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Diss artists explore the joy of play in exhibition The Toy Department

PUBLISHED: 13:45 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:47 15 October 2018

Diss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks will be displaying artworks as part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

Diss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks will be displaying artworks as part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

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Diss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks are set to show their playful side with an exhibition featuring artworks inspired by Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and Norwich Castle collections.

Diss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks will be displaying artworks as part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall/Gary and Jo HincksDiss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks will be displaying artworks as part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall/Gary and Jo Hincks

A variety of small maquettes: painted sculptural forms, ironstone miniatures, glass fibre constructions, card-gold leaf inventions and stone figurines have given this exhibition its title.

These playful pieces echo Robert Sainsbury’s passion for small objects, as displayed in the UEA Sainsbury

Collection and named by his children ‘The Toy Department’.

Jo Hincks in the studio ahead of the Diss exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn HallJo Hincks in the studio ahead of the Diss exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

The eclectic mix of works on show at Diss Corn Hall throughout the autumn make connections with influential movements in the history of art; recurring themes interlock and are explored through paint, print, assemblage and construction.

Each piece refers not only to the subject of toys and play but in some cases to very specific artworks.

Three large black and cream prints by Jo Hincks, who was an art teacher at Diss High School for many years, are interpretations of tiny details within works of the Norwich School of Painters whereas a complex canvas wall-hanging appropriates the iconic 17th century painting, The Cholmondeley Ladies.

Two Paper Boats by Gary Hincks part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall/Gary HincksTwo Paper Boats by Gary Hincks part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall/Gary Hincks

Gary Hincks, an earth science illustrator, designer of the Corn Hall quarterly programme and long term collaborator of the artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, is showing many marine themed pieces.

A boat-shelf print hinting at Feininger woodcuts, a three dimensional hull echoing the patterned jersey of Christopher Wood and his painting of the trawler PZ134.

The simplest paper boat made by all children, reinterpreted and transformed by small additions; an anchor, a flag, a figurehead or standing on The Observer’s Book of Sculpture.

Diss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks will be displaying artworks as part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall/Gary and Jo HincksDiss-based artists Gary and Jo Hincks will be displaying artworks as part of the exhibition The Toy Department. Picture: Diss Corn Hall/Gary and Jo Hincks

The works navigate a diverse range of themes and iconography. Sometimes the joyful act of playing can inspire objects and images that capture that moment of creativity; childhood memories revived, an almost unobserved detail expanded into another form.

“We are very excited to welcome Gary and Jo Hincks to exhibit with us,” said Sophie Towne, Arts & Heritage Outreach manager at the Corn Hall. “They have been huge supporters of the Corn Hall and Gary’s brochure design really allows us to stand out

“Gary and Jo’s work is inspiring, original and intelligent and will surely offer a unique exhibition.”

• The Toy Department is at Diss Corn Hall from October 18-December 1, Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, admission free.

• Gary and Jo Hincks will be at the show on October 20, from 11am-12.30pm, offering visitors an opportunity to talk to them about it. More details at 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk

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