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Contemporary and Country (C&C) is a new initiative presenting contemporary art and the handmade by established artists and makers based in the east of England. C&C will hold regular pop-up exhibitions in non-gallery spaces and we will be introducing selected work by international creatives based in rural locations. Their work will be displayed in stimulating settings to suit an informed audience, who look beyond the passing trend.

A New Development for Norfolk by Design
Davina Barber and Emma Deterding assembled a network of artists and designers working in Norfolk establishing an initiative to showcase their work in a non-gallery space. Starting in September 2015 they held the first pop-up event in a beautifully renovated outbuilding at West Lexham. Paul Vater and Paul Barratt brought their shared experience in exhibition making and cultural sector marketing to the project. Davina, Paul and Paul went on to create several successful pop-up events from 2016, 2017 and 2018, until December 2018 when Davina Barber stepped back to concentrate on her own art projects. This has included several solo showcases of work on paper by Harry Cory Wright, as well as an art fair presentation of Norfolk artists at the Saatchi Gallery London. And more recently holding craft workshops and showing a selection of artists and makers at the Beachhouse Brancaster.

Since the establishment of Norfolk by Design Paul Barratt and Paul Vater have gone on to create several successful pop-ups showcasing work by a selection of artists and makers from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. These have taken place in the stables alongside international exhibitions of Damien Hirst and Henry Moore at Houghton Hall, Norfolk. They have also organised pop-ups at Creake Abbey near Burnham Market and in St Andrews Hall, Norwich, Art Fair East 2019. Following their growing reputation for showing interesting contemporary art and handmade objects, Paul Barratt and Paul Vater have decided to consolidate what has been achieved and to change the name to Contemporary and Country (C&C).

What makes C&C 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.



Contemporary and Country (C&C) brings together the organisational talents of curator Paul Barratt and designer Paul Vater.


Paul Barratt started working in contemporary art galleries in 1989, having graduated in Fine Art from Goldmsith’s, London University. He initially worked at Anthony d’Offay Gallery, one of the contemporary art dealers, who dominated the London art market in the 80s and 90s. He was approached by the Lisson Gallery to be gallery manager for the influential art dealer Nicholas Logsdail. This was followed by a short period in New York at Gladstone Gallery, to work for visionary art dealer Barbara Gladstone, working with the artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney.

On his return to London, Paul secured a place on the postgraduate curatorial course at the Royal College of Art, to complete an MA. After graduation in 2001, he worked as an independent curator on several projects in Oslo, London, Brighton and Basel, before joining Paul Vater at his design agency Sugarfree in 2004. He has worked with Paul ever since.



Paul established his design company, Sugarfree, in 1990 and quickly gained a reputation for delivering fresh, effective marketing campaigns and brand identities for clients including Save the Children Fund, United Nations Association and UNHCR. Over the years those added to the roster include IPC Magazines, Arts Council England, The Roundhouse, Barbican Centre, Arts Marketing Association, Look Ahead Housing and Care, Paddington Waterside, BBC Worldwide, Commonwealth Foundation, Prestel, City of London Corporation, Baker Street Quarter, Victoria BID and the University of East Anglia.

Paul conducts studio visits to maintain strong relationships with artists, designers and craftspeople who show their work with us. He manages the main Norfolk by Design website and has developed the online shop where selected works are presented for sale.

Contact Paul Vater :


Installation at the stables, Houghton Hall – May to September, 2019