East end artist David Bailey’s photograph of the Dagenham Idol will be one of the star exhibits at a new pop-up gallery in Barking this summer.
The picture of the prehistoric figurine – believed to be one of the first known examples of figurative art in Europe – will be displayed as part of a photography exhibition featuring Dagenham photographer, Jimmy Lee’s work on the hugely busy concourse of Barking station.
Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “For years, I have been saying that Barking and not Berlin is the past, present and future of European art and this exhibition of David Bailey and Jimmy Lee’s works firmly supports this claim!”
Jimmy Lee said: “I feel very privileged to be the first person displaying their work in this great new gallery space in Barking. It’s an amazing opportunity for me, and to be sharing my images in a space with a legend like David Bailey is a real honour.”
The pop-up shop is a joint venture between Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering regeneration company, and the Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC), who helped fund the project as part of their commitment to support emerging arts and culture businesses.
It is the first of an exciting programme of art and craft exhibitions which will be run by the BEC from this summer. The BEC will also be promoting the innovative new creative workspace ‘ThreeSixty’, delivered in partnership with Create London, which is due to open early next year.
Karen West Wylie, Chief Executive of the BEC said: “We are delighted to have a chance to show the work of Jimmy Lee and others who will follow him in the space to showcase and sell their work. There really will be something for everyone.”
David Harley, Head of Regeneration at Be First, said: “The massive footfall at the station means that this pop-up shop is an ideal place to showcase the creative talent we have in this borough. It is fast becoming known as London’s latest creative hotspot with Be First leading a number of projects to support its further growth.”
A c2c spokesperson, operator of Barking station, said: “We are delighted to host this fantastic new gallery at the station which reinforces Barking’s burgeoning status as a visitor destination and newcomer on London’s arts scene.”