Art show puts the writing on the wall

08 March 2019
The writing is well and truly on the wall in the latest exhibition at Norwich Cathedral. Words and images collide in the brightly-coloured kaleidoscope of work currently adorning the Hostry Exhibition Space.
Writing on the Wall exhibition (c) Sabi North (10)

‘Anarchist’, ‘butterfly’, ‘conundrum’ and ‘spaceship’ are just some of the intriguingly eclectic mix of words that jump out at visitors exploring the Writing on the Wall art show.

The paintings aim to give them new context and meaning to those who stop to look.

And perhaps surprisingly the works were sparked by London-based artist Sabi North’s own challenges with expression.

“Being expressive, communicating, conversing comes naturally to most people. I find it very difficult,” said Sabi, 62, who works from Whitefriars Studio in Harrow.
“There was always the fear one say the wrong thing, or say the right thing but upset someone, or say something that may expose oneself, give too much away, attract too much attention, be boring.”

But Sabi has found her voice with her paintbrush and through her text-based paintings she explores the politics of language and the world today.

“In my work, text as form provides not only visual display but also an element of anarchic symbolism and humour,” she said.
“My inspiration comes from the seasons, nature, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, word dictionaries and the thesaurus.”

More than 40 works are featured in the show, including a series based on nine-letter words ranging from ‘bedazzled’ to ‘earthling’ and ‘forbidden.’

Writing on the Wall is in Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry Exhibition Space until Wednesday 27 March.
Opening times are Monday to Saturday 9.30am-4.30pm and Sunday 10am-3pm.
Entry to the exhibition is free.

See more of Sabi's work at and follow @sabinorth on Instagram