Ilford art exhibition celebrates 10 years of Valentines Mansion

The secretary bird is on display as part of the collection and was said to have roamed the mansion's

The secretary bird is on display as part of the collection and was said to have roamed the mansion's grounds in the 17th century. Picture: Valentines Mansion/ Jason Rose - Credit: Archant

The walls in Valentines Mansion will be decked out with art made by some of the most talented creatives in the borough this summer.

To celebrate 10 years of the Grade II listed building being open to the public, the mansion's resident artists have each created a piece.

From Sunday, August 4, visitors to the house in Valentines Park, Emerson Road, Ilford, can view ceramics, paintings, lino prints, willow weaving, wood engravings and more, all created in the artists' studios on the top floor.

They have reflected on the past 10 years, with unique creations in their own style.

One piece already on display brings together the house and gardens in a truly innovative way.

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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 house with exotic imports from Asia during his time with the East India Company - including a secretary bird, native to Africa, which roamed the 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," said Jason.

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Visitors will have to get up close to admire fellow artist Julian Walker's work as his miniature pieces, engraved with images of the mansion, measure just 9cm by 7cm.

"Wood engraving is a printing method that uses the end grain of hardwood as the printing surface," said Julian.

"Allowing fine details and white line drawing, the technique has been widely used in book illustration.

"These images were cut on boxwood slices."

Lisa Atkin's work is centred on 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 - and a woven ghost catcher will hang in the Victorian kitchen for the duration of August.

Other creations on display include a three-part ceramic vase by artist Cinzia Castellano, 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 August 4 and 28, 11am-4pm.

Free entry, visit or call 020 8708 8100

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