Whether it’s an independent showroom that showcases some of East Anglia’s up and coming artists, an exhibition profiling one of Suffolk’s famous sculptures, or a gallery that’s home to pieces of historical importance, these galleries in Suffolk are the perfect place too while away an hour or two...
1. Brett Gallery at Bridge Farm Barns - Monks Eleigh
Showcasing the works of East Anglia artists and craftspeople, the pieces featured at Brett Gallery are unique yet affordable, so you can take an original piece of Suffolk home with you without breaking the bank.
Choose from an ever-changing collection of watercolour paintings, ceramics, sculptures and textiles and be sure to stop by the next door tea room and ‘Sarah’s Attic’, which sells a selection of pre-loved and vintage furniture and collectables.
2. The Cut - Halesworth
Established in 2003 having been transformed from a 19th-century maltings building, The Cut in Halesworth now hosts an acclaimed programme of dance, world music, workshops and exhibitions.
This winter, discover the building's heritage with ‘The Malt Experience’ and find out how Halesworth became a centre for commercial malting in East Anglia between the 18th & 20th centuries. The digital presentation allows viewers to travel back in time and experience the New Cut Maltings in the early 19th century.
There’s also an exhibition of works by emerging artist Thom Trojanowski and explores themes set by film producer George Melies of a life lived on another planet.
3. Ferini Art Gallery - Pakefield
The Ferini Art Gallery in Pakefield is just a stone’s throw from the beach and takes inspiration from its surroundings and former life as a fishing warehouse where local fishermen would hang and dry their nets.
There are 4 exhibition spaces; each with its own unique space and layout. The collections have been handpicked by owner Michaela Barber with oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, sculptures and ceramics. Downstairs there is also a collection of jewellery, decorative items and textiles.
4. Handmade Gallery - Bury St Edmunds
The Handmade Shop & Gallery in historic Bury St Edmunds showcases the works of talented East Anglian designer-makers. Situated on quirky St Johns Street (alongside vintage boutiques, clothes shops and independent homewares stores)There’s a range of works available to purchase including original prints, textiles, paintings, glassware and jewellery, sitting alongside unique cards and gift wrap.
The gallery is staffed by the artists, with all money from sales going straight to the artist themselves.
5. Hunter Gallery - Bury St Edmunds and Long Melford
The Hunter Gallery in Long Melford has been exhibiting well-known local artists alongside some of the UK’s top creators of paintings, furniture and sculptures since 2001. Last year, the renowned gallery opened a second space in Bury St Edmunds with exhibitions from artists including Colin Carruthers, Harry Brioche, Sally Martin (Society of Equestrian Artists), Edward Noott (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists) and Caroline Bailey (Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour).
There is an annual schedule of exhibitions at both galleries, with recent collections including The Christmas and New Year Exhibition, the Summer Exhibition, and solo artist exhibitions.
6. Ipswich Art Gallery
Showing Internationally acclaimed exhibitions, Ipswich Art Gallery is an art deco building with unique features such as a glass-roofed octagonal atrium. Offering a year-round programme of exhibitions, the late Victorian building once also housed the museum and so many of the collections have inspired local artists such as Maggi Hambling (creator of The Scallop on Aldeburgh beach) and Bernard Reynolds. The Gallery is also a stage for local artists to show their work.
This winter and Spring, discover Ipswich’s fascinating history at the ‘You are here! Making of Ipswich’ interactive exhibition which features the museum’s stored collections and the lives of the people of Ipswich since prehistoric times.
7. The Maltings Gallery, Snape Maltings
The Maltings Gallery showcases local artists and creators of paintings, ceramics, jewellery and sculptures is housed within the Snape Maltings complex amongst cafes, boutiques, food hall, homewares store, restaurant and world famous concert hall.
Maggi Hambling CBE shows her paintings here (created in her studio just a few miles away) alongside new talents including Jelly Green, Jason Gathorne-Hady and Jill Draper.
Whilst at Snape Maltings, take a stroll around the site to look at sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Tracey Emin, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas, Alison Wilding and Henry Moore.
8. Reallyverynice Gallery - Bury St Edmunds
Just a short walk from the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds you will find the Reallyverynice Gallery, a collection of one-of-a-kind ceramics, paintings, furniture, sculptures and prints. The portfolio includes affordable items plus more unusual items in the ‘Objet’ collection.
The Gallery keeps a varied collection, with new artists and ideas being added regularly so there’s always something new to take your fancy!
9. Wolsey Art Gallery at Christchurch Mansion - Ipswich
Situated within the 500-year-old Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich, the Wolsey Art Gallery houses an exhibition of fine art from world-renowned Suffolk’s artists including John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough. In fact, the exhibition is the largest collection of both artists outside of London!
Until March 2018, you can also peruse the Cardinal Wolsey’s lost masterpieces - the man whom the Gallery was named after. Once Henry VIII’s Chancellor and right-hand man, Cardinal Wolsey was once a celebrated man with his own grand tomb accompanies by angels planned. However, the man who was born in Ipswich, died in disgrace and was buried in the grounds of Leicester Abbey, with Admiral Nelson instead being buried in his tomb. The angels disappeared for centuries and were finally discovered on the gates of a golf club.
After 2 of the Angels were stolen, the remaining Angels were bought by the V&A museum in London for £5 million and are now the centrepiece of a stunning exhibition at the Mansion until 11th March alongside a portrait of Cardinal Wolsey himself, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery - a truly unique opportunity when visit Suffolk this winter!