Pupil artwork based on the Barking and Dagenham’s riverside goes on public display

Students from All Saints Catholic School who took part in the Rivers of the World project, with art

Students from All Saints Catholic School who took part in the Rivers of the World project, with art teacher Jack Yates and professional artist, Shona Watt. Picture: All Saints School - Credit: Archant

The artwork of Barking and Dagenham’s students is going on display in a public gallery next week.

The pupils seeing their final piece of art on public display at the Oxo Gallery. Picture: All Saints

The pupils seeing their final piece of art on public display at the Oxo Gallery. Picture: All Saints School - Credit: Archant

At an opening event on Tuesday, creations from students who’d taken part in the Rivers of the World project were unveiled at the Boathouse Creative Studios in Barking.

The work has already been displayed at City Hall and the Oxo Gallery on the Southbank, and will be shown in Barking until September 29.

Rivers of the World is an international project which gets children from riverside cities making art inspired by the water around them.

Each city partners with another abroad, enabling the young people to learn about riverside culture in other parts of the world.

The final piece of artwork, a six-foot Harvest Queen made out of sequins. Picture: All Saints School

The final piece of artwork, a six-foot Harvest Queen made out of sequins. Picture: All Saints School - Credit: Archant


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Through their partnership with Palestine, children from All Saints School in Dagenham learnt about the river Jordan.

“We looked at the river Jordan and the artwork the children there had made,” 14-year-old Mikhaella Ramos said.

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“They said they can’t really access the river anymore and instead of talking about the river, their art was about having no access.”

The students also visited the exhibition on the Southbank to see the work of other schools.

Jaynee Abundo, 14, said: “It opened our eyes to what was available to other children. There were artworks made out of plastic to show the pollution of some rivers. It connected our communities together, by celebrating the same thing.”

The students at All Saints based their piece on the Harvest Queen, who’s celebrated at a festival on the Thames during harvest time.

In May, pupils spent a day and a half working on 60 individual pieces of fruit and vegetables made of sequins, which were put together with the help of professional artist Shona Watt to make a six-foot Harvest Queen. The Queen was proudly displayed outside the National Theatre before its’ move to Barking.

Danielle Kelly, assistant head, said: “This project has been a real source of pride for me. There’s was one of the only works to be put up outside the National Theatre.

“Part of teaching is about getting well-rounded students who get loads of experiences. They’re all doing art for GCSE and it’s a real opportunity to work with different people to create something that they’ve never been able to do before.”

For more information on the gallery and project, visit totallythames.org/event/exhibition-rivers-of-the-world-barking.

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