The designs will be the first in a series of artworks on construction sites across the borough to celebrate the history, heritage and the future of the area.
As part of an extensive regeneration of the Gascoigne estate, creating 500 new homes for the people of Barking, contractor Willmott Dixon has been working in collaboration with their customer, Be First and alongside Studio 3 Arts to install a series of artworks.
To be shown on the site’s hoardings in three different places, the designs will be the first in a series of artworks on construction sites across the borough to celebrate the history, heritage and the future of the area.
Willmott Dixon and Be First worked alongside local artist Elaine Tribley and Greatfields School to deliver this project. Local students at Greatfields School created a series of artworks that included 21st century self-portraits in the style of local dignitaries such as Sir Crisp Gascoyne and Mrs Margaret Bamber and drawings of the rich and interesting heritage of the area.
From the student’s drawings, two designs were produced for the hoardings. ‘This is our home’ is a response to the rich heritage and natural resources within the Gascoigne neighbourhood and the town of Barking. From buildings of historical interest to the vast variety of trees and the fishing histories that framed the town's origins.
The second design, ‘We Are Greatfields School’, sees students’ self-portraits which have been extracted and placed on a ‘wallpaper’ pattern background created by using leaves drawn by the students. The artwork has been spaced out like a grand hall of framed portraits found in homes such as the Gascoyne Manor House which once stood on the Gascoigne neighbourhood.
Natalie Sidey, Social Value Manager at Willmott Dixon said:
“It’s been fantastic to work alongside our customer Be First, local artist Elaine Tribley and Greatfields School to develop the new hoarding artwork, and to see the enthusiasm the students have had in making their designs reflective of their local community and home.
“As part of our ‘Now or Never’ 2030 sustainability strategy, we are dedicated to supporting the people and businesses within the communities we work to thrive.”
Dubravka Polic, Senior Development Manager at Be First, said:
“At Be First we’re more than just bricks and mortar, we’re about embedding the community at the heart of everything we do. This artwork by local young people is a great example of our ethos, celebrating our community’s creativity, its history and future.”
Rosie Ross, Senior Creative Producer at Studio 3 Arts said:
“Integrating young people’s creativity within the fabric of Barking and Dagenham’s changing landscape is crucial to us at Studio 3 Arts. We are delighted to have co-created these bespoke artworks, based on the history of the area, with the students of Greatfields school alongside our associate artist Elaine Tribley.”
In July Willmott Dixon was awarded a £40m contract to build Block J, the latest phase of Gascoigne estate’s regeneration in Barking. It follows a contract award in April by Be First to deliver a development worth £135 million that will provide 382 new homes, including 57% affordable, at Gascoigne estate.