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OFF-SITE EXHIBITION: Gal Leshem & Sydney Russell School

  • Valance House Museum Becontree Avenue Dagenham, England, RM8 3HT United Kingdom (map)

Join us for an exhibition at Valance House Museum, showcasing new work by our artist in residence, Gal Leshem and young people from Sydney Russell School in Dagenham, as part of the Barbican’s year-long Change Makers programme.


During her residency Gal considered issues of feminism, activism, and labour; taking inspiration from the 50th Anniversary of the Sewing Machinist Strike at the Dagenham Ford Plant and the 100-year anniversary of suffrage and the Representation of the People Act in 1918.

Gal worked alongside young people at Sydney Russell School and The White House to explore women’s historical role within a gendered division of labour, creating personal responses to these local histories and developing a shared view for the future. 

By engaging with materials and techniques often associated with the domestic and women’s work, the group addressed issues around invisible labour, equal pay, and gender stereotypes within the home and the workplace. 

 This work was made in collaboration with:  Anisha Shibly, Aqui Thami, Babra Yiga, David Odigie, Emily Wylie, Erden Ahmet, George Ellis, Georgia St Louis King, Jenifar MD Nizam, Jimmy Nesling, Joshua Forsyth, Kezia Obeng, Kiran Sachar, Komail Aftab, Lexi West, Louie McKie, Mikkela Severino, Milen Nakov, Morgan Munro, Nancy Fofanah, Navjodh Singh, Teddy Coles, Tianna Henry and Youssaf Kramer.

Venue: Valance House Museum, Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, RM8 3HT

Launch event: Tuesday 11 December, 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Exhibition dates: Saturday 8th December 2018 - Saturday 9th February 2019
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Free Entry


Change Makers is a year-long artistic residency in one of Britain’s largest secondary schools, Sydney Russell School in Barking and Dagenham. 

Marking the 100-year anniversary of suffrage and the Representation of the People Act in 1918, the residency celebrates the rich feminist heritage of Barking and Dagenham, exploring the female heroes that have come to define the borough’s past and present - and boldly imagining how its young people will go on to define its future and become the change makers of tomorrow.

Working with different classes from Sydney Russell School throughout 2018 , artists and companies including leading theatre company Complicite, beatboxer Bellatrix and award-winning filmmaker Eelyn Lee, have been working with students and teaching staff at the school to deliver an ambitious and wide-ranging programme of creative projects. Change Makers is unique edition in Barbican’s work supporting creative arts practice in schools and colleges.