Life in Colour

In this post, Gay Webster from Barrington Farm, Norfolk, explains a bit about an upcoming exhibition which includes a silent auction.

Barrington Farm’s Art Barn is a colourful place – colourful work, colourful characters and colourful imaginations.

It’s a haven for art lovers; both those who like to view it and those who like to create it.

The Art Barn is an integral part of the day services provided for adults with learning difficulties at Barrington Farm, Walcott.


Image courtesy of Antony Kelly, Archant

But it’s so much more than just making pretty pictures. Art gives the centre users a chance to express themselves through painting, sculpture and textiles, but it also brings them attention from the art world; a world that is becoming increasingly interested in the work of outsider artists.

Artists from Barrington Farm are increasingly seeing their work exhibited and sold internationally and nationally. This has been a key year for the barn: with record numbers visiting for the Norfolk Open Studios, an auction bidder snapping up a full set of work by artist Michael Smith, and our upcoming show at North Walsham’s Atrium in North Norfolk.

The upcoming show is entitled Life in Colour and brings together work from many of the artists who currently visit the centre as well as highly collectible pieces from the Art Barn archives.

Art worker Holly Sandiford said: “Since the Art Barn started its work with the artists, it has gained a reputation as a centre of excellence and the fact that many of our artists have exhibited their work both at home and abroad shows how this reputation is spreading. The latest exhibition picks up on how the artists use colour to express their ideas and we’re hoping it will include work that will appeal to a wide range of art-lovers.”

Image courtesy of Antony Kelly, Archant

Image courtesy of Antony Kelly, Archant

All the work will be for sale and there will also be a chance to pick up one of four signature large pieces, which are being auctioned off in sealed bids.

Holly said: “The idea is we stage a silent auction on these pieces. People can either bid when they visit the exhibition, or put in their offers through Facebook and Twitter. After the exhibition closes we will get in touch with the winning bidders.”

There’s plenty to inspire the artists at Barrington Farm, and one recent project has been making full use of the Barn’s surroundings, which include a working farm and the Norfolk countryside. Called Field to Frame, the visiting workshops used material found outside. The workshop was paid for by The Barrington Trust, a charity set up to enhance the experiences of users of the day centre and to bring it into the wider community.

“The sensory facility has not only been an amazing addition for our own service users but has also attracted other families and groups. It’s open to everyone, who can book slots as and when they want to come along,” said day centre manager Sarah Yendell. “It’s not just those with learning difficulties who can benefit, we have seen baby groups make use of it as well as parents bringing youngsters who perhaps have autism or attention difficulties.”

Image courtesy of Antony Kelly, Archant

Image courtesy of Antony Kelly, Archant

The exhibition opens on Thursday, November 6, with a preview evening 5-8pm. It runs until November 18 and is open from, 9am-4.30pm weekdays, and 9am-1pm Saturdays.

You can find more about Barrington Farm via or call on 01692 650707. There is also a Facebook page, or your can follow us on Twitter @barringtonfarm.

Here’s what some of the artists have said about being involved in the show…

That will be lovely, that will be nice to have an exhibition in North Walsham, my pictures going to be in there.  I’m doing it now, a nice picture.
Brian Gislam, Barrington Farm artist

Its good, thank you. I have been in an exhibition before, I would like to see a photo of my work.
Mary Allen, Barrington Farm artist

Yes, I like it when my work is in an exhibition, I like seeing my work on the wall. I’m looking forward to it.
Ian Partridge, Barrington Farm artist

It makes me happy. I’ve got a picture in the gallery! It’s flowers, I liked doing it, I would like to go and see it, I would like to come.
Jackie Marsh, Barrington Farm artist.


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