The Suffolk Group


1946 was an exciting year at the Royal College of Art. Throughout the war they had continued to interview and offer places to talented young men and women, and now the lucky ones returned from the war to begin their art education.

Mike Kelly was one of these and when, in 1983, on retiring to Walberswick in Suffolk from his art school job in Warwickshire, he discovered five of his former fellow students as well as a growing network of other artists, he began to mull over the idea of forming a group of professional artists.

Following discussions with like -minded artists, the Suffolk Group was formed at the end of 1990.

Its aims were to put on exhibitions of a high standard and to provide opportunities for mutual support.

Now in its 17th year (2007) the group continues to sustain its original value for the quality and professionalism of its artists whilst holding an open mind to the many changes and ideas that have occurred in the making of art since 1946.

This eclecticism has expressed itself in the differing nature of the last three shows held by the Suffolk Group. Where the annual summer show at Peter Pears provided a showcase for each artist, the “small works” Christmas show at the Aldeburgh gallery demonstrated a lighter touch.   “New Cuts” at The Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth, on the other hand, was an opportunity for members ranging from the traditional to the conceptual to demonstrate a shared interest in pushing personal artistic boundaries

Since the hanging of our exhibitions is democratic, the group"s size is generally maintained at around thirty to avoid overcrowding and new members are carefully selected both to sustain the values of the group and to maintain a contemporary edge.

A tradition which has evolved is the annual inclusion of a guest artist whose work is respected and admired by the group and who has a link with Suffolk.  (See “Previous Group Exhibitions” for details)
In the early days of the group Charles Bartlett, then President of the Royal Watercolour Society gave a summer lecture. In  2004 the tradition of an annual lecture open to the public was revived. The inaugural lecture was given by one of our founder members and well known local art historian and raconteur, Richard Scott on The Suffolk Group: its birth and progress.  Subsequent lectures have been given by Tim Hunkin in 2005 and the poet Martin Newell in 2006.


Buckenham House, Southwold: Inaugural exhibition opened by Ronald Blythe
Boundary Gallery: Special exhibition.

Wherry Quay, Ipswich: 2nd Annual Summer exhibition

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 3rd  Annual Summer exhibition

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 4th  Annual Summer exhibition
Buckenham House, Southwold: 1st  Winter exhibition

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 5th Annual Summer exhibition 
Buckenham House, Southwold: 2nd Winter exhibition

Heffers, Cambridge: Special Exhibition 
Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 6th Annual Summer exhibition
Buckenham House, Southwold: 3rd Winter Exhibition

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 7th Annual Summer exhibition
Taplin Gallery, Woodbridge Special exhibition 
Buckenham House, Southwold: 4th Winter exhibition

Artists Gallery, Ipswich: Stansted Airport exhibition
Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 8th Annual Summer exhibition  
Artists Gallery, Ipswich: 5th Winter exhibition

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 9th Annual Summer exhibition
Buckenham Galleries, Southwold: 6th Winter exhibition

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 10th Annual Summer exhibition (opened by
Ronald Blythe; guest exhibitor Margaret Mellis)

Gainsborough"s House, Sudbury: Special “definitive” exhibition 
Reade"s gallery, Aldeburgh: Small summer exhibition by part of the Group  D"Arcy Gallery, Ipswich: Ipswich Docks themed exhibition, together with other invited artists

Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 11th Annual Summer exhibition with guest exhibitor and opening speaker Maggi Hambling

Ipswich Library: Display of selected Ipswich Docks images 
Peter Pears, Aldeburgh: 12th Annual Summer exhibition with guest exhibitor Mary Fedden and as opening speaker her biographer, Mel Gooding
Pond Gallery, Snape Maltings: 7th Winter exhibition

Pond Gallery, Snape Maltings: Themed exhibition: Reflections on Snape Buckenham Galleries, Southwold: 8th Winter Exhibition
Peter Pears Gallery,Aldeburgh: 13th Annual Summer exhibiton, including five late members and inaugural lecture by Richard Scott
Pond Gallery, Snape Maltings: 9th Winter exhibition

Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 14th Annual Summer exhibition with guest exhibitor John Loker  and second annual lecture given by Tim Hunkin
Pond Gallery, Snape Maltings: 10th Winter exhibition

Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 15th Annual Summer exhibition with guest
exhibitor James Dodds and 3rd annual lecture given by Martin Newell (poet)  Aldeburgh Gallery, Aldeburgh: 8th Winter exhibition “small  works” show

The Cut gallery, Halesworth: "New Cuts": an exhibition of exploratory works by 16 members
Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 16th Annual Summer Exhibition with guest exhibitor Brüer Tidman and 4th Annual Lecture - "Learning to Draw" by artist and author Ian Simpson
Aldeburgh Gallery, Aldeburgh: 12th Winter exhibition: "Small Works", with guest exhibitor recent graduate James Hutchinson

Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 17th Annual Summer Exhibition with guest exhibitor Francis Bowyer, who also delivered the 5th Annual Lecture
Aldeburgh Gallery, Aldeburgh: 13th Winter exhibition: "Small Works" with guest exhibitor Mark Fuller

Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 18th Annual Exhibition with guest exhibitor
John Edwards. 6th Annual Lecture by Jack Stephenson on "Sickert"

Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 19th Annual Exhibition with guest exhibitor Chris Wormell, illustrator (famous for his work for Adnams) and author of children’s books.
Mr Wormell also delivered the 7th Annual Lecture on the development of his work & career.

Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh: 20th Annual Exhibition with guest exhibitor (& former Suffolk Group member) Richard Bawden. 8th Annual Lecture by John Craig: "Working to Order: 60 years in the applied arts"