Instead of viewing the Sea as a physical barrier that separates the UK from Europe, the artists involved in Hanse Experiments draw on the legacy of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trading organization for whom the North Sea was the means by which cultural and trading connections were fostered between East Anglia and Northern Europe.
Remnants of these cultural links are evident in the Dutch gables that adorn so many Norfolk houses, in the fenland dykes and in the Norfolk dialect. With the landscapes and way of life on either side of the North Sea sharing many similarities, could we go so far as to suggest that there might also be a shared aesthetic, a common way of looking? How, in 2022, do we view the relationship between peoples and places, connected rather than separated, by the North Sea? Can we still find links, traces of a once thriving shipping network? What happens if we reach out to the sea instead of inland?
For one week, five artists whose work derives from North Sea coastlines and associated landscapes, will occupy Cromer Artspace in order to collect material for future works and to discuss their potential. Photographing and recording the local area and its heritage, while gathering stories and oral histories as a means to rethink the coast. Throughout the week, we will be welcoming people who have stories to tell, images to share or the simply curious, to come and discuss the work being made.
With artists: Jeanette Bolton-Martin, James Quinn, Tim Simmons, Judith Stewart, Patrick Wichert