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Artist creates calendar inspired by Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 14:12 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:13 27 November 2019

Susanna Wallis's Barking and Dagenham calendar. Picture: Susanna Wallis

Susanna Wallis's Barking and Dagenham calendar. Picture: Susanna Wallis

Susanna Wallis

A Dagenham artist has produced a hand-illustrated calendar inspired by the borough.

One of the pages in Susanna Wallis's Barking and Dagenham calendar. Picture: Susanna WallisOne of the pages in Susanna Wallis's Barking and Dagenham calendar. Picture: Susanna Wallis

Susanna Wallis's creation features some of Barking and Dagenham's best-known buildings and events, and also draws on elements of the borough's history.

"It's all hand-drawn," she explained. "It's a work of passion. It took me about a month to do the calendar, around two days for each page."

She explained that she had received a positive response to her artwork so far, and that people enjoyed seeing Barking and Dagenham represented in a different way.

"It contains lots of different places," Susanna said.

Artist Susanna Wallis by her artwork. Picture: Susanna WallisArtist Susanna Wallis by her artwork. Picture: Susanna Wallis

"It's got Eastbury Manor House, Valence House, St Margaret's Church, Dagenham Village.

"The summer of festivals is one month, too, and there's another one about the River Roding.

"I think it's really nice to interpret places in a new way."

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In the summer, one of Susanna's designs - exploring Barking and Dagenham's past, present and future, was put on a hoarding surrounding the Abbey Quays development in Abbey Road, Barking.

The development, by Weston Homes, has been given provisional planning permission and is set to feature more than 1,000 homes, a community hall and a gym.

And Susanna, who grew up on the Gascoigne Estate, is optimistic for the borough's future.

"I think Barking and Dagenham's moment is coming," she said. "I'm proud of this borough and it's very much up-and-coming."

Inspired by products promoting other parts of London, Susanna hopes to spend next year creating more designs that showcase the best of the borough.

"I plan to develop a whole illustrated range for Barking and Dagenham," she said.

"There will be mugs, tea towels, all sorts of things."

The calendars will be available in a pop-up shop in Barking station from Wednesday, December 4 to Saturday, December 21. They can also be bought at susannaw.etsy.com

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