REIMAGINE NEWHAM

Art & Culture

REIMAGINE NEWHAM

REIMAGINE NEWHAM is a new genre of public art with direct engagement with audiences to deal with pressing socio-political issues - and to search for the good and make it matter - all centred around the borough of Newham.

For this project, curator Nicole Tatschl and creative director Kamila Szymkiewicz have worked together with artists, local students and residents on shaping the project through many conversations and a curated series of community and Augmented Reality workshops delivered in collaboration with Ricebox Studio and University of East London. The project has brought people together to share stories, discuss issues, celebrate the good, exchange ideas and has resulted in blurring boundaries between the unknown “other” and close-by neighbours, therefore creating a collective - a group of individuals - each with a different history, but with similar social and political concerns. The Augmented Reality workshops helped each participant to gain valuable creative skills and AR software knowledge used to create AR pieces.

Augmented reality (AR) is an experience where we enhance parts of the users’ physical world with computer-generated input—ranging from drawing, image, sound to video, and graphics to create changes in the user’s environment. It’s a medium that allows for seeing things differently - to re-imagine, to recreate, to reinterpret imaginatively.

Driven by engagement and co-creation with businesses and communities, the project results in a dynamic Newham’s first public exhibition of AR art that features 12 works made by artists, local students and residents. The exhibition is arranged as a walking tour along the sheltered waters of the Royal Victoria Dock with an exhibition hub at the Good Hotel acting as an effective centre of the project - allowing those without smartphones or access to Instagram to experience the exhibition.

With cultural investment in the borough being amongst the lowest in London, Reimagine Newham aims to make art accessible to a wider and diverse audience through a breakdown of social and geographical boundaries, offering a free exhibition that keeps up with its time and allows for organic encounters. Taking art - in the form of AR - outside of intimidating gallery walls to various public spaces around the borough of Newham, it showcases technological advances in art production and fosters community and inclusivity.

The exhibition showcases artworks that respond to historical realities like Labour's support for new social housing during the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn to current crises and issues, ranging from the war in Ukraine and the displacement of many citizens to mental health and lack of professional support for those who struggle - sometimes raising awareness about urgent issues and arguing for change, sometimes trying to generate a reaction and convey a slight explicit message to their public. Some works in the exhibition take inspiration from the Internet as a utopian place of longing with the visual landscape contemplating the yearning for connection, others from the concept of home with familiar objects and furniture escaping the private sphere. Whether through computer-generated painting or drawing, the artworks tackle the themes of race, gender and sexuality.

On the other hand, the exhibition searches for the good and aims to make it matter - like celebrating Newhams’ music culture or shining a light on The Theatre Royal Stratford East, which advocates positive change of theatrical protest. Wandering between dreams and reality, Reimagine Newham takes us on a journey and invites us to contemplate the above themes striving to push the conversation further.

Participating artists and local residents:

Hannah Neckel | Juls Gabs | Madeleine Duflot | Ryan Rasco | Kamila Szymkiewicz | Jack Sirkett | Giorgia Doná Charlotte Lehane | Brenda Christian | Mia Wignall | Uli Ap | Katie Thomas | Ricebox Studio

Creative Direction & Production: Kamila Szymkiewicz

Curation: Nicole Tatschl

For more information, contact Kamila Szymkiewicz kamilaszymkiewicz@icloud.com

Funded by Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, supported by Westfield Stratford City and Foundation for Future London.

Time & date

6 May - 2 June

Location

Newham and Royal Docks

Tickets

Free
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For your visit

Food & Drink

Galyons Bar & Kitchen

This 19th-century dockside inn has recently been reborn as a waterside gastropub.

New Arrival

Food & Drink

Husk Brewing

There's a new brewer in town, right where the first IPAs were once shipped from. Watch out for live music nights in the bar.

Silvertown
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Food & Drink

Nakhon Thai

Thai restaurant overlooking the docks, with a Polynesian-style cocktail bar.

Royal Victoria Dock
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