The film explores the hidden life of a 55 year old council estate, affectionately known as Legoland locally, using it’s demolition as a backdrop to explore the wider context of regeneration.
Originally opened in 1969 as Castle Green – then renamed Goresbrook Villlage during estate renewal work in the early 1990s - Bassett, Ingrave and Dunmow House were home to around 700 people in 288 flats. The new development sees the site return to its previous name: Castle Green Place.
Since demolition, Keefe worked with ex-residents and staff of the estate to carefully construct a narrative soundtrack of the estate, the local area and the complex subject of housing. The work has been shot on high definition and filmed over a two year period. It includes footage from the demolition process, the derelict interiors, the construction of the new development and show home.
The demolition process is used to frame the social narratives of both the site and Dagenham as a wider area in the midst of change. Goresbrook Village’s demolition is part of the borough’s ongoing wider estate regeneration.
An art commission by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham's Regeneration department.
THE QUEST FOR BRONZE TANNING
Bronze Tanning Studio, 38 Wood Street now houses a pound shop, nestled inside the bright orange shell of the former tanning salon. This mysterious permutation provides the starting point for Verity¹s journey to uncover the hidden stories of the shopkeepers, the businesses and the premises that they occupy.
Produced over several months, Verity has woven together beguiling vistas and candid ancedotes into a unique portrait of a place in flux, and in doing so offers a glimpse into users attitudes to place amid a wider program of regeneration and a changing role of the high street as we know it. It is inspired by shifting trading patterns across this local high street over several decades; the ways we remember, and by turns, romanticise, respect and neglect the past.
Several traders and service providers were invited to discuss this change using a script of questions that look use the bronze tanning studio as a way in to a wider discussion. Their premises momentarily transformed into a film location.
Throughout her residency Verity led several walks and produced three editions of a fanzine for Wood Street which highlighted research as it unfolded. Issue 3 will be launched and distributed at the screening alongside re-printed issues 1 and 2.
THE QUEST FOR BRONZE TANNING forms part of WOOD STREET INSIDE OUT a programme of public projects seeking to enhance the character of Wood Street, delivered by a creative team led by East Architecture. This programme is restoring heritage buildings and providing new lighting, signage, planting, play areas, street furniture and high street frontages as well as commissioning public art projects which are connecting and animating diverse communities and spaces in the neighbourhood.
WOOD STREET INSIDE OUT is supported by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the Mayor¹s Outer London Fund, which is helping increase the vibrancy and growth of high street places across London.