Sunderland artist’s London calling

Artist Alison Barratt working inside The Mansion House, London where she is currently Artist In Residence.
Artist Alison Barratt working inside The Mansion House, London where she is currently Artist In Residence.
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ARTIST Alison Barratt has landed a plum role working for the Lord Mayor of London.

The painter and Sunderland University academic has been invited to capture the grandeur of the Mansion House – the Lord Mayor’s official residence and one of the nation’s most treasured buildings.

Alison, a programme leader for illustration and design at the university, has been commissioned to produce the first ever commemorative book celebrating Lord Mayor Michael Bear’s year in office 2010-2011.

She said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I still can’t believe that I have access to such an amazing building at the heart of London life.

“The commemorative book is something that has never been done before and I will be responsible for the production of it, from its design to the book binding.”

Alderman Michael Bear, Lord Mayor of London, said: “It is a pleasure to have such an inspired artist to help us bring our year alive through her drawings and design expertise.

“We are enjoying watching the book being created over the weeks Alison has been here. The work Alison has done on chronicling the year has been outstanding. People still talk about The Lord Mayor’s Show 2010 poster as the best ever.”

The Georgian town house has greeted world leaders and dignitaries for more than 250 years, and attracts 40,000 visitors a year.

Alison said: “I will be illustrating all the Mansion House’s various rooms; its halls, offices, private apartments as well as the fabulous arts collections. I’ll be drawing some of the many meetings, award ceremonies and banquets.

“There’ll also be photographs, notes and memorabilia included in the book. So, this really is a celebration of all the events over the year from his presentation ceremony when Michael Bear was chosen as Lord Mayor, through to the Lord Mayor’s Show, all his foreign trips, visits by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and other politicians, as well as city financial people and foreign diplomats.”

Before coming to Sunderland, Alison spent most of her career in London working on some of the UK’s biggest newspapers and magazines, including The Sunday Times, The Observer and News of the World as a graphic designer and later as an illustrator.

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