Described at the end of the nineteenth century as the ‘Queen of the Suburbs’, the London Borough of Ealing had been a fashionable place of residence for some time. The extension of the Great Western Railway in the mid-1800s and the creation of Ealing Broadway station transformed the area, making it attractive to commuters. After the Second World War people from countries and regions including the Caribbean, India, Pakistan and Poland settled in the borough and made it their home. Today Ealing is one of London’s most diverse boroughs.

Ealing has a rich cultural history being home to Ealing Studios, the oldest continuously working film studio in the world, renowned for the Ealing comedies and Carry-On films. The Ealing Music Club, where notable groups such as the Who started their careers, is known as the place where ‘British Rhythm and Blues began’; and Ealing Art College, now part of the University of West London, attracted celebrated artists and musicians to teach and study.

Film-maker Eelyn Lee worked collaboratively with GCSE Art students from Brentside High School, Ealing in 2014. Through a series of creative workshops over five months they explored notions of Endeavour, Vision and Creativity epitomised by the lives and achievements of inspiring people in the Collection connected to Ealing. Together they discussed the language of portraiture, researched the history of their neighbourhood and developed creative and technical skills in photography and film. The resulting film called An Ealing Trilogy was the culmination of the ideas they generated together and the partnerships formed. The film was exhibited at the Gallery from June – September 2014 and was then exhibited in Ealing at Pitzhanger Manor.

Eelyn Lee is an award-winning artist and filmmaker whose work has been screened at the Barbican, Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery as well as internationally in Paris, Berlin and Toronto. Using processes of devising and collaboration, her films use rich imagery and soundscapes to tell multi-layered stories about people and place.

For many of the young people it is the first time that they realise they feel comfortable working in this way … The relationship I have with them is like the relationship I have with any other artist or collaborator. But it takes a process to get to that point.  Eelyn Lee

I’ve learnt on this project that you have to listen to your own ideas if you want to talk about different people’s lives. Chloe, 15 years’

Artist interview – Eelyn Lee (Ealing)

Teacher interview – Mike Roddy, Brentside High School, Ealing

See a snapshot of the project story Download Project story and Ealing sitters (2MB) Find out more about Eelyn Lee Find out more about Brentside High School