Sir Peter Blake Attends Chiswick House Camellia Festival Launch

Famous artist donates special limited edition Camellia print to raise funds


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Sir Peter Blake attended the launch of the third annual Chiswick House Camellia Festival today (Feb 14).

The Camellia display, which is in the Conservatory, is open to the public from Saturday (16th) and runs until 17 March 2013.

Sir Peter Blake pictured with Sarah Finch-Crisp, CHGT Director

The launch was marked by the publication of a new limited-edition print by Sir Peter; Camellia Japonica Incarnata, based on his original watercolour painting made especially for Chiswick House Trust. The limited edition of 250 prints (290mm x 350mm) signed and numbered by the artist, will be sold to raise funds for the Trust, priced at £100 each and available in the Festival shop.

Sir Peter Blake with the limited edition Camellia watercolour- pic Anna Kunst

Sir Peter commented; "Chiswick House Gardens is a special place for me. I took my daughter Rose there many times when she was a child. The wonderful landscape, the calmness of the lake and the beautiful trees are an inspiration. I am thrilled that the Camellia Collection in the restored Conservatory is being celebrated. I hope my painting will capture some of that beauty for others and raise funds for Chiswick House Trust."

A Camellia bag has also been designed to raise funds for the Trust by Chiswick-based artist Marthe Armitage, who is famous for her textiles and wallpapers.

Marthe Armitage at work- pic Anna Kunst

The Chiswick House Camellia collection is regarded as one of the finest in the country and one of the oldest in the West. Many of the plants are descended from the original planting in 1828. In the 1840s, the camellia was regarded as the luxury flower. While some of the camellias are in full bloom and giving out scent, others are still in bud and expected to burst into blossom over the coming days and weeks.

Also attending the launch were the chairman of the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, Mr. Andrew Fane, Cllr Paul Lynch, who is a trustee, and chair of the London Commission of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Mr. Wesley Kerr.

The admission charge is £8 but a spokesperson said that the funds raised would directly support the CHGT charity. She added that (after purchasing an admission ticket) there are free daily tours of the newly restored Conservatory at 11 am given by volunteers. The Conservatory is celebrating its 200th birthday (it was created by the 6th Duke of Devonshire in 1813).

The Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2013
Chiswick House Gardens, London W4 2QN
Dates: 16th February –17 March 2013
Conservatory opening hours: Daily 10:30 am –4pm
Chiswick House: exclusive ‘Festival’ weekend openings 10am – 5pm

Advance bookings and information:
Tickets £8 (under 16’s free) including free Camellia and Conservatory guide
TicketWeb or call 0845 477 1000
For details of group bookings (discounts for 10+) and group tours Tel: 020 8742 3905

All funds raised help to support Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, a registered charity dedicated to the preservation and continued enhancement of the historic Chiswick House Gardens, open free to the public every day until dusk.


February 15, 2013

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