Valentines Mansion will come alive during the summer with celebratory art, made by some of the most talented artists in the borough. In celebration of the grade II* building having been open to the public for 10 years, the Mansions’ studio artists have each created a piece in their specific medium to mark this special milestone.
From Sunday 4 August, visitors will enjoy browsing ceramics, paintings, lino prints, willow weaving, wood engravings and more, all created in the artists’ studios on the top floor of the Mansion. Through their individual approaches and interests they have reflected on the past ten years, with unique creations in their individual style.
One piece already on display brings together the house and gardens in a truly innovative way. Jason Rose’s organic painting of a secretary bird, made using leaves, flowers, feathers and twigs, pays homage to one of the Mansion’s previous residents, Sir Charles Raymond, who is thought to have adorned the Mansion with exotic imports from the East during his time with the East India Company. A secretary bird, native to Africa, is thought to have roamed the Mansion grounds during the mid-17th century. “I felt this exotic bird would be an ideal subject for my piece – fusing the Mansion of today with the Mansion of yesterday” commented Jason.
Visitors will have to get up close to admire the beauty of some of Julian Walker’s work. His miniature pieces measuring just 9cm by 7cm, have been skillfully engraved with images of Valentines Mansion. “Wood-engraving is a printing method that uses the end grain of hardwood as the printing surface. Allowing fine details and white-line drawing, the technique has been widely used in book illustration. These images were cut on boxwood slices” comments Julian.Artist Lisa Atkin’s work is centred around the strange and ghostly goings on recorded on a “Frank’s Box”, a device used to supposedly communicate with the dead, during an evening of paranormal investigations at the Mansion. A group of ghost hunters set up a specially made device in Lisa’s studio and tuned in to communications from the other side. “The results were alarming indeed!” says Lisa. Her second installation combines her love of willow weaving with this paranormal activity – an impressive woven Ghost Catcher will hang in the Victorian Kitchen for the duration of August.
Other works include a three-part ceramic vase by artist Cinzia Castellano, made specifically to hold a cutting of the Hampton Court Vine, which is already on display at the Mansion, as well as framed lino prints depicting the Mansion’s last resident, Sarah Ingelby, by artist Sadia Ur-Rehman.
The other artists taking part are Louise Moore and Amanda Seljubac.
The studio artists exhibition ‘Decade’ will take place every Sunday to Wednesday between 4th and 28th August, 11am-4pm, with free entry.