A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Elsa James

A Place With A Heart: A Place To Grow

The White House

Essex-based artist and activist Elsa James hosted Art Club, an intergenerational after-school club for Barking and Dagenham-based foster carers and children in care. Art Club had been meeting regularly since autumn 2020 to spring 2021 through a series of online, in-person and postal sessions, to engage with the identity of place, and explore what makes people feel at home. Together, the group creatively examined under-explored local narratives, customs, and histories to generate new memories and legacies for the future.

Through this durational collaboration, Elsa’s Art Club culminated in a new artwork, A Place With A Heart: A Place To Grow, a permanent flag was unveiled in 2021 as a new beacon to The White House. The unveiling coincided with the group taking part in a procession.

The White House
884 Green Lane

Open in Maps

Elsa James is an artist and activist living in Essex since 1999. Her work intervenes in the overlapping discourses of race, gender, diaspora and belonging. Her black British identity ignites her interdisciplinary and research-based practice, located within the fields of contemporary performance, text-based art, socio-political and socially engaged art; occasionally dabbling with drawing and painting.

Commissioned by The White House as part of New Town Culture, a programme of artistic and cultural activity taking place in adult and children’s social care and curated by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Funded by the GLA’s Young Londoners Fund, the MOPAC Violence Reduction Unit, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.