The Tree of a Man named Beohha – Becontree now
8 October 2021 to 26 February 2022
First Floor Gallery, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD
As part of the Becontree centenary, RIBA opened a free contemporary photographic study of the Becontree Estate by Kalpesh Lathigra. Completed during a series of walks through the estate during the spring and summer of 2021, Lathigra produced an observational body of work that documents the architecture and landscape as found during its 100th year. His series mixed portraits of the buildings, designed and built by the London County Council in the 1920s, with glimpses of personal details and narrative, visible in adaptions to the original architecture but also the ephemeral traces of everyday life. Collectively, they offer an intimate study of a community perceived as living in the hinterlands of London, yet home to nearly 100,000 people.
Lathigra originally trained as a photojournalist, working for the national press for a number of years, before departing the field to undertake documentary projects. In recent years, he has completed long term studies of neglected or overlooked communities in India and the American midwest.
The commission was generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the Art Fund with additional support from the Span Trust.
'The Tree of a Man named Beohha – Becontree now' was part of the Becontree centenary, a partnership between Create London, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham (LBBD) and RIBA.