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Barking artists use Community Counts funding to explore life on the Gascoigne Estate

Barking poet John Akinde has tapped into the creative energy in and around the Gascoigne Estate to deliver the fantastic cross-artform exhibition ‘Kids on the Block’ which examines, questions, and explores life on the estate.

The exhibition is being held at Boundary Road Gallery, Barking and Dagenham’s first contemporary art gallery, and features a variety of work from local young artists, providing an opportunity to view the creative energy that exists in the community.

The project is being run by local volunteers and has been funded thanks to a £1000 grant from East Thames housing association’s “Community Counts” fund. East Thames, which is part of the L&Q Group, is currently working in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council to deliver new homes in phase one of the Gascoigne Estate regeneration – Weavers Quarter.

John Akinde lives on the estate and was determined to embolden young artists to drive the project forward and to look at unlocking the ways in which many young people, artists or not, express their creativity. It will use a variety of mediums to reflect on the richness in culture and diversity that the Gascoigne community takes so much pride in.

Encouraging variety meant that submissions have included a wide range of artistic pieces including soundscapes, photography, and live performances. The exhibition also ensures people from the estate, and from all across Barking, have the opportunity to interact with the pieces in a comfortable and familiar environment.

Entry to the exhibition is free and it runs from 14 August to 16 September.

Nicola Brown, Starting Point Co-ordinator, said:

“This is an exciting project that brings together young and creative people living on the Gascoigne estate. It is driven by them and is a wonderful way to encourage local people to interact with arts and culture so close to home.

East Thames is keen to keep working with people in the area to support positive projects that benefit the residents of Barking, particularly those on the Gascoigne estate.”

John Akinde, Kids on the Block Curator and Gascoigne resident, said:

“The exhibition will show what art means for young people that live in and around the estate. Creative people have lived here and many still do. The exhibition is an ode to the people that have created, are creating and continue to do so irrespective of their circumstance.

We are grateful to Community Counts for funding a project which, we hope, will have a big impact on the local community.”

Further details on the exhibition can be found here: www.studio3arts.org.uk/events/2017/7/28/kids-on-the-block-curated-by-john-akinde