This Art Exhibition and
associated Schools Creative Workshops were
initially inspired by a National Trust
commissioned report entitled, 'Worrying
decline in days out by the sea'
of 2015. The
report lamented current generations',
especially the young's, declining Seaside
visits and the associated memories created.
Down 20% from 2005. The Midlands were
particularly badly effected, Nottingham
coming out the worst down 44% with an
unshared understanding of British identity
between generations affecting Social
also says, " the coast remains a big
contributor to quality of life and
This report struck a
chord with Artist and Schools Workshops
creator and deliverer Marcus Clarke having
lived as a child in Sheringham and
Grt.Yarmouth by the Sea but now living in
Nottingham in Central England and so the RSM
Sheringham project was created and later
funded by Arts Council England.
This report was highlighted by the BBC who
are presently revisiting the subject with
some special reporting including on
Grt.Yarmouth's state and prospects and the
part played by North Denes Primary School. BBC Schools
Creative Workshops for 2019 include
1960's as a child traveling from Canada to a new
life in England at NCH Sherringham, NCH Birmingham
and finally Nottingham. Courtesy of RMS Cunard.
Hence RSM Sheringham Art Exhibition's Title, Font
and Initials. Marcus first found a
Childhood Home by the English Seaside at
Sheringham's NCH Hooks Hill Orphanage. A Seaside
he visits today as the grown up head of a
conventional family. This exhibition explores
and celebrates those relationships and so much
Top Right: Me returning to
England Bottom Left & Far Right: With
Gordy and Linny my adoptive Toronto parents'
children. Centre: With Mum at Niagra.
Schools Seaside Postcard Making
Workshop. The Seaside reflected in a Rock Pool
Brand new Schools Creative Arts Workshop.
First held September 2016 Yr
6 Haydn Primary Nottm. Great to see Children
making art. Further Schools Workshops were held at
Grt.Yarmouth Library with local Schools, St.
Georges, Edward Worlledge and North Denes Primary.
Great fun and feedback.
Artist Marcus Clarke's RSM
Sheringham Art Exhibition
Refreshing Seaside Memories
The Seaside reflected in a Rock Pool.
Dates and Venues
RSM Sheringham Exhibition dates and Venues
6th to 31st January 2017 at the Floor 1 Gallery,
Nottingham Central Library, Angel Row. Nottingham
6th to 12th February 2017 The Gallery, Great
Yarmouth Library, Tollhouse St, Great Yarmouth
3rd to 17th April 2017 Exhibition Space,
Sheringham Museum, Lifeboat Plain, Sheringham NR26
Plans to Tour the Exhibition further
to Galleries in Toronto, London, Birmingham and
Los Angeles are currently being considered.
12x A6 Postcard sized artworks and 12x A2 sized
Artworks with associated Film and other materials
as well as a Schools Art Workshop activity.
Upper Right National Children's Home
Sheringham's Entrance. Below. RSM
Sheringham Postcard sized Artworks.
The Art Exhibition opens at the Floor 1
Gallery, Nottingham Central Library. 6th to 31st
The Art Exhibition
Travels to the Fisher-Patterson Gallery, Great
Yarmouth Library and runs from the 6th-12th February
The Three Madonna's
Sheringham NCH Marcus was transferred to NCH
Birmingham. The Princess Alice School and
Orphanage as it was also known then and Marcus
will tour this Exhibition to a Birmingham Gallery.
Below Right An old Postcard of National
Children's Home Birmingham is New Art Enshrinement
treated and titled. 'I love you Princess Alice'.
Marcus likes his artworks
to have a Childlike, impromptu, unrehearsed
quality. To be realized in part in an improvised,
ad hoc fashion with the placement of one part or
object as dependent on that of the previous
placement as the overall design or idea. Creating
these works follows his own distinct Puppetisation
process, the imbuing of objects and images with
some of the qualities of a Puppet, primarily
irreverence and the illusion of life. He does this
by applying his long standing professional puppet
making skills, toolbox and materials, combined
with his own particular and peculiar, puppeteers
sensibility and emotional intelligence. This
results in a variety of mixed media collage style
fabric, canvas or foam backed works incorporating
2D pictures, photographs, 3D Found Objects, sea
shells and beach-combed items with assorted Puppet
For this activity he is also adding vintage and
broken jewelry in Treasure Trove, Reliquary and
Well Dressing style. Emblematic of broken hopes,
dreams and relationships. Finished works are
vacuum sealed together as if washed over by the
Sea and captured in a moment, like a dream or a
memory. This combination process he calls, New Art
About the Artist.
Marcus Clarke is primarily known as a Puppeteer for
Children's Television, he is Bookaboo in the Multi
BAFTA and other award nominated and winning Amazon
Studio's and CBC Canada's Kids TV Series, Bookaboo.
He is also a Puppet Maker and his
partnership company, Hands Up Puppets made the UK
Channel 5's Milkshake Monkey Puppet and RTE's Ogri
Puppet, which featured on Ireland's National Postage
Stamp. His work from Little Shop of Horrors, The
Storyteller, Dappledown Farm to Milkshake Monkey has
been on our screens for over 25 years.
Marcus though went to Art School as a
Teenager to become an Exhibiting Fine Artist and in
2010 he decided to get himself back on this Fine Art
path. Instead of abandoning all that he had learned in
Puppetry, TV and Film he decided to incorporate it
into his new Art output and began combining it with
conceptual ideas derived from his earlier life and art
student works. Here he had inter-played objects and
images. Painting on scrap Car parts for example and
with illusion by creating collages on Plexiglass and
With this combination of early
inspiration, later learned craft making skills,
performance ability and perceptive intuition or
emotional Intelligence, he created a series of
building based works taken from the 2011 British Art
Show 7, taking the opportunity to bundle his new
artworks and himself as a re-emerging Fine Artist into
an Art movement, one that he called PuppetTVGraffiti.
He then dedicated it and himself to what he called the
Puppetising of objects and images. Imbuing them with
some of the qualities of a Puppet. Primarily
irreverence and the illusion of life. This gave his
new direction or transformation into an exhibiting
Fine Artist form and identity. A title.
His latest PuppetTVGraffiti works also
build naturally on those of his mentor and former
Puppetry Teacher Jim Henson of the Muppets fame and
his own early works including the NBC Pipes. Something
fellow Puppeteer Frank Oz (Miss Piggy and Yoda) who
Directed Marcus in Little Shop of Horrors described as
"affectionate anarchy". Combining Puppetry Arts with
Conceptual Art now seems perfectly natural to Marcus
though he has continued to grow his practice and it
has changed. He recently added Antique Jewelry and
Found Objects as additional materials and began
incorporating his interest in the power of Reliquary,
Symbolism and Belief to explore what essentially he
always has, where character or life visually begins.
Characters, stylised or abstract figures, perhaps just
a single eye, are placed by him in a wider image
context to describe or imply a story. He utilises text
and personal commentary, sometimes just a title,
sometimes whole story outlines, to help make the
entire resulting work become a unique journey of
discovery. Thought provoking too. Lately he has been
using Vacuum Sealing to capture and preserve a moment
of his work. Adding Gemstones, baubles, jewelry and
gold leaf to turn them into something that looks
precious, Treasured. He's called this process New Art
Enshrinement or Treasuring. "these latest works owe
something to the tradition of Derbyshire Well
Dressing. I also try to replicate in them the
aged, unkempt, slightly disheveled, quirky look of a
medieval relic. Hence in the detail there's the odd
stray hair or cobweb string, dry cracked card or water
stain," (Marcus Clarke). His latest projects using
this process include, The Treasured Seaside, The
Treasured Forest, The Treasure of Cats and Dogs. In
these he uses antique often Victorian images as a
base, an original Relic."I then Vacuum seal the finished
works together to make them shiny, water resistant, to
capture them and to seemingly freeze a moment in
time," (Marcus Clarke). They can be hung using
hangars, cord and pegs, bulldog clips or blue tac. But
don't hole, pin or pierce them as they are fragile in
this way. "I punctured one accidentally once and it
immediately lost its visual edge, it appeared
deflated, sad,". Though safely bagged and vacuum
sealed these artworks can also be conventionally
framed by a professional Picture Framer. They look
great like this too. Marcus adds, "I'm becoming
increasingly interested in unusual balances in my
works, colour, tone, shape and this has driven a whole
new range of works called 'Keepsake's and Objet D'art'
and some are exhibited here. These odd or curious
balances seem somehow to imitate life".
“Marcus Clarke's artworks speak with two voices, that
of him as an adult and a child because he still is
those two people. He creates Contemporary Art, Objet
D'art that draws on Medieval Reliquary, Keepsakes,
Momentos, Souvenirs and Memorials.
He creates these works using a process he calls New
Art Enshrinement which like most of his work is rooted
in Puppetry craft and creating the illusion of life.
Fundamentally his arts practice is about making belief
incarnate. Manifest within his artworks. In doing so
he believes he is creating one sort of Treasure from
another and immortalizing it”.
Marcus has had three Solo Puppetised,
PuppetTVGraffiti art exhibitions funded by Arts
Council England this one, RSM Sheringham 2017,
DogHorse Coat Feb 2015 both staged at the Floor 1
Gallery, Nottingham Central Library and 'Homeless in
the Puppetised City' which was held in a pop up in the
Lace Market. That exhibition and the Puppetised
Building based artworks was about a homeless Puppet
walking the streets of Nottingham imagining local
buildings as a potential Puppet Home for him.
Works from this and previous exhibitions
are sometimes on sale at Arts Council England’s
Thanks to the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA for the few thought
provoking and inspiring days I spent with their
collection. Marcus Clarke FRSA