Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk

Studio of Colin Davidson, Bangor, Belfast, with Portrait of Ed Sheeran No.2 (Copyright: John Sheeran)

Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk – unique exhibition opens this summer

Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk – unique exhibition opens this summer. A unique exhibition on the life of Ed Sheeran will open in Ipswich this summer to coincide with the Suffolk singer-songwriter playing four “coming home” concerts in the town.

The nine-month exhibition is entitled “Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk” and features portraits by renowned artist Colin Davidson, photography by Mark Surridge and personal items portraying the journey from Ed’s school life in Suffolk to international stardom.

Many of these intimate works have never been seen before.

The exhibition, organised by Ipswich Borough Council and curated by Ed’s father, John, opens at Ipswich’s Christchurch Mansion on 20th August and runs until spring 2020. The exhibition’s sponsors are Aspalls, the Suffolk cider-maker.

Mark Surridge photo of Ed Sheeran in his Dressing Room, European Tour, March 2012 (Copyright: Mark Surridge)

Ed Sheeran, aged 19, performing at Ipswich Music Day, Suffolk, 4 July 2010 (Copyright: Jen O’Neill, EADT)

An important aspect of “Made in Suffolk” is a series of educational workshops covering music, art and photography, being run by educational curator Charlotte de Mille with the support of One, the Ipswich sixth-form college.

Ed’s family moved to Framlingham from Yorkshire when he was a young boy and his passion for Suffolk is behind the four concerts, which end his world tour, and the exhibition.

John Sheeran said: “Edward’s homecoming gigs in Ipswich in August 2019 provide a fitting climax to his mammoth world tour. The choice of Ipswich shows just how important his Suffolk roots are to him. Ed has a deep affection for the landscape and its people. This exhibition reflects that – its title is ‘Made in Suffolk’, which he was.”

The Mayor of Ipswich, Jan Parry, said: “I am proud and pleased to welcome Ed Sheeran back to Ipswich for the biggest musical experience the town has ever seen. This unique exhibition will, I am sure, attract an audience not only from Ipswich and Suffolk but across the UK and beyond. It is of huge cultural significance to the town and will leave a lasting legacy.

“Ed’s story is well known but many pictures and sculptures in ‘Made in Suffolk’ are on show for the very first time. Thanks to the curation of Ed’s father, John, this is an intimate portrait of a singer-songwriter who revels in his roots and who is proud of both town and county.

Ed Sheeran, aged 15, performing at Moon Fest, organised by the Moon and Mushroom Inn, Swilland, Suffolk, 27 August 2006 (Copyright: John Sheeran)

“Ed Sheeran has come such a long way from the days of busking in the town and playing in front of a few dozen people in local pubs. This exhibition is a road map of that journey, a journey which began in print when Suffolk & Norfolk Life published an article about a young local singer. The article was written by a friend of that singer who became the international superstar we know today.

“I want to thank everyone who worked together to make this exhibition happen, especially Aspalls, the exhibition sponsors, another famous Made in Suffolk brand.”