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New exhibition on town’s history almost didn’t happen as artist was ‘struck down with rare disease’

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A new art exhibition is opening at Lynn’s True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum today – but it almost didn’t happen.After the success of previous exhibitions at True’s Yard, the trustees decided to hold a fourth at the community museum located on the corner of North Street and St Ann’s Street.The theme this year is different: Nostalgia… Lynn Through Time. This will celebrate brand new works by the artist Alan Castleton.

Image credit: Alan Castleton 2024

Alan said: “This project was a personal challenge to take old and familiar black and white photos of Lynn and render them in colour to give a new look to familiar scenes.“I had posted some of the first examples on social media and was astonished by the feedback I received.“It seemed logical to offer the museum the option of basing the whole exhibition on this theme for which I offered a minimum of 20 new paintings.” There will be 21 paintings on display, all the more remarkable as shortly after the museum and Alan agreed on the exhibition theme, the artist was unexpectedly struck down with a rare neurological disease, Bulbar Myasthenia.Alan said: “Suddenly in the space of a week, I could hardly see, then swallow, then speak, or even hold a paintbrush for more than half an hour at a time. “From two paintings a month, one painting took me nearly six weeks to complete… was my last great project doomed to end in failure before it had begun?”Thankfully, not all hope was lost as museum curator Lindsey Bavin said: “Alan is truly an inspiration – it was like something out of a film.“Even when things seemed their bleakest, he just kept going with a singular focus, a dogged determination to complete these works. That he was able to do this when sometimes he could barely hold a paintbrush and only use one eye is beyond remarkable.” The exhibition will be formally opened at noon, by the High Sheriff, David Flux, today (Friday, July 5).Chairman of the trustees Dr Paul Richards added: “We are pleased Alan Castleton agreed to display his work at the museum’s fourth Summer Art Exhibition.“All those interested in the past and present of Lynn will be attracted to it and hopefully inspired by the work of this local artist.”The exhibition will be open from Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm, with entry free.For more information, contact True’s Yard Museum on 01553 770479 or email info@truesyard.co.uk



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