An exhibition recently opened in Brighton at Preston Manor organised by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Marti Dean and Simon went along to pay it a visit and Marti had this to say, "The exhibition provides a clear and accessible historical context to the development of modern witchcraft through an investigation of early art, myths and legends, witchcraft trials and magic. This story is captivatingly illustrated by materials from Doreen Valiente’s personal collection.
Doreen Valiente played a fundamental role in the development of modern witchcraft, and this is highlighted and celebrated through the exhibition. Many well known items which have featured in Doreen's books appear alongside other fascinating objects which have not been seen before.
There is a certain 'Joie de vivre' about the collection. I could imagine Doreen having great fun seeking out objects of a magical or symbolic significance from the antique shops of Brighton. Doreen was also a skilled maker; the exhibition features some beautiful items created by her.
For those who know of Doreen’s collection of objects there were some omissions. I had hoped to see the powerful Bel Bucca carvings of the deities, iconic and central to Doreen’s collection, but as the exhibition is meant to be changed at some point, hopefully some of these things will appear. But the carved witch mirror made me smile, rather like seeing an old friend!
An informative and thoroughly enjoyable exhibition celebrating the life of a remarkable lady.
Not to be missed!"