Verity-Jane Keefe

Verity-Jane KeefeLiving Together is a year-long major commission exploring the past, present and future of Becontree.

Exploring issues such as de-industrialisation, immigration, East End drift, worker’s rights and the Right To Buy, Keefe has collaborated with a large supporting cast of residents, partners and community groups to realise activities including reading groups, virtual walks and a writer’s residency with Tim BurrowsLiving Together has been made public throughout 2021 through LT TV, an online viewing platform; an exhibition at RIBA; and will eventually be collected as an artwork into the estate’s official archive.

This large-scale commission has produced a new collection as an artwork for the estate through site-specific engagement work. Keefe’s research-based multidisciplinary practice includes film, photography, objects and text, which are often created in response to encounters with people and spaces.

The work explores the complexities of life as it is today, through key issues such as industrialisation, de-industrialisation, immigration, east-end drift, worker’s rights, regeneration, neoliberalism and some hefty changes to housing policy and the Right to Buy. It will reveal and give status to the often-invisible lived experience of a place, as well as reflecting upon the anecdotal, recording the local vernacular of people and the built environment which will involve creating a Becontree specific material palette.

Follow Living Together at www.livingtogether.org.uk where all opportunities and activities will be listed.

Living Together has been delivered with a large supporting cast of local residents, partners and community groups. Keefe has been working for the last two years to test, shape and develop social structures and activities as a way to inform the 2021 programme of activity.

Verity-Jane Keefe is a visual artist working predominantly in the public realm to explore the complex relationship between people and place. Her work encompasses working with moving image, text, installation and utilises archival and research methodologies. She is interested in the role of the artist within urban regeneration and how experiential practice can touch upon and raise ambitions of existing communities.  She has an ongoing, accidental love affair with Outer London and has been working in Barking and Dagenham for over 10 years on self-initiated commissions, including The Mobile Museum, and in partnership with the borough’s Heritage, Planning Policy and Regeneration departments. Her practice celebrates the everyday qualities of places, uncovering and celebrating, documenting, archiving and responding to changes within the built environment and setting up platforms to share experiences of these changes. In partnership with Create London, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England