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Bridge Explorers

As we warm up to Barking and Dagenham's Bridge project in 2021, 5 artists from different disciplines have been selected to work with the Barking and Dagenham community on 4 exciting Bridge projects during autumn 2020.

Grace Duggan, Katie Peck, Jacqueline OtiteSilvano Griffith-Francis and Naomi Joseph are creating a wonderful range of activities that we are really excited to be able to share with you over the coming months. The local community is invited to become Bridge Explorers and take part in quests, workshops, writing, illustration and even balloon bridge building activities! Each artist will reveal a quest via CBD's social media feeds, and we'll share the outcomes here.

Meet the Bridge Explorer artists:

Grace Duggan: Be part of our illustration
Artist Grace Duggan and illustrator Katie Peck invite local people to reflect on times they've built bridges. They will turn these responses into a new illustration, telling the story of Bridge-building in Barking and Dagenham. Grace Duggan is a community artist who grew up in Barking, East London; she is dedicated to creating stories, collaborating and working with local communities. Katie Peck is an illustrator, graphic designer and artist from East London, who graduated from UAL Central Saint Martins in 2019. Her work centres around the themes of community, narrative and identity. 

@graceduggan @katiepeckdesign @katiepeckcustoms

Image by Katie Peck


Jacqueline Otite: Build a balloon bridge

Jacqueline invites people to have fun with friends and family by building a balloon bridge! Working with CBD, balloon bridge kits have been distributed about the area, which people can turn into their own bridge sculptures and share their experiences online. 

Jacqueline Otite is a mother of three children and has been a resident of Barking and Dagenham for over 20 years. She is a qualified Balloon Artist and passionate about creating inspirational balloon designs. In particular, she enjoys using her skills and knowledge to create bright and fun creations to decorate venues for children’s parties. @TheBalloonAcademy


Silvano Griffith-Francis: Join Unity on her bridge-building Quest

Silvano Griffith-Francis, our third artist, has created a film ​- ​Unity’s Quest ​-​ for the Bridge project. It tells the story of a girl named Unity and her dog, who are seeking to repair a bridge between two communities that has been broken by harsh, intolerant words. Silvano would like the community to share positive words and phrases with her, that will help Unity mend the bridge.  

Silvano Griffith-Francis is a play and screenwriter, actress, producer and public speaker. Silvano moved to Barking and Dagenham over ten years ago and two of her theatre shows have been presented at the Barking Broadway​. ​Her first feature film, Family Secrets, was completed in 2018. She wrapped on her second feature film in October 2019, and it is currently in post production, and is hoping to start shooting her third script as soon as social distancing rules permit. She also works on various projects as a freelance actor and presenter.


Naomi Joseph: Join Our Week of Missions!

Meet Naomi Joseph, our third artist. Naomi invites the community to join her on a week of missions designed to encourage play, imagination and exploration in children and young families. Sign up to be a Bridge Explorer and receive 5 missions to undertake during the October Half-Term holiday. 

Naomi is a theatre-maker, writer and performer. Naomi's connection to Barking and Dagenham stems from a young age; from going swimming at Goresbrook Leisure Centre with her family when she was a child, to volunteering at The Broadway Theatre Barking as a teenager. Naomi's work includes 'Criteria', an award-winning spoken word short about cultural identity and bereavement. Its companion piece 'Motherland' is a dark comedy theatre show which played at various festivals across the UK. During lockdown Naomi delivered virtual storytelling and adventure sessions for children.


Follow the Barking and Dagenham Bridge journey via our social media feeds and the Creative Barking and Dagenham website