ABOUT US: Contemporary and Country present art and the handmade in non-gallery spaces



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 in 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 and the people that live there. 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.
C&C has been established by Paul Barratt and Paul Vater to create pop-up exhibitions featuring contemporary art and handmade objects by artists and makers from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.
These temporary exhibitions have taken place in the Stables at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, alongside international exhibitions of sculpture by Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, Henry Moore, Damien Hirst and Richard Long. Paul and Paul have organised smaller-scale pop-up exhibitions at Creake Abbey near Burnham Market on the North Norfolk coast and in St Andrews Hall, Norwich, Art Fair East 2019.
Following their creative inclinations, they decided to consolidate what was achieved with the earlier initiative Norfolk By Design, established with Davina Barber, and re-position themselves as Contemporary and Country with a greater emphasis on displaying contemporary work.
What makes C&C different?
We display new work by contemporary artists and makers who don't conform to assumptions about creativity being a metropolitan activity. Through their subject matter they shift the idea of the rural idyll away from the romantic, toward a variety of more engaging concerns about land use, coastal influence and flora and fauna shared by creative practitioners working in geographically isolated communities today.
Why have rural areas become more crucial to creative people?
Artists and makers have turned to non-urban locations, exiting cramped conditions of the UK's larger cities like London, discovering smaller towns, and creative hot spots in rural settings. Many have decided to make their living in surroundings that they find inspirational, as well as a less punishing environment to work. They have greater access to inexpensive workshop and studio space, better natural light, more focussed working conditions and fewer competing interests.