Arts programme, Havering Changing, the Mercury and Romford BID drumming up interest in the annual ‘Illusionarium’ exhibition

Havering businesses are coming together to create a lights exhibition in the Mercury Shopping centre

Havering businesses are coming together to create a lights exhibition in the Mercury Shopping centre. Picture: Mercury Shopping Centre - Credit: Archant

Havering businesses are coming together to create a lights exhibition in the Mercury Shopping centre.

Arts programme, Havering Changing, the Mercury and Romford BID are calling on artists and businesses to take part in the annual ‘Illusionarium’ exhibition to brighten up the dark winter months.

Last year saw 1,000 people enjoy six specially made artworks at the Mercury. On show in early 2021, the festival will triple in size.

The first opportunity in the run-up to the exhibition is a call for artwork to be displayed as part of a “family trail” in Romford Town Centre, the festival team are urging Havering businesses and artists to apply.

Natalie Bays, deputy centre manager of The Mercury said: “A light festival is a great opportunity to celebrate during the dark months of January and February and we would love to see as many local people and businesses to get involved as possible. We know that we have a huge community spirit in Romford and Havering and would like to help make that truly grow in the new year!”


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The theme for the 2021 festival is “Winter Garden” and already has plans set in motion for three of the artworks to be made by artists in Harold Hill, Rainham, Orchard Village and Romford.

Director of Havering Changing, James Jackson, said: “We will work with local residents to make work, and with town Steering Group members and local business owners to ensure they are at the heart of decision making and involved actively in the festival. This is important because we want the Illusionarium to be for the whole community so we can all celebrate together.”

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There are six commissions available (1 x £3,000/3 x £2,000/2 x £1,000) including the commissioning of one practitioner to run a community project to support as many businesses in Romford Town and residents across Havering to join in with the festival as possible.

The deadline for all commission application is November 30.

Applicants can download the application pack, and find out more about the trail at: https://nocollective.co.uk/illusionarium

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