Artists and residents come together to create an ‘Illusionarium’ of sculptures
Illusionarium is an ensemble of installations inspired by light and illusion.
Level 3 of
The Mercury Shopping Centre has been transformed into a dazzling sculpture
trail, built and designed by Havering artists, residents and the Mercury
Shopping Centre Team.
a green ‘pod’ to a ‘cloud’, Illusionarium will be opening up ‘private areas’ of
the shopping centre as well as creating unique spaces for members of the public
to experience. The theme of the trail ‘Journey’ expects to create a fun
introduction to contemporary art for residents of Romford.
Led by local
arts Organisation ‘The NO Collective’, the ‘Illusionarium project’ has been
designed and built by artists in collaboration with Havering College Students
and The Mercury Mall centre team. This is one of a series of events and
happenings that have been produced through ‘Havering Changing’ which is
offering residents opportunities to get more involved in creative projects
through the Arts Council’s ‘Creative People and Places’ fund.
an installation built by ‘Bluerskies creatives’ and Havering College students
is on level 4 of the centre. A space that has been unoccupied for 20 years, the
cloud seeks to make an ultra-tangible environment for people to talk and
connect in the colder months.
“It is the
most dreamy installation out of the five, and despite the indicative name, you are
still dazed by the experience when you first enter” says Natalie Bays,
co-founder of The NO Collective.
have really worked hard on creating a specific atmosphere on level 4 and there
is a huge success in how comfortable yet questioning you are of the space when
installations include ‘Pop-Go’ which is a poignant light tunnel installation
designed by artists through inspiration of Pop artist Peter Blake and built by
and Martin Holland, The Mercury’s Maintenance Manager. The centre team have
also helped with installation of all of the other artworks.
Hawken, Centre Manager has been at the forefront of the project:
always been inspired by the free winter events in Central London. They are such
a fantastic way for families to keep some seasonal spirit after Christmas
celebrations and have an affordable day out together. I have wanted to bring
something like this to Romford for years, and finally, we have all of the
partnerships, skill and local interest we need to do so. I hope this is
something we can host for years to come!”
The Mercury are asking families
to come to the centre on Saturday 11th January between 11am – 3pm to
a family ‘make-day’ where residents can help to build the final installation –
a ‘Constellation of Romford’ star-scape which will then be displayed for the
duration of the sculpture trail.
activities as part of the Illusionarium project will be free to join in. You
can also post your journey on social media by uploading images of yourself on
social media and tagging #illusionarium2020.
Open every day from 4th January – 31st January 2020*
11th January, Daniel's View Gallery, Level 3, 11am - 3pm
*Due to the
nature of installation and upkeep, ‘The Cloud’ will be open at specific times
throughout the month, please check www.themercurymall.co.uk for full list of opening times.