Young Creatives present The Watermelon Woman
16 Aug 2018
The White House
Dagenham, United Kingdom
Since we opened our doors to the public, we have accumulated mugs, books, paintings, houseplants, tea towels, and people. The White House has been home to seven artists in residence and has hosted art classes, planting workshops, history talks, film nights, community dinners and the occasional party. The artists that have spent time with the community here and called the White House home have produced artworks as varied and intriguing as the ideas and groups that
informed them. We took over the old Civic Centre with a socialist pantomime, we screened a mockumentary film at Eastbury Manor House, we imagined beginning a new community trapped in the confines of the council chambers at Barking Town Hall and we had mothers perform a site-specific theatre piece through the house itself. So far we have learnt that much of the domestic is inextricably linked to the civic, and to do all of this you need a lot of tea.
Alongside the artist residencies, the house hosts an ongoing Front Room Programme, which includes coffee mornings, arts & craft classes, and a poetry group facilitated by local artists. The Front Room Programme has been designed with the people that come to the house, and we are always open to suggestions.
We have the house for 25 years, come and join us in shaping what that will look like.
“Tenants shall be as free as possible to order their lives in their own way, so that they may pursue their originality…”
— LCC BECONTREE ESTATE TENANTS’ HANDBOOK, 1921
The White House has been restored and reopened by arts organisation Create London, with architects Nicholas Lobo Brennan and Astrid Smitham, in partnership with London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.