I’m a young photographer and as part of my recent work with Creative Barking and Dagenham’s Neighbourhood Commission in the Heath Park estate I’ve had the great chance to meet and collaborate with the artist IMPREINT. I feel glad to have had this opportunity and that he has decided to bring his global project ‘Portraits‘ to this disadvantaged area where I have grown up.
Once the car manufacturing hub of London, Dagenham has become an area characterised by high levels of poverty and immigration but this is what gives it its character: a spirit of defiance and a battle for survival. Dagenham also been identified as an area of low arts participation leading to the creation of charities and various projects to help improve this.
‘Portraits’ was launched December 2013 and has been shared worldwide linking people with a simple but powerful picture of a balloon. I found this project inspiring because the commonality of the balloon linked local residents with people all over the world with a simple object. Portraits allowed us to show a connection between a small council estate in London and worldwide locations such as Syria. Art is the best way of bringing people together no matter how far apart they are.
Thanks to this incredible meeting, I’ve decided to launch my blog as a photographer where I will soon be releasing images of my project on the Heath Park.
During the exhibition in Dagenham the artist generously offer me the chance to take some pictures of portraits and I feel honoured to be part of this worldwide group. Portraits allowed me to shoot some really captivating subjects whom each displayed a unique character when posed for the shot.
The meaning of the project was participation, so personally I’ll publish the picture of everyone I shot for respect, except those that they themselves have posted to the page.