Concrete Dreams: Just Can’t Get Enough

20 Apr 2024 – 10 Nov 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Free admission

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Colchester, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Colchester North Station, direct from London Liverpool Street
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Immerse yourself in the experiences of those who moved to post-WWII 'New Towns' and the communities affected by these developments, through paintings, photography, videos, visual poetry and drawings.


Presented 75 years after Basildon in Essex was designated a New Town, ‘Concrete Dreams: Just Can’t Get Enough’ reflects on the influence of the Britain’s post-war new town movement on cultural identity, and the impact of policy decisions on individual lives.

Established after the Second World War to alleviate the nation’s housing shortage, 22 New Towns were developed across the UK during the late 1940s – 1950s.

To celebrate 10 years of the Firstsite Collectors’ Group Bursary Awards, the exhibition brings together East Anglian artists who received or applied for these awards and are also based or born in New Towns or housing developments on the borders of East London – to examine our relationship with this unique social engineering project.

Featuring paintings, photography, poetry and drawing, embark on a unique journey that takes you through stories around place and memory, migration, and belonging, to reveal the complexities of our relationships to class and housing planning.


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