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Romford’s Mercury Shopping Centre creates Illusionarium of sculptures to brighten up January

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:24 30 December 2019

Havering College students by one of the Mercury's Illusionarium installations. Picture: Nick Joubinaux

Havering College students by one of the Mercury's Illusionarium installations. Picture: Nick Joubinaux

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The Mercury Shopping Centre will soon be transformed into a dazzling sculpture trail.

Martin Holland, the Mercury’s maintenance manager, standing next to the Pop-Go light tunnel installation. Picture: Nick JoubinauxMartin Holland, the Mercury’s maintenance manager, standing next to the Pop-Go light tunnel installation. Picture: Nick Joubinaux

The Illusionarium sculpture trail in Level 3 of the Mercury was led by the Romford arts organisation The No Collective and built and designed by Havering artists, residents and the Mercury Shopping Centre team.

From January 4 to January 31, residents will be able to experience the unique trail which features The Cloud - an installation built by Bluerskies creatives and Havering College students on Level 4 of the centre.

The cloud seeks to make an ultra-tangible environment for people to talk and connect in the colder months.

Natalie Bays, co-founder of The NO Collective, said: "It is the most dreamy installation out of the five, and despite the indicative name, you are still dazzled by the experience when you first enter.

"The team has worked really hard on creating a specific atmosphere and there is a huge success in how comfortable yet questioning you are of the space when inside."

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Other installations include Pop-Go which is a light tunnel installation designed by artists who were inspired by pop artist Peter Blake and built by Martin Holland, the Mercury's maintenance manager.

"I have always been inspired by the free winter events in central London," said Spencer Hawken, centre manager.

"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 Illusionariam is not yet complete and The Mercury is asking families to come to the centre on Saturday, January 11 between 11am to 3pm to a family "make day" to help build the final installation, a Constellation of Romford star-scape.

All activities are free to join in and visitors are encouraged to post their journey on social media with the hashtag #illusionarium2020.

The Illusionarium project is one of a series of events 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.


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