Picture of Dagenham Idol at exhibition

Tue 23 July 2019, 9:30 am

Fashion and portrait photographer David Bailey’s image of the famous Dagenham Idol will be one of the main exhibits at a new pop-up gallery in Barking this summer.

The picture of the prehistoric figurine, taken by the prominent photographer who hails from east London, is believed to be one of the first known examples of figurative art in Europe.

It will be displayed as part of an exhibition featuring Dagenham photographer Jimmy Lee on the busy concourse at Barking train station.

Lee said: “I feel very privileged to be the first person displaying their work in this great new gallery space in Barking. It’s an amazing opportunity for me, and to be sharing my images in a space with a legend like David Bailey is a real honour.”

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Barking and Dagenham Council leader, added: “For years, I have been saying that Barking and not Berlin is the past, present and future of European art and this exhibition of David Bailey and Jimmy Lee’s works firmly support this claim!”

The pop-up gallery is a joint venture between the council’s regeneration company Be First and the Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC), which funded the project as part of its commitment to support emerging arts and culture businesses.

This is the first of an exciting programme of art and craft exhibitions that will be run by the BEC. The organisation will also be promoting the innovative new creative workspace ThreeSixty, working with arts charity Create London, which is due to open early next year.

Karen West Wylie, chief executive of the BEC, said: “We are delighted to have a chance to show the work of Jimmy Lee and others who will follow him in the space to showcase and sell their work. There really will be something for everyone.”

David Harley, head of regeneration at Be First, said: “The massive footfall at the station means that this pop-up shop is an ideal place to showcase the creative talent we have in this borough. It is fast becoming known as London’s latest creative hotspot with Be First leading a number of projects to support its further growth.”

A c2c spokesperson, operator of Barking train station, said: “We are delighted to host this fantastic new gallery at the station which reinforces Barking’s burgeoning status as a visitor destination and newcomer on London’s arts scene.”



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