An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
9A Cromer Road
Tel: 01485 534721
Email: [email protected]
Inside a cabin full of country interior furnishings, come and discover a gallery of outstanding images of the Natural World with many stunning shots of Norfolk landscapes and wildlife that will leave you breathless.
How to find it
Country Cabin can be found along the main coast road, A149, slightly out of the way of the main shopping streets of Hunstanton town and on its own down an otherwise residential road which seems to suit its presence. From the pavement it looks a jumble of old and new furnishings, with a sign that highlights photography but does nothing to prepare you for what’s inside.
What to expect
The first time I went inside it was the home decor gifts that drew me in; I love looking around any type of gift shop and was intrigued by this array of random objects for sale. But once inside my legs froze and the merchandise all but disappeared. I was instantly mesmerised. The shop come art gallery’s walls are covered, every available inch, in what I can only describe as simply stunning photographs on canvas. Many are large in size but this isn’t what has impact, it’s the pictures themselves that cause me to be paralysed to the spot.
If you love Norfolk, you’ll love Martin James’s work. He captures the coastline and its wildlife effortlessly. If you ask him what makes a good picture, he’ll say “Simplicity. In my mind that’s just another word for natural” and this is the essence of what his photography is about. From an early age (he won Junior Amateur Naturalist of Great Britain at 13 years old for a project on the conservation of frogs and toads) he has had an interest in wildlife and his motivation for taking photos comes from a desire to “inspire others to observe and conserve the natural world”.
Both a wildlife and landscape photographer, his work covers British birds and mammals, amphibians, reptiles and insects, as well as flora. He also photographs North Norfolk landscapes and Norfolk sunsets which for me are his best work but that’s just my preference. As Martin says, “what one image does for one person may have little impression on another”. The Attic exhibits a good variety of shots on canvas from his vast portfolio and there are hundreds of prints there to flick through too until the perfect picture for you is spotted.
His signature image is ‘A Place of Safety’; a beautiful swan burrowed in its own feathered nest. I particularly love the local sunset images; many of them I recognise instantly as views I’ve sat and experienced.
Purchasing in person
His extensive gallery can be seen online on his website and you can also order from there, but I’d recommend taking a trip to The Attic rather than buying from afar. Impact is a big part of his work and this can be seen en mass in his shop. It’s also a nice place to look round too with an intriguing selection of home furnishings. A tasteful bric-a-brac that has a lot of unusual items on display; the gifts are deliberately sourced from a variety of suppliers to offer that eclectic feel and it’s a good range to browse if you’re looking for something just that little bit different.
His photos are available as mounted prints starting from £35 for a 12x18in, framed prints starting from £65 for a 16x20in, and canvases starting from £75 for a 19x23in. The shop is undergoing a facelift in next month (Feb 2012) to give an even greater viewing experience. The Attic is open daily but ring to confirm if in any doubt. A warm welcome will always greet you.