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Contemporary and Country (C&C) is a new vehicle presenting contemporary art and the handmade by established artists and makers based in the east of England. We will be introducing selected work by international creatives from marginal locations to the eastern region. Their work will be displayed in stimulating settings to suit an informed audience, who appreciate the handmade and who look beyond the passing trend.

Norfolk by Design
Davina Barber and Emma Deterding established a network of artists and designers working in Norfolk and invited Paul Vater and Paul Barratt to join together to establish a commercial entity to showcase the work of local artists through a series of pop up events from the end of 2015. Davina, Paul and Paul created a number of pop-up events up until the end of 2017 when Davina decided to concentrate her efforts in dealing directly on smaller scale, more focused projects. Notably this involved showcasing the work of Harry Cory Wright as well as more recently with a selection of makers and local artists through her art-based holiday rental Beachhouse Brancaster.

Using their considerable skills as outlined below, Barratt and Vater have gone on to create several notable pop ups showcasing a broad selection of artists and makers from across Norfolk,Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. These has primarily taken place alongside major exhibitions of Damien Hirst and Henry Moore at Houghton Hall, North Norfolk but also locations in Norwich, including Art Fair East at the end of 2019. Now with an expanding number of artists wanting to show with Vater and Barratt and including growing national and international reputations, a re-focus, adjustment to the business has been deemed necessary. Hence Contemporary and Country.

What makes C&C different?
C&C display new work by contemporary artists and makers who don’t conform to historic assumptions about creativity being a largely metropolitan activity. Through their chosen subject matter they raise questions about what it takes to shift ideas of the rural idyll away from the romantic and remote, toward a variety of more engaging concerns shared by creative practitioners working in geographically isolated communities today.

Creativity in the country?
Artists and makers have turned to non-urban locations, exiting cramped conditions of the UK’s larger cities and discovering smaller towns, and creative hot spots in rural settings. They are making their living in surroundings that are an inspiration, as well as a less punishing working environment. Once relocated, they have greater access to inexpensive workshop and studio space, better natural light and fewer competing distractions.


Contemporary and Country (C&C) brings together the curatorial and creative skills of Paul Barratt and Paul Vater. 


Paul Barratt started working in contemporary art galleries in 1989, having graduated in Fine Art from Goldmsith’s, London University. He initially worked at Anthony d’Offay Gallery, one of the contemporary art dealers, who dominated the marlet in the 80s and 90s. He was approached by the Lisson Gallery to be gallery manager for the influential art dealer Nicholas Logsdail. This was followed by a short period in New York at Gladstone Gallery, to work for visionary art dealer Barbara Gladstone, working with the artist Matthew Barney.

On his return to London Paul secured a place on the postgraduate curatorial course at the Royal College of Art, to complete an MA. After graduation in 2001, he worked as an independent curator on several projects in Oslo, London, Brighton and Basel, before joining Paul Vater at Sugarfree in 2004 as a Brand Manager. He has worked with Paul ever since.



Paul established his design company, Sugarfree, in 1990 and quickly gained a reputation for delivering fresh, effective marketing campaigns and brand identities for clients including Save the Children Fund, United Nations Association and UNHCR. Over the years those added to the roster include IPC Magazines, Arts Council England, The Roundhouse, Barbican Centre, Arts Marketing Association, Look Ahead Housing and Care, Paddington Waterside, BBC Worldwide, Commonwealth Foundation, Prestel, City of London Corporation, Baker Street Quarter, Victoria BID and the University of East Anglia.

Paul has key responsibilities for branding, marketing and fundraising for Contemporary and Country. Together with his fellow curators he undertakes studio visits to maintain strong relationships with artists, designers and craftspeople who show their work with us. He manages the main Norfolk by Design website and has developed the online shop where selected works are presented for sale.

Contact Paul Vater :


Installation at the stables, Houghton Hall – May to September, 2019