Drew Edwards and Norman Toynton

Curated by Bronac Ferran


Wednesday 28 February - Sunday 3 March 2024
12:00 – 5:00 pm
Private View: Saturday 2 March, 2:00-4:30 pm
The Makers Gallery
Chapel Yard, Holt, North Norfolk, NR25 6HG


The exhibition features highly contrasting, yet intriguingly connected, works by two artists, Drew Edwards, a sculptor who works with large pieces of flint sourced from North Norfolk quarries, and Norman Toynton, a distinguished international artist and North Norfolk resident who works with paint and
mixed media. Both artists create stunningly textured surfaces that stir the senses and raise our awareness of the aesthetic possibilities latent in what might seem to be commonplace materials. Edwards raises our consciousness of flint, the vernacular building material of Norfolk, second only to diamonds in its hardness and formed over hundreds of millions of years. In highly innovative fashion, he works intensively and intuitively with the rock to create artistic transformations, that seem to be at once primitive and contemporary, figurative and organic. Highlighting the angular surfaces, nooks and crannies of this material, cutting into the stone in a completely singular fashion,  Edwards shapes mind-expanding, visceral transfigurations. These open our eyes to the latent
possibilities residual in a natural material that has such an important role to play in shaping the distinctive visual character of the North Norfolk environment.
A sense of dynamic movement behind Edwards's sculptures brilliantly complements the viscosity of Norman Toynton's painted constructs on pegboard bases. We are showing three works from many he has produced since the 1970s using this technique. He has referred to pegboard as “a moribund, mass-produced material that seems to stand for everything that threatens to destroy
painting, the most individualistic, human activity I know of" and so (as his website tells us) he set out to redeem it: “Having begun with large installations, he gravitated towards doing smaller paintings, attaching lushly painted, vibrantly coloured square wooden structures to the pegboard with the hooks traditionally used with that material, and sometimes painting directly onto the pegboard itself”.1 In the fixing of three of these works to the larger pegboards that form an integral aspect of the Makers Gallery interior, an inventive structural dialogue is opened up between the social and spatial context of the exhibition and an artistic intervention. The strictly linear holes of Toynton’s lushly layered pegboards meanwhile contrast with and complement the found negative spaces of Edwards’s flint-based sculptures. 


About the Artists:
Drew Edwards (born London, 1967) worked for two decades as a professional actor but became a full-time sculptor in 2017. Having had a solo exhibition at the Laurent Delaye gallery in Ramsgate in 2022, he has several works in private collections.2 An untitled work by Edwards sits in the porch of St Mark's Church, close to the remains of Grenville Tower in West London. His latest public art commission, "The Raynham Stone" (one of Britain's largest flint-based sculptures)
for the Wellbeing and Therapy Garden at the Veterans Central project in West Raynham, Norfolk is being launched in conjunction with this exhibition at 12 noon on Friday 1 March 2024.

Norman Toynton (born London 1939) was in the first British Pop Art show at the Grabowski Gallery in 1962, along with David Hockney and Allen Jones. After winning the Lignano Biennale Prize and the Prix Chateau de la Sarraz, and showing at major galleries in Britain and Europe,  Toynton moved to the United States in 1969. He had solo shows at various galleries in Boston and New York, as well as at such venues as Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Articles on his work have appeared in Artforum, ARTnews and Art in America. In 2006, Toynton moved back to England and has lived in North Norfolk ever since.  His work can be found in both public and private collections in Britain and the US.


1 March 2024