Our Noah’s Ark project, which commenced in September 2022, has been igniting the values of community cohesion, the arts and environmental awareness through weekly plastic bottle litter-picking events around local parks and green spaces, as well as weekly painting workshops that saw these bottles designed and decorated for instillation in a final, large-scale ark sculpture at the project’s end.
Community cohesion: Our project is marketed towards and sees involvement from an inclusive, diverse and representative population of Barking attendees. The activities themselves inspire teamwork, fun and communication in a way that transcends language, financial or any other barriers.
The environment: Our project allows the community to engage with pollution in a way that is both hands-on and communal. This tangibility encourages the residents to recognise the severity and proximity of the problem, as well as to reconsider its resolution as more of a community care initiative; something that they are doing for and with each other.
The arts: Our project creates changes made for and by the Barking community, providing a sense of pride and achievement that makes the arts not only accessible but something they have actively engaged in and achieved with.
Heritage: The ark motif itself is a nod to the unique historical significance boats have had and continue to have within the Icehouse Quarter area, and the source of livelihood the river has provided for the area’s inhabitants, particularly in the mid-19th century, where Barking Creek served as the UK’s largest fishing port. Our gallery itself, where we hold our painting workshops, is nestled amongst these sites and our litter-picking walks are routed around them, so participants can consciously reflect on the importance of restoring our borough.
Roding Rubbish | MAKE IT London | Barking Learning Centre | Dagenham Library | Every Day Everyone | Future M.O.L.D.S Communities (FMC) | The Barking Carers Centre | Broadway Theatre Barking and Dagenham College | Green Shoes Arts | The Heathway Centre Company drinks CIC | London Fire Brigade Barking Parish | St. Mary’s church | St. Ethelburga’s church | Hedgecock Community Centre Early Years Cocoon CIC | East London Business Alliance | HumDum CIC | Independent Living Agency | Saint Chads Church | Kingsley Hall Wates