz
Andrew Jones
Rachael Long
Ben Pusey
Telfer Stokes


Ros Arrowsmith
Carolyn Brookes-Davies
Heather Connor
Laura Fletcher
Steve Gore Rowe
Laura Huston
Suzi Joel
Blott Kerr-Wilson
Sue Kirk
Katharina Klug
Tim Plunkett
Amanda Sutton
Toby Winteringham