The wall where the mural will go

Be First has joined forces with The National Lottery Heritage Fund to offer a £20,000 commission to an artist, or artists, to create a heritage mural in Short Blue Place, Barking.

The plans to commemorate Barking’s forgotten history were hatched by local heritage volunteers who have been researching the area’s lost history.  They have unearthed information about the development of the town since the earliest times, through the town’s emergence as a centre for fishing and farming and the building of the famous Abbey in AD666, up to modern times.  On the way, they have examined the history of many of the buildings that have been demolished, such as the Windmill, the Tudor Leet (court) House and, more recently the workhouse and Bascule Bridge.

Heritage group coordinator, Simone Panayi, of Be First, explains: “Our heritage volunteers have helped to reveal just how rich and varied Barking’s history is, and we want to create a permanent reminder for everyone to enjoy, and that will attract visitors to the town centre.

“We’ve surveyed local residents, to see what they are most interested in, and now we want someone with creative flair to create a stunning mural or similar artwork, incorporating this ’Lost Heritage’ theme at Short Blue Place.

“So, we’re delighted that we have backing of The National Lottery Heritage Fund to offer a commission to our very talented artistic community”.

The successful artist, or artists, will be expected to design, create, and install the heritage wall and linked interpretation, potentially including an art trail, to a professional standard.

Further details and the brief for the project are available at  Applications must be received by 30 November 2020.