A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Verity-Jane Keefe

The Becontree Collection Billboards


9 August – 5 September 2021

Installed in nine locations across the estate, this public realm exhibition made visible some of the objects collected as part of Keefe’s long term project in Becontree, Living Together. The work intended to reflect the material of this place including building matter and archival political material. This new archive - The Becontree Collection - brought together material from the last 100 years, collected from individuals, through a long period of public engagement and from Keefe’s long-term documentation of the estate. The billboard commission made the collection visible across the estate in its centenary year as a series of artworks with newly written poetic statements.

The Becontree Collection is about and for Becontree; recording, responding and collected over 2021 as a slice of both time and place. Visually rich, the Collection intends to fill the gaps in formal historical archives, as trends in collecting and archiving have changed in this post municipal era; this project responds to shifts in social history, documentation and local trends from the 1970’s onwards. Its starting point was the archive of former Alderman Cllr Fred Jones, whose former home was the inaugural HQ for Living Together, the Councillor’s personal and political ephemera were saved and forms a key strand of the Becontree Collection.

For more information on the series and images click here.

Verity-Jane Keefe is a visual artist working predominantly in the public realm to explore the complex relationship between people and place. She works with moving image, text, installation and uses archival and research methodologies. She is interested in the role of the artist within urban regeneration and how experiential practice can touch upon and raise ambitions of existing communities. Verity-Jane has been working in Barking and Dagenham for over 10 years on self-initiated commissions, including The Mobile Museum, and in partnership with the borough’s Heritage, Planning Policy and Regeneration departments.