Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Barking and Dagenham schools work with arts organisation to create banners for Council Chamber

Barking and Dagenham schools work with arts organisation to create banners for Council Chamber

INTERNATIONALLY renowned arts organisation Kinetika has been commissioned by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to work with schools in the borough to design four new banners for the Council Chamber in Barking Town Hall to mark VE Day.

At the request of the Leader of the Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, artists from Kinetika have been working remotely with students from three schools in the borough to design banners for the Council Chamber to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day which is 8th March. The schools working on the designs are Furze Infant School, Godwin Primary School and Barking Riverside School. The schools and Kinetika were connected through Barking and Dagenham’s Cultural Education Partnership.

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Kinetika supplied a digital VE Day resource pack so that teachers had ideas and images to share with their students to inspire and stir their imagination to create vibrant and meaningful designs for the four banners, reflecting the way communities came together during World War II. Artists then worked via zoom sessions to help the students develop their ideas and finalise drawings. Individual ideas were then emailed back to Kinetika for final banner designs.

The student’s designs will be scaled up and painted by Kinetika artists to produce the finished silk banners in time for VE Day. Kinetika specialises in producing silk flags and banners and has previously made them for the Royal Opera House, the Port of Tilbury and the Lord Mayor’s Procession in Norwich.

The making of the banners demonstrates that even in the face of adversity, schools, teachers, students and artists will always find a way to rise to the occasion. Originally the four banners would each have represented VE Day, but the current health emergency has brought people together in a similar way to that experienced during the War so three banners depict VE Day and one banner celebrates the effort people are making now to help and support others. Each student produced one drawing of the past and one from the present day.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the council and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement said: “This is such a wonderful project to remember VE Day, especially on the 75th anniversary. During such difficult times, Kinetika and pupils from schools in Barking and Dagenham, were able to create such inspiring pieces for our council chambers. We thank them and all the children that took part.”

Ali Pretty, Artistic Director of Kinetika said: “We were delighted to be commissioned by Barking and Dagenham to create these banners.  Our artists and the schools involved stepped up brilliantly at this difficult to ensure that the Council Chamber has amazing pieces of new artwork that can demonstrate the resilience of the local community.”

To see more about the making of the banners and images of each schools’ work, please go to

For more on future Kinetika projects, please go to


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