A Tail for Dagenham Brook first emerged as the Less Mess Monster in North East London in 2013; an idea to make junk model monsters with young people which could be paraded along the Lea canal. After laying quiet for a number of years it reappeared in 2017, inspired by floating reed beds being installed on the Lea by water charity Thames21 and the under water sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor which come to life as a habitat for corals and fish.
Poppy was awarded an Arts Development Grant from London Borough of Waltham Forest to work with friend, installation artist and upcycling extraordinaire Gemma Seddon to lead a social and environmental art project.
During Summer 2017 they led workshops at community events which touched on the history, geography and biodiversity of this little known local water way. The artists gathered stories connected to the brook, asking people if they have any memories of the area they wish to share and working with young people to re-imagine this heavily polluted space; a myth of the brook in the future.
The models and ideas generated were transformed into a final design which was built by Poppy and Gemma with metal fabricator Steven Samuels.
The final structure was installed on the Dagenham Brook bankside in March 2018. However it is only half finished. Gemma and Poppy have completed their work but it is now over nature to envelop the frames and transform the work over the seasons, while producing a diverse habitat for wildlife.
Visit www.dagenhambrook.wordpress.com for more information.
March 12, 2017