Conall McAteer

Everything Must Change
Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, Barking and Dagenham

Reflecting on a recent period of protest and a demand for individual and collective voices to be heard, Everything Must Change is a public artwork that aims to clarify and illustrate the thoughts and ambitions on the past, present and future of Barking and Dagenham by the people who live there. In relation to their home, when people are confronted with the word ‘change’, thoughts can quickly turn to migration, store closures and inflated house prices. But what causes this apprehension to change within local communities? Often it is the belief that the changes around them are occurring without their control or consideration. Through a lack of communication, people can often feel as though their opinions aren’t considered important.

The artwork is displayed in the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, which is set for redevelopment, to be replaced with luxury flats and hundreds of jobs lost as a result. The work merges the aesthetic of protest signage and 'everything must go' sale posters present in store windows scheduled for closing. From poignant, to political, to personal, the posters were produced in collaboration with the public of Barking, designed and printed onsite and displayed in the window of Studio 3 Arts unit in Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, evolving for the duration of the month-long exhibition. The project aims to be a discussion point and a positive catalyst for change within the local area.

Commissioned by Studio 3 Arts