A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate
Becontree Banners! is a co-production between Studio 3 Arts and Barking and Dagenham Council. Artists Clare Sams and Marcus Orlandi have been commissioned to create a series of textile banners based on a community poem called ‘Distance’, written by Studio 3 Arts Poet In Residence, Dauda Ladejobi and a group of local poets in lockdown in March 2020. The banners are inspired by trade union and protect banners and the colours associated with the borough’s heraldry.
Alongside the commissioned banners, Studio 3 Arts will be running a series of textile workshops for local people to be held at Valence Library Arts and Culture Hub. Participants will explore the art of protest banners using a variety of hand and machine sewing techniques. The public will be invited to get involved and no previous sewing experience, equipment or materials are necessary.
Studio 3 Arts is one of the borough’s leading community arts organisations, with 35 years at the vanguard of socially-engaged, co-created artistic practice. They run a creative venue for artists, communities and individuals and make work across all art forms, that instigates creative and social change.
Clare Sams is a textile artist working with themes of home and belonging, natural habitat and the environment. Focussing on details that can be easily overlooked and finding beauty on the forgotten fringes of society, much of her work is developed using traditional craft techniques including hand knitting, crochet and embroidery. These skills form layered interpretations encompassing domesticity, protest and social commentary. Projects have been realised at Firstsite and Kings College London and The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami.
Marcus Orlandi is an artist and writer based in Thamesmead, London. His practice encompasses performance, sound and curation. He has performed at venues throughout the UK including Camden Arts Centre, London Word Festival, artsadmin, Royal Standard Liverpool, Camden People's Theatre and Chester Performs, and written plays for theatre and radio. He has worked on commissioned projects for artsdepot, Bow Arts and Ty Pawb among others. Marcus has worked on several funded projects with local people in Thamesmead.