Public Art in Barking Town Square

Public art bounds Barking Town Square

Nothwithstanding our criticism of the urban design of Barking Town Square, Muf deserve an award for an excellent piece of public art on the northeast side of the Square. Muf state that ‘The folly screens the flank wall of Iceland supermarket and makes the fourth elevation to the town square. The folly is comprised of architectural salvage and recovers the texture of lost historic fabric of the town centre; it stands as a mementomori to this current cycle of regeneration.’

Unlike the usual ‘Turd in the Plaza’ approach to public art, this wall:

(1) serves an urban design objective by enclosing the space

(2) picks up on the historic context of Barking

(3) pleases the eye without being attention-seeking

I wish we could have more context-sensitive public art.

4 thoughts on “Public Art in Barking Town Square

  1. Christine

    As art it would definitely benefit from some more radical ‘greening’. Could I suggest climbing roses? Fragrance, security and safety….it might deter the inquisitive child or enthusiastic music lover from climbing the folly and harming themselves!

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    Christine is right and (1) the public always like schemes better if they include roses (2) given the prior existence of Barking Abbey, it would have been appropriate to have other symbolic medieval plants – especially Madonna Lilies, if they could get them to grow.

  3. El

    Thats really beautiful

    I’ve only just discovered this forum and found out it very inspiring in what feels like a very depressing time.


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