A new community artwork is being developed for the Newham trackside wall which runs the length of nearly 2km through Custom House, Silvertown and North Woolwich.
Three internationally-renowned artists with significant ties to Newham and east London have been shortlisted to work with local people to deliver concepts for the boundary wall artwork, which will run through Custom House, Silvertown and North Woolwich.
The artists - Sonia Boyce, Oscar Murillo and Amalia Pica – all have experience of working with communities to shape their artistic and socially-engaged works of art that not only have significant visual impact but also create meaning for local people.
The three artists’ proposals were exhibited around community spaces for a week between 19 - 25 June, to allow local businesses and residents to give feedback on their favourite proposal.
Over her 30-year career Sonia Boyce has emerged as one of the leading figures in the British art scene. Her work began with drawings that reflect her personal experiences to more recent works in which she uses diverse media such as photography, video, sound and testimonies to depict contemporary life.
Boyce's recent interests explore art as a social practice and the critical and contextual debates that arise from this area of study. With an emphasis on collaborative work, she has been working closely with other people since 1990, often involving improvisation and spontaneous performative actions on the part of her collaborators.
Boyce grew up in Canning Town, and later was a post-doctoral Fellow at the University of East London in Newham from 1996-2002, where she was a Director of AAVAA (the African and Asian Visual Artists Archive), managing a Research Centre on the work of contemporary artists of African and Asian descent working in the UK.
Oscar Murillo’s multi-faceted practice comprises painting, installation, video and performance.
In addition to his studio practice, Murillo spends much of his time and personal resources on a project to facilitate creativity in classrooms across the world through his long-term project Frequencies, in which canvases are temporarily affixed to classroom desks in selected schools across the globe, encouraging students aged ten to sixteen to create any kind of mark making—drawing, writing, doodling.
In 2015, Murillo debuted the project with a large-scale installation of canvases as part of the 56th Venice Biennale: All the World's Futures. Murillo moved from Columbia to Newham when he was ten, where he spent his adolescence and still has close ties to the area.
London-based Argentine artist Amalia Pica uses sculpture, performance art, photography,installation, slide projections, and drawing to create works that explore forms of communication, metaphor, and social engagement, with a particular interest in communication across cultures, translation and language.
In 2017, Pica had solo exhibitions at The Power Plant, Toronto; the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and NC Arte, Bogotá to name just a few.
In 2016 Pica took part in the Gwangju Biennale and The Space Between at MASS MoCA, Massachusetts and has been featured in many other international solo and group shows. Pica has lived and had her studio in East London for over ten years, working closely with various local communities over a number years.