Craft exhibition at Valence House Museum in Dagenham

Some of the arts and crafts on display at the exhibition

Some of the arts and crafts on display at the exhibition - Credit: Archant

An exhibition of crafts inspired by one of the borough’s most historic buildings has been launched.

Valence House Museum in Dagenham is hosting a display of different creations, from paintings to textiles, created by the centre’s staff and volunteers. All are in some way inspired by the building and grounds, whether it is the architecture, history, or more recent events.


Clare Sexton, assistant archivist at Valence House archives and local studies centre, made 3D models of the house and other Dagenham buildings for the exhibition.

“My piece is inspired by the Frogley manuscript, which is an unpublished history of the local area,” she said.

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“Other pieces include Andy Warhol-esque photos by library assistant Teresa Trowers.

“She took photos and manipulated them on the photocopier.

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“The idea came about because she’s the person we always go to when we have a problem with the photocopier.”

One volunteer, Deirdre Marculescu, made a mulberry-coloured Edwardian dress with gold piping for the display.

“The dress is inspired by the history of the May family, who once lived at Valence House,” explained Clare.

“Once the exhibition ends it will be worn at some of our events, to show residents how people dressed during the Edwardian period.”

Leanne Westwood, curator of the museum in Becontree Avenue, made a collage with the Valence House logo, a tulip tree.

“We have a tulip tree in the grounds, which has just started growing leaves,” said Clare.

“Our grounds have some very old trees and we’ve recently completed a tree survey to keep track of them.”

Clare said the display was a way for the staff and volunteers to show how much Valence House means to them.

“We all really enjoy working here. The place is a big part of our lives,” she explained.

“We wanted to show that in the exhibition. I hope it comes through.”

The free exhibition is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, (except public holidays) until June 8. For more information call 020 8227 5222.

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