Barking youths create hoarding art for multi-million pound developments

A group of driven young people in search of creative careers have created stunning hoarding art for multi-million pound developments.

Their computer generated collage, inspired by architectural landmarks, will go up around the new Asda superstore in Barking Town Centre and the structure replacing the Westbury Arms pub in Ripple Road, Barking, which burned down during the summer riots.

It is hoped the hoarding project, aptly named UP!barking, will help the 30 or so students and Neets – people not in education, employment or training –break into the art world.

Project leader Kiran Chahal, 36, said: “These sessions gave young people the opportunity to reinterpret their surroundings and in the process learn creative skills that they could immediately see being commercially viable.

“It is not just about design but also about harnessing the potential to build the future.

“UP!barking is hopefully a starting point as an accessible group and launchpad for other creative projects.”

A new exhibition, on show at Barking Library, retraces the youngsters’ creative journeys from conception using paint, duct tape and letter art, to completion with the image editing software Photoshop.

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The collage of works they made features several landmarks in Barking, including the Granary building in Abbey Road.

Barking and Dagenham College graphics student, William Cadet, joined the design sessions held at the Granary building between January and February this year.

He said: “The best thing about this opportunity has been that you have the chance to express your artistic views in a new way as well as being part of a creative group.”

The hoardings will be seen at the site of the Westbury Arms from April, with more designs to go up at the new Asda in London Road and around homes in Abbey Road by the summer.

n Small versions of the artwork will be on sale at the exhibition, which runs at Barking Library gallery in the Town Square until March 29