Artist remembers the age of the people’s docks

​​​Artist Jessie Brennan has been commissioned to develop four new, temporary public artworks around the Royal Docks.

From September, the artworks will stand at four “gateway” sites at the Royal Docks, home of University of East London’s Docklands campus, as well as London City Airport, ABP business park and Excel. The commissions signal the next stage in the transformation of the Docks as London’s only Enterprise Zone.

The f​our sites are:

  • Victoria Dock Road, beneath Silvertown Way where the DLR arrives at the Royal Victoria Station.
  • Dock Road underpass, near the Crystal.
  • Custom House station, where the Elizabeth Line station is under development
  • Royal Docks Adventure, opposite London City Airport and neighbouring the Connaught Bridge.

Brennan has engaged the communities around these four gateway sites to reflect how the social, historical and economic factors have shaped the area’s identity. The artworks will weave together text, imagery and archival material to create elaborate murals.

At Victoria Dock Road tunnel, Brennan has created Go The Distance, with Peacock Gym, a respected boxing hub which focusses on education through sport.

At Dock Road underpass, The People’s Plan for the Royal Docks will draw on a 1980s community-led project of the same name that imagined a new vision for the Royal Docks, uniting the community through activism. The Plan will be reproduced for communities and visitors to view.

At Custom House Our House will be installed on the two-storey wall facing Custom House station and will comprise a photographic portrait capturing life in and around the busy Freemasons Road.

At Royal Docks Adventure, Take Your Place will be placed in huge letters across the façade of the building and illustrates a call to action.

The commission will launch at all four sites on Thursday 5 September 2019. There will be a guided walk on Saturday 28 September.

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