You can take the girl out of Norfolk, but not Norfolk out of the girl

In many a walk: re-treading old, familiar, much-loved paths

“In many a Walk” is an exhibition at Park Farm Hotel with artworks by Jo Sharpe. She has created a collection remembering much-loved walks of local fields, celebrating the beautiful countryside of the village of Hethersett located seven miles south of Norwich on A11.

Jo Sharpe is an artist who grew up in the village of Hethersett. She has always been inspired by this local countryside and in particular, and the walk around the Hethersett gravel pit, (now called Great Melton Farms) and the local oilseed rape fields adjacent to the Park Farm Country Hotel.

During lockdown Jo could no longer stay in the family home as her parents had moved into a care home. It was a traumatic time for her and her family, like so many families at that time, suffering not seeing their loved ones.

“I sorely missed seeing my parents (James and Adele Hersey) and going on my familiar Hethersett walks. To feel closer to them and the village I painted several paintings of the local landscape and made a Norfolk themed series of paintings.”

Jo Sharpe now lives in Carshalton Beeches, suburban South London. Being a country girl, this is not always easy, but is thankful to live in the greenest borough of London (Sutton) and to have some great parks and countryside on her doorstep.  You will often find Jo going for walks with her dog Tilly and ‘in many a walk’ Jo sees scenes and natural forms that inspire her.

“I always take my camera and regularly take pictures and gather a natural form or two that has caught my eye. As a child, I filled up my mum and dads garage with shells and leaves and seed-heads and am amazed that I am still doing it now”.

Jo graduated with a degree in printed textile design in 1992. Her degree show was formed of works that showed her favourite walk in Hethersett from her parents’ home through the countryside to her grandparents’ home in the neighbouring village. Research for her designs show paintings en route, nature collages and screen-printed fabric lengths depicting dogs and people walking her favourite walk and a design based on her grandparents’ house.

The new Norfolk paintings on show at Park Farm Hotel feature this re-treading of the much-loved paths very close to the hotel in Hethersett. The Hotel management suggested to have a selection of Jo’s works on show for sale in their foyer. They wanted to support local and local themed artists whilst providing extra interest for their guests. A selection of Jo Sharpe prints are also available for sale from Reception.

Since the exhibition opened earlier this year, Jo’s mum has also sadly passed away.  A new painting, soon to be exhibited, features her mum’s very special favourite walk in the fields adjacent to the hotel. The family connection to the hotel was also very important to her. Her mum had been so delighted with the idea of Jo’s exhibition at Park Farm Hotel as it has been the venue for so many happy family celebrations, weddings, anniversaries and gatherings over the years, including more recently the farewell, funeral gatherings to remember Jo’s parents.

The paintings on display include local scenes of fields of oil seed rape, wheat and poppies as well as scenes from North Norfolk, Wells-next-the-Sea and Blakeney. You can view and order prints of the Norfolk scenes via her website.


To see more of my Norfolk prints and paintings