Our new exhibition, The Art of Tea, opened to the public on Sunday 3 July, with hundreds of visitors eager to see the spectacular still-life photos of antique tea-ware by photographer Stuart Duff.
Through the clever use of lighting techniques and innovative technology in the art of photographic display, Stuart has breathed life into a collection of previously unseen and exquisite valuable tea-ware from around the world. So clever is the display, it gives the viewer an experience which presents the pieces in a way that is as close as possible to the real thing. Seeing is believing!
Stuart Duff Background
Stuart Duff studied photography at Blackpool and went on to work with the Lord Snowdon, Lester Bookbinder, Phil Jude and Doris Kloster.
After setting up his own studio in 1991, Stuart began working on campaigns for Saatchi & Saatchi such as Silk Cut, British Airways, Courvoisier and Asprey & Gerrards. Many other high-profile campaigns followed, including Haagan-Dazm BMW and Adidas, bringing Stuart numerous awards from D&AD and the Creative Circle. At the same time, Staurt was also producing award winning work for Vogue, Tatler, GQ, Harpers & Queen and front covers of The Sunday Times Magazine.
Stuart was commissioned to photograph this private collection in November 2012 and took 11,350 photographs of 1,250 pieces at various times between then and August 2014.
He then specifically designed and commissioned a large perspex dome in order to light the pieces and give consistency to the body of work and which also allowed him to control the contrast and graduations of light, something which was of particular importance to the silver and gold pieces.
No retouching was carried out on the final photographs in order to retain the authenticity of each piece.
The Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Gurdial Bhambra was among those who attended a private view of the collection on Friday 1 July, and was most impressed with the work. Guests met the photographer and marveled over his work, whilst sampling our very own unique Valentines Tea – two special blends created just for us and available to buy in our gift shop!
The exhibition is open to the public until Sunday 31 July and is complimented by a number of tea themed events ranging from tastings and cream teas to a talk on tea and how it would have been enjoyed by previous residents of the Mansion.
For more information, visit http://www.valentinesmansion.com