Ongoing work on our 2013 calendar of events, involving numerous small segments of admin-type work here, there and everywhere.

One of the events is our May residency that we had an open-call for and for which we are about to select. The residency includes an In Conversation with the selected artist and scientist/writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most time consuming aspects has been the juggling to find a date that suits all, including the Aylsham Festival. The festival has such a busy, packed-out programme of events that at this stage it has been tricky to not clash with anything and also suit Hugh’s busy event schedule. He really seems a popular guy.


The following text summarises the nub of the In Conversation:

The Queen of Hungary Project Space is delighted to present writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams in conversation with our resident artist (to be announced). The residency will take place over the period of Aylsham Festival when the artist will make work in response to exchanges of ideas with the sciece writer, focusing on Browne’s scepticism towards old wives’ tales.
ARTIST AND WRITER IN CONVERSATION: Friday 24th at 5.00pm at the Queen of Hungary Project Space, Bushey Place, Aylsham Norfolk NR11 6HF
Donations £3.00, wheelchair access, parking

Thomas Browne (1605–82) was a true Renaissance man – physician, philosopher, moralist, writer, antiquarian, naturalist, herbalist, chemist and alchemist, mathematician and geometer, a missionary for the rational who could still find a place for the mysterious.

Browne settled in Norwich at the age of 31 and went into medical practice. During the Civil War, he trod a line that avoided partisanship, attending the Royalist and Puritan sick alike, as well as the poor, all of which made him the most celebrated doctor in what was then England’s second city.

His considered response to the unrest was his most famous work of literature, Religio Medici, in which he set out his personal credo of a reasoned Christianity tolerant of other religions. He employed his scientific intelligence (the literal story of the Ark is disproved for him by the existence of distinctive animal species in the Americas, for example) to establish a basis by which a rational man might nevertheless be a believer. ‘I borrow not the rules of my Religion from Rome or Geneva, but the dictates of my own reason,’ he wrote.

He made pioneering observations of Norfolk flora and fauna, including the first record of some birds in the county; he kept a bittern in his yard, and made perceptive observations about birds’ migration. Aside from his major works on morals, he wrote elegant digressions on mortality (Urn Burial) and on form and pattern in nature (The Garden of Cyrus).

Perhaps his most pertinent work for today’s audiences is Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or Vulgar Errors, a compendium of common mistaken beliefs and old wives’ tales, each of which he proceeds to debunk in characteristically tolerant fashion with gently humorous prose – an approach all too absent in today’s shrill debate about science in society. Hugh Aldersey-Williams

To book a place contact [email protected].


We have started a sort of collaborative relationship with artist Peta Stacy-Wainwright, in which we will co-curate an exhibition at the space. In this way, Peta gets to learn more about organising and curating a show and we get a show organised for the space. Brilliant stuff. Anyway, we had to meet in a cafe as the Project Space was simply too unbearably cold. I did go along later for about an hour, before my fingers froze and took this photo of sleet /snow/general coldness.

This is a link for Peta’s work:


Dominique Rey


We’ve been putting together some details about our second selected Queen of Hungary residency, here it is:

VULGAR ERRORS – our residency opportunity

WHO: Artists in any medium including film, photography, installation, painting, sculpture, who are interested in falsely held beliefs, erroneous science and sacred cows. In conjunction with acclaimed science writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams

WHAT: The residency will benefit an artist who would benefit from encounters with this wide-ranging writer. Artist is required to take part in a conversation and presentation of work with Aldersey-Williams who wishes to explore ‘Vulgar Errors’ by Thomas Browne

WHEN: May 22nd to 28th 2013

PAYMENTS: £150 artist’s fee and free accommodation – camping is an option


DETAILS: For more details about the residency please visit our a-n blog ‘The Queen of Hungary Project Space’, our website and www.hughaldersey-williams.com

APPLY: Please send one side of A4 outlining your approach to the residency, your CV, statement, 5 small JPEGs and website/blog address to [email protected]

CONTACT: [email protected]


Deadline: 1 March 2013


We’re discussing the possibility of doing more exhibition work at the space – something this space has purposely not moved into after the Norwich incarnation of the QH Gallery, St Benedicts Street.

To this end I went to the London Art Fair last night, managing to get there and back in a weather window gap in Norfolk’s week of snow and ice. The presentations from new and fresh galleries usually provide more stimulus and visual excitement.

Thinking about the type of work we might want to show; degrees of commercial or edge and experimentation, the nature of the audience and their preferences, regional bias or international. What artwork niche would we want to carve out, what would most interest us and furthermore, how would 3 artists with very differing practices ever agree on these things?

Lots of factors to balance. Lots of food for thought.

Dominique Rey


The Year Ahead

We (The Queen of Hungary organisers) met recently at The Gunton Arms to ponder how we would like to shape QH activities and presence in the next year. The joy of having a non-funded, independent space is that with the sky as the limit we could go in any direction and do almost anything. Then we’re brought back down to earth with a bump by the usual limitations of time, cost, energy and so on. We’ve found it important to enjoy enthusiastic ambitious ideas, but not get completely carried away by flights of fancy.

Notwithstanding these usual considerations, our programme for the next few months is slowly taking shape. There’s a bit of time still as we are closed over the coldest Winter months just because they are the coldest Winter months. WE’re definitely going to build on our selected residency opportunity from last year and make it bigger and better and louder. The quite tasty bar snacks and booze helped the thinking process, but perhaps not the writing down and recording of the discussion.

Dominique Rey