Raw Materials is an ongoing research project led by the Nunnery Gallery at Bow Arts. We are exploring the industrial heritage of the River Lea through a series of materials. We began with wood, continued with textiles and explored plastics in 2019.

Explore this website to find out more about our industrial history. You can read about the stories behind the objects we have found in archives and follow their location along the River Lea using our map.

Raw Materials is made possible with the generous support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Our partners for Raw Materials: Plastics are University College London, Museum of Design in Plastics (Arts University Bournemouth), The Victoria & Albert Museum, and local archives from Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Suffolk, as well as Valence House and Vestry House Museum.

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Latest post

Peter Marigold, Resident Designer/Maker for Raw Materials: Plastics

Resident designer / maker Peter Marigold engaged with the processes of making that were used for the earliest plastics, and with the traces these processes leave on the finished object, in contrast to the often unfathomable methods behind mass-produced plastics today.

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