Beacontree Medley, 2011

Project Management and Community Liaison: Studio 3 Arts
Materials: Printed Polyurethene
Dimensions: 38mx6m
Date:  2011
Fabricators: Purlfrost Ltd
Client / Commissioning Agency: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham (Culture and Sports)



Description: Commission to design and produce a public artwork for the new Beacontree Heath Leisure Centre which referenced local histories and involved local communities, the brief also asked for the work to address the Cultural Olympiad values.


The completed design contains three distinct local histories within the pattern repeat which fills the main shape, beginning with the bunting which appears on many old photographs of outdoor pools in the Dagenham area. Within the bunting references to ‘The Merry Fiddlers’, the public house which dated back to 1851 and from which the main junction takes it’s name, and ‘Nanny Goat Common’, the name synonomous with the Heath throughout it’s history and still used today. The internal elements of a swimming pool which were referenced during workshops have been included in the form of lane dividers and the swimmer re-appears from the old Dagenham pool logo.

The pattern in the negative spaces of the shape is constructed from a tracing of a small section of the Becontree Heath map. The image is reflected, rotated and repeated to form the pattern.


The main shape which sweeps across the glass panels originated from several maps of Becontree Heath ranging from 18th century hand drawn maps to 21st century google earth satellite images. The shape amalgamation encompasses the area from the Art Deco Town Hall to the junction of the new leisure centre. The fork of the road replicates the ‘trees’ within the external architecture of the bulding. As a whole the shape can also be seen as a swimmer performing the front crawl or butterfly stroke.

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© elaine tribley