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Great Yarmouth festival celebrates its founder of modern photography

Residents invited to exhibitions and seminars of Peter Henry Emerson's work.

Photograph of boats taken by photographer Peter Henry Emerson

Great Yarmouth's Finding Emerson Photo Festival 2021 on 5th June 2021 is a collaboration between Utter Nonsense and originalprojects;. Funded by Arts Council England it's designed to place Great Yarmouth within the history of photography and the pioneering work of the 19th century photographer Peter Henry Emerson.

The festival makes use of six venues in Great Yarmouth including St George's Theatre, Primeyarc Gallery, Skippings Gallery, The Yare Gallery, Time and Tide Museum and The Utter Nonsense Studios.  Contemporary photographers, academics and curators have been invited to explore their own understanding and practice with residents through a programme of seminars, break-out sessions, exhibitions and art installations.

The festival will provide people with the chance to discover more about P.H. Emerson, the history and development of photography as a whole, contemporary photographic approaches and the cultural heritage of Great Yarmouth. All events are free, apart from the seminars [£2 - £8 donation], which along with the breakouts must be booked in advance to manage numbers:

11am:                           Galleries open:

Peter Henry Emerson: Photographs from Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads and Wild Life on a Tidal Water at Skipping's Gallery.

Looking in at Great Yarmouth at Primeyarc Gallery.

Artist's Photographs: Mark Edwards, Harry Cory Wright, Katie Hayward at Utter Nonsense Studio.

Finding Emerson (2020) film: Weathering: New Art from East Anglia at Yare Gallery

11:45-12:45am               Seminar one at St Georges Theatre:

Francis Hodgson in conversation with Harry Cory Wright and Ingrid Pollard.

1:15-1:45pm                  Breakout one at Utter Nonsense Gallery:

Artists Mark Edwards, Harry Cory Wright and Katie Hayward in an informal session to discuss and talk about their photographic work and practice.

2:45-3:45pm                  Seminar two at St Georges Theatre:

                                           Calvin Winner in conversation with Mark Edwards, Katie Hayward, and Stephen Hyde

4:15-4:45pm                  Breakout two at Skipping's Gallery:

Photographer Stephen Hyde and curator Calvin Winner in an informal discussion around Peter Henry Emerson and his work

5:15pm                         Unveiling Blue Plaque to Peter Henry Emerson

5:30pm                         Galleries close [Yare Gallery closes 4pm]

6pm Photographic Journal Launch at Utter Nonsense Studios

Mark Cator, Photographer and founder of Utter Nonsense said:

"The festival provides a direct experience of Emerson's rarely seen photographs presenting them at a scale the artist originally intended, as well as the contemporary work of the invited artists. The site-specific art installations will be positioned around the town, including The Great Wall of Emerson along the seafront, recordings of Emerson's writings by a Norfolk based poet and the installation of a blue plaque in Emerson's honour.  Please come and join us on the 4th June.  We are incredibly proud to be bringing to life such an important part of Great Yarmouth's heritage and we would love as many residents as possible to be part of this."

Following its launch, the festival will extend into workshops and installations with local schools, culminating in an open art competition and exhibition, taking place in the autumn of 2021 at the Time and Tide Museum.

Full details of the festival including location and booking 

For more information, please contact Mark Cator at

Last modified on 07 December 2023

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