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Local community to help design art for trackside wall in Newham

Local community to help design art for trackside wall in Newham

The community of Newham is working with a local artist to design an artwork that will be installed on the Elizabeth line trackside wall that runs through Custom House, Silvertown and North Woolwich.


Local artist Sonia Boyce has been selected from an international short-list to work with the local community to create an artwork that will be applied to the Elizabeth line trackside wall running through Custom House, Silvertown and North Woolwich.

The artwork, which at over a mile long is one of the longest ever commissioned in the UK, will be unveiled next year and installed before the opening of the Elizabeth line in December 2018.

Sonia is now working with the local community to develop her proposal with the aim of creating a design which celebrates the rich and unique history of the local area.


A series of public workshops and events will explore shared and individual memories of the area, looking at the events, people and places that have shaped Newham’s unique character.

The first community events will be held on Sunday 15 October at:

  • Shipman Youth Centre - 11.30am to 1.30pm
  • Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre - 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

You can give us your ideas and keep up to date with Sonia’s proposal and future events by emailing


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.

After gaining recognition in the 1980s as part of the Black British Artists Movement, Sonia’s practice has evolved to become more collaborate and site specific, integrating all mediums including film, performance, photography and installation.

In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for services to Art, and in 2016 she became a Royal Academician. She has exhibited at the ICA London, Eastside Projects in Birmingham, and the 2015 Venice Biennale. Last year Sonia won the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists.

The Newham Commission will be Sonia Boyce’s first permanent public art commission in the UK.