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



Contemporary and Country (C&C) present contemporary art and the handmade by established artists and makers based in the East of England in 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.
C&C has been established by Paul Barratt and Paul Vater to create pop-up exhibitions featuring contemporary art and the most beautiful handmade objects by artists and makers from across the east of England (Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire). These have taken place in the Stables at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, alongside international exhibitions of sculpture by Anish Kapoor, Henry Moore, Damien Hirst and Richard Long. Paul and Paul have organised similar, smaller pop-up exhibitions at Creake Abbey near Burnham Market on the coast and in St Andrews Hall, Norwich, Art Fair East 2019. Following their growing reputation they decided to consolidate what was achieved with the earlier initiative Norfolk By Design established with Davina Barber and create Contemporary and Country.
What makes us different?
C&C display new work by contemporary artists and makers who don't conform to assumptions about creativity being a metropolitan activity. Through their chosen subject matter they raise questions about what it takes to shift ideas of the rural idyll away from the romantic, toward a variety of more engaging concerns shared by creative practitioners working in geographically isolated communities today.
Why is creativity taking place in the country?
Artists and makers have turned to non-urban locations, exiting cramped conditions of the UK's larger cities and discovering smaller towns, and creative hot spots in rural settings. They are making their living in surroundings that are an inspiration, as well as a less punishing working environment. Once relocated, they have greater access to inexpensive workshop and studio space, better natural light and fewer competing distractions.