Part Three


key reflective thoughts

Re: purposing materials and objects-------> Navigating the East End: a new perspective

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 2.12.39 PM.png

From the Sea to the City. (2015). [Video] United Kingdom: Chocolate Films. 1.13secs. 

Chocolate Films were commissioned to create a video installation for the Museum of London, Docklands.

This short film was shot from land, boats and helicopters, capturing the post-industrial river. The film gives an overview of key locations along Southend, Cliffe Pools, Gateway Port, Tilbury Docks, Rainham Marshes, The Thames Barrier and the Woolwich Ferry and ends at the museum and along Isle of Dogs.

 The film is an embodiment of how the docks has changed dramatically because of how desolate and empty it is. Usually, I walk past video installations, but stayed to watch this because of how peaceful and calming it was. This helped me understand how I could translate my ideas visually. I could also make my own video installation showing my local area and how it has changed. 

wasteland 5.jpg wasteland 3.jpg

 1- Muniz, V. (2008). Marat/Sebastiao–Pictures of Garbage. [Digital C-print] New York: Museum of Arts and Design. 

2- Muniz, V. (2008). The Gypsy Magna–Pictures of Garbage. [Digital C-print] New York: Museum of Arts and Design.

From the documentary 'Wasteland', I was fascinated by the way the artist Vic Muniz collaborates with 'catadores' (waste pickers) in Jardim Gramacho outside Rio de Janeiro. The above picture is one of the outcomes of contemporary work using recyclable materials. I was first introduced to this documentary through one of my mentors at the Brady community centre where I regularly attend on Thursdays and Saturdays. 

I was interested in this artwork because the 'catadores' and Muniz worked collectively by using everything around them to create portraits of the pickers - from the materials they collect. 

Navigation buoys

Safe water mark.png isolated danger marks .png  cardinal marks .png

Trinity House. (2016). Cardinal marks. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Apr. 2019].

I was interested in navigation buoys because of my research of Trinity Buoy Wharf. This is because the area was in charge of maintaining boats and buoys which helped our docks. I thought it was important to see how different buoys looked like and worked. I could find way of implementing it in my work by researching further on navigation. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 1.07.12 PM.pngYoutube (2017). The Great Dock Strike of 1889 and British New Unionism. [video] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2019].

 This video shows the fall of the docks and explains why workers were angry with the working conditions. I was interested in the downfall of the docks and how this has changed the docks today. 

Canal and river network: looking into my local area

EAST INDIA.png (2019). Canal and river network | Canal & River Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2019].

This is a close up image of my local area. This allowed me to see my area from a birds eye view and could investigate the area further. 


london docks 2.png

“CASUAL LABOR AT THE DOCKS IN GREAT BRITAIN.” (1916) Monthly Review of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 131–134. JSTOR,

This explains the reality of men's lives on the docks as it led to a life of uncertainty. The fact that men relied on manual labour means that those who couldn't get a job on that day, would have to come back the next day. To get a job would be competitive. This shows that men competed with men, which could have led to tension and resentment. 

indian lascar.jpg

Image Caption:

An Indian 'lascar' seaman at King George V Dock. Sailors from India had been coming to Britain since the East India Company first recruited them in the 18th century. A community of Indian seamen grew up in the Docklands areas of Stepney, Poplar, Canning Town, and near the West and East India Docks.

Henry Grant Collection/ Museum of London (1959). An Indian 'lascar' seaman at King George V Dock.. [image].

I felt that I should explore this area more because I could bring a more personal link in my work.  I could do this by researching my own family history and dig deeper in the partition of India in 1947. As a British Bangladeshi, I often feel confused about my own identity because looking back in my family tree, my grandparents would have lived in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Therefore, I could look into how the change in name might have led to confusion about one's identity. 

B Hotel.gif

Brunswick Wharf

Brunswick Hotel, built 1833–4, in 1930 (pp. 596–7)

B Wharf.gif

Brunswick Wharf

View looking west in June 1920.

The London and Blackwall Railway terminus is in the centre (pp. 597–8) and the former Railway Tavern to the right (p. 598)

river lea.gif

The Iron Bridge over the River Lea

View from north-east in c1825 of the bridge erected in 1810.

James Walker and Alfred Burges, surveyors and engineers. In the distance are the East India Company's Pepper Warehouses, left, and the East India Docks. Demolished

Survey of London: Volumes 43 and 44, Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1994.

trintity 5.gif

Trinity Buoy Wharf, Orchard Place

Fitting-shop, built 1952–4, exterior in 1986 and interior in 1989 (pp. 681–2)

Survey of London: Volumes 43 and 44, Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1994.

trinity 3.gif

Trinity Buoy Wharf, Orchard Place

 Proving-house range, built 1875, in 1986 (p. 681)

Trinity Buoy Wharf

trinity .jpg

Management, U. (2016). History | About | Trinity Buoy Wharf. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar 2019].

The above images are research images of how the docks looked like in the past. I want to show the difference between the past and present and will explore this further in my sketchbook. The workers and the equipment here really interested me because it makes me think about how men relied on manual labour e.g factory work in the past. 

Solar Leaf Project, International Building Exhibition, Hamburg, Germany, 2013

Image result for designed for the future solar leaf project international building exhibition

Meb Rure

Image result for upcyclist reclaimed and remade furniture lighting and interiors meb rure

Rure, M. (2013). Recycled Silk Furniture Family. [Recycled Silk Chair, Ottoman and Stool] Istanbul, Turkey.

Edwards, A. (2015). Upcyclist. Munich, London, New York: Prestel, p.85.

I was interested in Rure's work because of its bright, bold colours. As a starting point for my project, I could experiment with these colours. Rure clearly thought about her colour palette as the use of contrasting colours is   exciting. Even though, at this point I'm not interested in product design or architecture. This could be an area that I could explore within textiles because I can make a form of textiles designed for interior purposes. This is something I need to think about because I need to make sure I know what the purpose of my samples would be as I experiment with materials during this project. This is important because I often neglect this part of the process. So, its interesting to see how Men Rure has linked textiles with interiors/ product design. This has given ideas of what I could do for my final outcome. 

Emily Noelle Lambert, Road Path Way, 2014

Image result for emily noelle lambert road path way, 2014 lu magnus galleryL

Lambert, E. (2014). Road Path Way. [acrylic on panel with steel sculpture] Miami: Lu Magnus Gallery.

As a starting point in my project, I was looking into artists that reuse found materials and recreate them to how they wanted. Lambert's work is interesting because I was drawn to the use of colours and how it is displayed as an installation. I could research more into installations and how it could have an interactivity element. Even though, Lambert's work is not fashion and textiles related, I wanted to research artists that use a range of mediums in their work. This is important because it has given me ideas of what materials I could use. For example, I could experiment with wood. 

Matt Eskuche, Apocalyptic Permafrost, 2012

apocalyptic permafrost (3) copy.JPG

Eskuche, M. (2012). Apocalyptic Permafrost. [Plastic and incandescent light] Racine Art Museum.


El Anatsui, Alter Ego, 2012


Anatsui, E. (2012). Alter Ego. [Metal; Wall hanging​; Aluminium and copper wire] New York: Jack Shainman Gallery.

 I first came across El Anatsui's work at the Tate, where his work is exhibited in the Materials and Objects exhibition. I was fascinated by the way Anatusi uses bottle caps to tell a story. For example, I was interested in this quote by him "my work can represent links in the evolving narrative of memory and identity". I liked the way he uses old bottle caps to highlight a historical and cultural narrative between Europe, Africa and America. He experiments with materials that has "encountered a lot of touch and human use." 

Mandy Barker, 'soup: refused'



Steve McPherson, Relinquished Remains Multi 7

multi_7_94f4ae61-ed3d-49aa-8afb-d01b3870f0d9.jpgMcPherson, S. (2017). Relinquished Remains Multi 7. [Unaltered Marine plastic objects found on the UK coast, on card].

I was drawn to Mcpherson's work because of how he has organised the found plastic objects into an ordered manner. He has clearly thought about colour balance as he has kept a neutral colour palette with hints of bright colours. This is interesting because it reminds me of the colour project, I did earlier. Therefore, I can link what I learnt from then to now. This will help me think of more ideas and what I want to achieve by the end of the project. 

Anne Percoco, Indra's Cloud, 2008

indras cloud.jpg.1

Percoco, A. (2008). Indra's Cloud. [Plastic water bottles, plastic rope, boat] Vrindavan, India: Friends of Vrindavan + Asian Cultural Council.

This image was my first source of inspiration for my project because I was fascinated by the way Percoco engages with the community of Vrindavan to create an installation piece to convey the message of water resource and how the Yamuna River is severely polluted. From this image, waste comes to my mind. Therefore, I could develop my project into looking at waste and consumerism. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 12.48.45 PM.png

Youtube (2017). Plastic Ocean. [video] Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar 2019].

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 1.00.49 PM.png

Youtube (2018). The surprising solution to ocean plastic | David Katz. [video] Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2019].

Roberts, R. (2008). The city. 2nd ed. London: Profile, pp.23-68.

the city .png


Kramer, S. (2019). Stack, cut, assemble ISO 668. [Salenstein]: Braun, pp.59, 68, 92.

container 2.png

I was interested in shipping containers being turned into spaces for businesses, accommodation etc. This links to my research for my project because during my walk and draw around my local area, I noticed that shipping containers were being used for office spaces in Trinity Buoy Wharf. Therefore, I wanted more research images on companies using these containers to their advantage.  

Kramer, S. (2019). Stack, cut, assemble ISO 668. [Salenstein]: Braun, pp.59, 68, 92.

container .png

Architects: BWM Architekten

 Location: An der Mur 13

Vogau, Austria, Number of containers used: 14

Gross floor area: 1,500 sqm

Completion: 2011

Client: Vinofaktur Handel GesmbH

Type of use: bistro, shop, exhibition hall

 I was interested in how shipping containers are being reused. I started looking at architecture and how these shipping containers are being used for accommodation, office spaces, galleries and businesses. I thought I could link my research on Trinity Buoy Wharf and 'Container City' together because I was looking at gentrification in the area and how it has changed the environment. 

Ellmers, C. and Werner, A. (1991). Dockland life. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company.

dockland p46.png

dockland 48.png

dockland 64.png

dockland life 2.png

I started to research on the docks around my local area and found images on how the docks looked like in the past. These research images helped me to translate my ideas visually as I was able to show a constant of environment from the past to now. 


Safe Passage. 2014. Sheila Hicks. Sculpture. Bamboo, acrylic fiber, slate, coins, cotton, wool, metal wire and linen


Hicks, S. (2014). Safe Passage. [Sculpture. Bamboo, acrylic fiber, slate, coins, cotton, wool, metal wire and linen] Miami: Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Hicks' work is really fascinating and interesting because I like the way she focuses on colour and texture. These large scale textile installation pieces has given me ideas of what I could do to develop my work. I was fascinated with Hicks' art installations because she uses traditional materials like yarn and explores different ways of manipulating them into sculptures. Her work ranges from small wall hangings, exploring weave, to large art installations. Her work reminds me of Phyllida Barlow because both artists use bold colours in their sculptures and explore space within their work. For example, both artists work large scale and small scale which shows that they can explore how their work may be presented in confined, small spaces in an environment for example or in big spaces like an exhibition. 

2 This Imperious Company pp. 19-40 (22 pages)

london docks .png

Robins, N. (2012). The Corporation That Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational. London: Pluto Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctt183pcr6




east India docks .jpg

Image caption:

Labourers work on the redevelopment of East India Docks. Standing in the entrance passage from the basin to the export dock, John H Avery photographed construction work at East India Docks. In 1912, work started to widen the entrance passage between the basin and the import dock, which was parallel to the export dock. Transit sheds were also built on the quays. The East India Dock had only a few warehouses, so most cargoes were transported to the City of London for storage in the Town Warehouses. The steamship in the background could be from the Union Castle Line, which was one of the principal lines to use these docks. The liners carried passengers, cargo and mail to and from South and East Africa.

PLA collection/Museum of London (1913). Labourers work on the redevelopment of East India Docks.. [image].


B Hotel 2.gif

Brunswick Wharf

Part of the iron-plated river wall in July 1903, after its partial collapse (pp. 593–4)

brunswick .gif

Brunswick Wharf

View in the mid-1830s showing two shed-warehouses (p. 597) and, left, the Brunswick Hotel (pp. 596–7)

Survey of London: Volumes 43 and 44, Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1994.

trinity 4.gif

Trinity Buoy Wharf, Orchard Place

Fitting-shop, built 1952–4, exterior in 1986 and interior in 1989 (pp. 681–2)

trinity 2.jpg

Description: Until its closure in the 1980s, Trinity House's Blackwall depot, located at the junction of the Thames and Bow Creek, was responsible for the maintenance and the replacement of buoys. In this image, men on board the Trinity House vessel 'Hanton' life a buoy on board in order to replace it. 

Creator: Unknown 

Date: c.1930

Credit: National Maritime Museum London



Feynan Eco-Lodge, Jordan

Designed for the Future: Eco Lodges

 Aziza Chaouni, whilst on her 'travelling fellowship from Harvard University, decided to explore eco-lodges across the countries in the Saharan region. She was interested in how a building can be sustainable in the middle of the desert without water or electricity.'

Green, J. (2015). Designed for the future. 1st ed. Princeton Architectural Press, pp.66,67


Aurora Robson, Updroplet, 2012

Updroplet, 2012, by Aurora Robson, 30" x 24" x 24", plastic debris (PET), rivets, tinted polycrylic + mica powder


Robson, A. (2012). Updroplet. [plastic debris (PET), rivets, tinted polycrylic + mica powder].

Robson's work was my main inspiration for my project because I like the way she uses found materials to replicate ocean life. I first came across Aurora Robson's work during my visit to the V&A as its the first thing you see once you enter the building. At first, I didn't know the artist, but by researching artists for this project,  I was drawn to Robson's work. This is because I like the range of colours she uses and how she has experimented with shape and size. This has given me ideas for my project because I'm interested in how everyday items can be manipulated and changed. I could research more on artists that experiment with size and how this might look on a large scale. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 12.54.45 PM.png

Youtube (2017). Can plastic roads help save the planet? BBC News. [video] Available at: [Accessed 17 Mar. 2019].

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2011

Image result for nick cave soundsuit (detail) 2008 jack shainman gallery

Cave, N. (2011). Soundsuit. [Found objects, metal armature, knit head and bodysuit, and mannequin] New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

I came across Cave's work at the library when researching artists that use found materials and objects differently. I like the way he has merged knit and 3D elements together. This is fascinating because his "Soundsuits" which fully conceal the body, serve as a way to hide race, gender and class. This allows the audience to look without bias. The fact that Cave is also a performer highlights that he often performs in the sculptures himself. This creates an engagement between the wearer and the viewer. Perhaps, I could look into bodysuits and the connection this might have with the community. 


El Anatsui, Waste Paper Bags, 2004-10

Image result for El anatsui waste paper bags 2004-10 jack shainman gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Image result for angkor wat rick cook

This temple complex in Cambodia, which was built in the twelfth century, is the largest on Earth. It is fascinating because the temple complex is supported by a hydraulic engine- eastern and western pools. This is called barays. I found this really interesting because not only is it entirely handmade but they are connecting architecture to the natural world as well as inputting sustainable and practical means to their advantage. This is because the Khmer culture is a monsoon one. This means that through this process, the Khmer have made their own version of air conditioning. 

 Green, J. Designed For The Future: 80 practical ideas for a sustainable world, Princeton Architectural Press, 2015  


Alejandro Duran, Washed Up project


Durán, A. (2014). Brotes (Shoots). [Archival pigment prints are printed on 100% cotton rag, acid-free, fine art paper.].

Source: Durán, A. (2019). Washed Up. [online] Washed Up. Available at: [Accessed 26 Apr. 2019].

Over the course of this project, Duran 'identified plastic waste from fifty-eight nations and territories on six continents that have washed on the coast of Sian Ka'an, Mexico's largest federally protected reserve and an UNESCO World Heritage site'. He uses the waste he found to create a colour-based and sculptures that merges man and nature together. He uses the objects he finds to mimic nature like waves, roots, algae or fruit. 

When researching artists that use found objects and materials, I was drawn to Durán's work because with the objects he collects from shores, he thinks about colour, composition, size and shape when creating his sculptures.