Gascoigne Story Project
Gascoigne School is a large urban primary school at the heart of a densely populated and very diverse community in the centre of Barking, which has been identified as one of the most deprived boroughs in London.
Studio 3 Arts is a not-for-profit community arts organization based in Barking, that works in the outer East London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
From March to July 2008, the school worked with Studio 3 Arts on a project funded by Thames Gateway. The project worked directly with over 100 children from the school, from Reception classes through to Year 6, with further contributions from other children, parents, teachers and support staff.
Two visual artists and a storyteller ran workshops twice a week exploring stories based around journeys. Many of the families who have children at the school have undertaken significant journeys to arrive in Barking. Others have lived for several generations in the same area. Each group share common aims - to see the area thrive, to remember their roots and celebrate the new community in which they now live.
The journeys explored, remembered and shared during the project were sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes scary, sometimes comical and they included journeys both real and metaphorical, but the one constant is the importance of those journeys to the children, their parents and the community.
The project outcomes included two large artworks as well as this book. The artists and the children took their own journey through the project. They had a lot of fun, heard and wrote some amazing stories and created some beautiful, crazy and fantastical art. A small part of which is in this book, which is intended to be a legacy of the project that the school can pass on to future generations of children, and to the wider community. We hope you enjoy it!