Gallery News

Arrival of new work by Karen Stamper

May 2017

Three new larger works have arrived at the gallery this month, to complement the rest of her collection.

Karen's colourful, energetic, exciting collage paintings are based on her travels, cities and the urban shoreline. Her bold and joyful collages may look like paintings but if you look closely, you will see they are skilfully built up using layers of found papers, tissue and acrylic paint. She sees the beauty in simple scraps and ripped edges, accidental marks and worn surfaces.

Karen aims to capture the memory of a place and the sense of human presence, echoing the passing of time. This is a controlled, yet intuitive, direct approach, that allows her a huge amount of freedom to interpret her travel sketches in a lively and original way.


New Work by Marion Stuart

May 2017

Marion is a ceramicist working on art principles in clay.  She is the founder of StudioDo ceramic art and education in Norwich and curator of Cley 17.

A new delivery of Marion’s work has arrived this month, of bottles and houses, to add to her already beautiful collection.

Her Lottabottle text is seen in reverse like the notebook of da Vinci. Marion’s words come from a book called 'Dartmoor Omnibus,' a series of stories by Eden Philpotts, which she has worked in and from for twenty years; selecting words unconsciously, which create a sense of poetry. They appear illegible and legible on the forms she uses. Gold is used to highlight defects, cracks and edges of deliberate broken and mended works. It references the wabi sabi Japanese principle and also the technique of kinsugi; mending ceramics with gold. The form is a response from a collection of antique bottles and castaway items.

Marion’s Tickytocky houses are a selection of individual houses which have been imprinted with ceramic ink using a method known as silk screening. Marion says 'It’s like I’m sending them a home from my space to their space – like the pieces are returning home to their new owners. I love architecture and I love temporary houses – like houses next to rivers and tidal houses on stilts. The writing on the houses is slightly obscured and each one is different. I then glaze them to make the wording stand out. You can peer inside them,' she says. 'The delicate pieces seem warm and inviting yet absent, with each one missing its roof. It’s part of the fragility of a home that’s there, but not quite there.'

Tess Ainley participates in Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios 27 May - 11 June 2017

Press Release,  Sat 15th April, 2017

Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios offers a host of opportunities to view, buy and commission fabulous pieces of local, handmade art and craft and to learn more about the creative process.

This year, Tess will be exhibiting her work inside her art gallery, in Holt, which she opened in November last year.

Tess' work is already proving very popular. Customers are finding her range of mixed media work refreshingly different and she has already had a number of private commissions.  The gallery also shows the work of several artists who engage in paint, collage, ceramics, mixed media, jewellery, photography and furniture.

The gallery will be open every day throughout Open Studios from 10.00-5.00pm, except Sundays. Tess is having a Private View on Friday 26th May from 5.00-7.00pm with Pimms and nibbles. Everyone is welcome and the event is free to attend. Tess will also be doing 2 late night Fridays, for those who are not able to make it during the day (2nd & 9th June) until 7pm and on Saturday 10th June, her last day, Tess is offering 10% off any piece of her artwork.

Feel free to pop into the gallery and see Tess' works in progress. Tess is No 124 in the Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios guide which is now widely available in locations across Norfolk and also inside the gallery. 

Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios is organised by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, as an organisation in partnership with Norfolk artists and in association with Wex Photographic

New series of work by Tamlin Lundberg

March 2017

'Sea of Bottles' is the latest series of ceramic work to be introduced to Tess Ainley Gallery. This body of work, by Tamlin Lundberg, follows the huge success of her original 'Flint and Chalk Series'

Tamlin is a local artist, based in Norwich, currently working in ceramics and drawing. Each of her handmade pieces are created in response to her surroundings and experiences in the natural world. Through walking the landscape, collecting objects and stories, fragments and memories, Tamlin attempts to capture traces of these small exchanges with the environment.

This series is based around walks along the North Norfolk coast, responding to the physicality of landscape, the geology, the North Sea and the weather. Tamlin says 'Bottles and jars are used to preserve and store and as human beings, we also retain and absorb, both a sense of place and an essence of our experience. These accumulations shape our identity.'

Tess Ainley Gallery introduces Simon Kirk

Press Release - Tess Ainley Gallery introduces new artist

Holt, Norfolk February 21 2017


Simon Kirk is the latest artist to be introduced to Tess Ainley Gallery. Simon is a contemporary artist based in Leigh-on-Sea and free associates images and cut-up text to evoke haiku and the allusions that help us view everyday life with fresh eyes. His work is primarily layers of painting combined with collaged elements and he also uses the decollage technique - cutting, tearing or sanding away parts of the built up surface image to reveal layers below.

Since beginning his career in 2007, works by Simon Kirk have proved a great investment and are increasingly sought after by art collectors, notably in America, Dubai and Continental Europe. He exhibited and sold at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He has had solo exhibitions in France, Denmark and the USA and will be exhibiting this year in Los Angeles, South West France and Hong Kong.

Tess Ainley Gallery opened in November 2016. This small, friendly gallery is unique, in as much as you can see Tess making her work in the gallery. Tess’ work is already proving popular and she has been commissioned to do several private pieces of work. ‘I have had a fantastic response since opening’ she says, ’people are finding the work refreshingly different and quirky’. Tess is currently showing the work of several artists who work in paint, collage, ceramics, mixed media, jewellery, photography, wood and furniture. She has a busy summer lined up at the gallery, including taking part in Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios 27 May - 11 June, the Holt Fringe Festival, 22 - 30 July and is also participating in Cley 17 6  July - 6 August. 

Tess Ainley Gallery is located at 3 Hoppers Yard, Bull Street, Holt NR25 6LN and is open Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm.

Contact Information:

T: 01263 714024




‘The Island’ Simon Kirk 61 cm x 76 cm Acrylic, Collage and Image Transfer on Board

Opening of Art Gallery in Holt

Press Release - Saturday 5 November 2016, 12.00pm-5.30pm

 Tess Ainley Gallery, a working artist’s gallery located at 3 Hoppers Yard, Holt is opening on Saturday 5th November at 12pm.


The opening exhibit will highlight the works of up to 9 contemporary artists, including Tess Ainley, who uses handmade and recycled pieces of paper, stitch and paint to create collages, mainly with a muted palette, to convey a feeling of quiet and calm; Karen Stamper, whose bold and joyful collages, based on her travels, are skilfully built up using layers of found papers, tissue and acrylic paint; Mel Sheridan, who uses narrative, humour and atmosphere to paint stories about emotional memories of her life and Marion Stuart, who makes sculptures and installations with clay; whose forms, largely inspired from the Devon shipping industry, are taken from boats, cider jars, houses, tools and language.

The exhibit also includes works by Tamlin Lundberg, currently working in ceramics and drawing, who explores notions of place, identity and permeability through subtle influences like the weather, local folklore and textiles; Marit Ammerud, a potter, painter and maker who produces beautiful pieces for the interior of the home; Hannah Collins, who specialises in designing and hand making distinctive, limited edition and bespoke jewellery and accessories; Bek Genery, a jeweller whose work is heavily influenced by water: the towering reflections of the mountains in the Kintyre sound or the epic meeting of sky and sea on the East Anglian coast and Julia Headland, a furniture restorer and painter, specialising in subtle and authentic aged finishes.

Based on the previous success of her studio workshop in St. Ives, Cornwall in 2009-10, Tess Ainley, owner of the gallery, says 'I have been waiting to find the right location to create a multi functional and interactive space; a place where I can work and exhibit my own and a changing selection of other artists work. I was very excited to find this space in Holt’.

Hoppers Yard already comprises 2 other well established interiors shops, a boutique B & B, a tea shop and tearooms. It is described by the owner as being ’a tranquil and beautiful environment, hidden away; a magical place where you can take a breath and escape from the stresses of life.

Next year, Tess plans to introduce workshops and talks by exhibiting artists and writers. It will be something unique in Holt' she says, ’as I will be making and engaging with my customers in the same space. I also feel very privileged to be showing and promoting the work of these amazing artists.

For more information, call 01263 714024 or visit

Tess Ainley Gallery is the newest addition to the art scene in Holt. The gallery will be exhibiting emerging, mid-career and established artists, creating contemporary works on paper, paintings, fine art photography, ceramics, jewellery and assemblage. The historic Georgian town of Holt is a haven for artists and photographers and has some fabulous antiques, books and specialty shops. Its close proximity to the stunningly beautiful North Norfolk coast, makes it an ideal place to stay; the perfect location for art enthusiasts and visitors alike. The majority of the shops and business services in Holt are independently owned. You can spend a whole day discovering all the intriguing yards and alleyways and get to see some fine Georgian architecture.


Launching a new website

Tess Ainley Gallery, opens on 5th November 2016, in Holt. This website is being built to promote the gallery. We appreciate your patience, as we add news, photographs and updates to the website. Please return here soon to read about the first artists that are being introduced to the gallery.