Outdoor Painting

The outdoor paintings sessions were a way to get in contact with the residents of the former Becontree Estate. Through their own curiosity people got involved in the project. The medium of painting is a reference to the artists of the ‘arts and craft movement’ that helped to promote Ebenezer Howard’s idea of the Garden Cities at the beginning of the 20th century. These artists painted idyllic paintings (en plein air) of the British country side and of the first garden cities. These images became influential in the popularization of the new suburbs, where the best of the city would be combined with the best of the countryside. Garden Cities would liberate people from the overcrowded and polluted city centers. The Becontree Estate was not a new garden city, like letchworth and Welwyn, but many elements were copied, one of which was the focus on ecological structures, green corners, gardens, etc.