Textile car takes centre stage at Sydney Russell exhibition celebrating Barking and Dagenham women
PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 April 2019
A car made out of textiles took centre stage at the opening of a school exhibition inspired by the women of the borough.
Pupils at Sydney Russell School in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, sewed the vehicle in tribute to the women who took part in the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968.
The colourful car – which inlcudes the slogan, ‘We all have equal rights’, on the side – was created as part of a three year arts project with the Barbican, architects’ group RARA and theatre company Complicite.
School principal, Janis Davies, said: “It’s been an absolutely fabulous project that has tackled some real, sensitive issues which will have a lasting impact on the children.
“I am thrilled we will be working with the Barbican for another year.”
Youngsters created clothes, took photos and crafted poetry to celebrate Barking and Dagenham’s historic, female figures including Ethelburga, founder of a double monastery for monks and nuns in Barking.
Georgia, 13, said of the project: “It’s opened up my eyes. I didn’t know about the strikes or that they were so close to us.
“It was literally just round the corner.”
Bex Hand, schools manager at the Barbican, said: “[The pupils] are brilliant. I was surprised at just how engaged they were with their local history.”