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Community slogans carved into seat of East End learning

PUBLISHED: 12:44 13 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 05 October 2010

SLATE benches carved with quotes from shoppers and residents reflecting the identity and culturally diversity’ of a small corner of London’s East End are being unveiled in a new public space next Friday (June 20). Shadwell Soundwaves is a collection of six benches creating a focal point in Watney Plaza, a new development of 59 homes just off the Commercial Road

SLATE benches carved with quotes from shoppers and residents reflecting 'the identity and culturally diversity' of a small corner of London's East End are being unveiled in a new public space next Friday (June 20).

Shadwell Soundwaves is a collection of six benches creating a focal point in Watney Plaza, a new development of 59 homes just off the Commercial Road in East London.

The project began last year when artist David Little began talking to shoppers and residents about the area.

"The artwork reveals glimpses of a rich history buried under successive layers of development," he explained.

"These include changing industries, new buildings, shifting populations.

"It's a monument to what has come before and will put into context what is yet to come."

He spent time chatting with people about Shadwell and what it means to them, from the history of the London Docks and old Watney Market to stories of migrant populations and ideas about the future.

Transcripts of the conversations were then displayed at Watney Market public library and people were asked to choose their favourite quotations, which were then carved into the slate.

The benches have glass inserts illuminated by internal LED lights that change colour according to the movement of passing pedestrians, with stone ripples using state-of-the-art stone cutting technology.

The artwork, sponsored by St Katherine & Shadwell Trust, the Tower Hill Trust and a City bank, is officially being opened by Poplar & Canning Town MP Jim Fitzpatrick on June 20 at noon, after a performance by children from nearby Blue Gate Fields Primary school.


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