Ron's Place: Look inside rented flat made Grade II listed after secret emporium of amazing art discovered

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The former rented flat is a treasure trove of ‘Outsider Art’ - including murals depicting historical scenes - which remained hidden for 30 years.

A hidden gem of Outsider Art, Ron's Place in Birkenhead has been granted Grade II listing. The flat is a treasure trove of outsider art, including murals depicting historical scenes, hand-crafted fireplaces in the shape of a roaring lion's head, a Minotaur's head and even a Roman bread oven.

Concealed for over 30 years, Ron Gittins meticulously crafted art to create a striking environment, which remained a secret until his death in 2019.

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Arts advocate Alison Bailey Smith told LiverpoolWorld: "What he created in this rental flat is quite amazing. You’ve got four stunning huge fireplaces, murals on every wall and almost every ceiling - he painted the floors. It’s quite an amazing place, really."

The Grade II listing recognises Ron's creation as an exemplar of large-scale Outsider Art in England. Outsider Art is an internationally recognised creative phenomenon that often transcends genres. Examples can be found in galleries in the UK and around the world. A key feature of Outsider Art is that the work is created without an audience in mind and often purely for themselves.

Following the flat's discovery and uncertainty about its survival, Wirral Arts & Culture Community Land Trust was formed. The trust seeks to use Ron's Place to ignite creativity and empower local communities.

  • Watch the video for our full tour of Ron's Place and to hear more from arts advocate Alison Bailey Smith.

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