Read the latest reviews of this exhibition showcasing a ground-breaking project within core social care services and community settings across the Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Hand drawing showing a gathering of around 30 people  of many ages, ethnicities along with pet and wheelchairs  congregated around a small representation of the earth
Courtesy of the artist Rory Pilgrim

An exhibition showcasing a ground-breaking project that has embedded artists within core social care services and community settings across the borough of Barking and Dagenham. Over the last three years, four artists, Helen Cammock (Turner Prize winner 2019), Rory Pilgrim (Prix de Rome 2020), Ilona Sagar (Research in Film Award, BAFTA HQ 2018) and Sonia Boyce (representing the UK at the Venice Biennale in 2022) have worked with social workers, carers, organisers and communities to produce four new films and bodies of research, facilitated through the council’s New Town Culture curatorial programme. The pioneering, collaborative artworks share stories about labour and care, exploring who cares for who, and in what way.

Reviews of the exhibitions:

Evening Standard: A show that affirms the transformative power of art.

Art Monthly: Socially engaged artworks in an east London council office and a west London royal park.

Each artist will present a major new film resulting from their work in the borough in the Radio Ballads exhibition which will go on show in the Serpentine North Gallery opening on 31 March 2022 with a show in Barking Town Hall from 2 – 17 April 2021. The commissions will be shown alongside paintings, drawings and contextual materials.

Sonia Boyce

Sonia Boyce OBE, RA has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, both internationally and in the UK. Recent solo shows have included Manchester Art Gallery, 2018; ICA, 2017 and Villa Arson, 2016. Her current solo exhibition, In the Castle of My Skin, at Eastside Projects in Birmingham will travel to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art later this year. 2020 saw the completion of a significant public art commission by Boyce for the Elizabeth Line, Crossrail Project. Boyce is currently a Professor at University of the Arts London, where she holds the inaugural Chair in Black Art; Design. Sonia will represent the UK at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia with a major new exhibition for the British Pavilion in 2022.

Ilona Sagar

Ilona Sagar lives and works in London. Using a diverse range of media spanning moving-image, text, performance and assemblage, she has formed a body of work which responds to the social and historic context found in the public and private spaces we inhabit. Ilona won the 2018 Research in Film Award at BAFTA HQ and is the Saastamoinen Foundation, Helsinki, artist in residence for 2021. Recent projects include: Deep Structure, 2019, S1 ArtSpace; Living with Buildings, Wellcome Collection, 2018/2019; Self Service publication and event series, CCA as part of Glasgow International, 2018 and ‘Correspondence O’, solo exhibition at South London Gallery, 2017/2018.

Rory Pilgrim

Rory Pilgrim works in a wide range of media including songwriting, composing music, film, music video, text, drawing and live performances. Centred on emancipatory concerns, Rory aims to challenge the nature of how we come together, speak, listen and strive for social change through sharing and voicing personal experience. Strongly influenced by the origins of activist, feminist and socially engaged art, Rory works with others through dialogue, collaboration and workshops. They have had solo shows at Andriesse-Eyck Gallery; South London Gallery, Plymouth Art Centre, Flat Time House, Site Gallery and Sic! Raum für Kunst. In 2019, Rory was the winner of the Prix de Rome.

Helen Cammock

Helen Cammock works across moving image, photography, writing, poetry, spoken word, song, performance, printmaking, and installation. Her work looks at the interspace between the personal, political and poetic. She seeks to interrupt and give new meaning to historical narratives, specifically around blackness, womanhood, power, wealth and poverty through the interplay between different voices and narratives. Helen was the joint winner of the Turner Prize 2019 and for her exhibition The Long Note. She was winner of the 7th Max Mara Art Prize for Women, 2017/18. Her subsequent exhibition, Che Si Può Fare  (What Can Be Done) premiered at Whitechapel Gallery, London and Collezione Maramotti, Italy, 2019. Her new film Concrete Feather and Porcelain Tacks, has been commissioned with Film and Video Umbrella, London; Touchstones Museum, Rochdale, and The Photographers Gallery, London and will be exhibited in solo exhibitions at The Photographers Gallery and Rochdale Museum in in 2021.