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image for Art Exhibition item typeLata Upadhyaya | Transit: Identity of a White Van at Firstsite

  • VistEngland VAQAS
  • Self-assessed Accessibility Information

Art Exhibition, Sat 12 May - Sun 17 Jun 2018, free entry


Lata Upadhyaya

Lata Upadhyaya




Lewis Gardens,
High Street,


‘Transit: The Identity of a White Van’ is an artwork by Essex based artist Lata Upadhyaya. An ordinary white Ford Transit van has been transformed; now enveloped in a graphic design that reflects the rich diversity of contemporary Britain and the communities living in Essex.

Originally from Assam, in India, Upadhyaya first came to live in Essex thirteen years ago. ‘Transit’ brings together cultural signifiers from the two places she has called home – the stereotype of British ‘White Van Man’ first coined in the late 1990’s, and South Asian truck art; vehicles decorated with elaborate patterns and calligraphy.

Included within Upadhyaya’s artwork are Matryoshka dolls, most commonly known as Russian dolls (themselves inspired by similar ornaments first made in Japan), representing the range of communities who live in Essex and the valuable contribution that immigration has made to British society.

The artwork will be displayed in the entrance to Firstsite, welcoming visitors to the gallery.

When researching designs for ‘Transit’, Upadhyaya hosted a series of workshops across Essex, inviting members of the public to draw their own identities and represent the things that are most important to them.

The dominant theme that emerged from the individuals and communities that participated was that we have far more in common than not. These personal reflections have been used by Upadhyaya to inspire the vivid design that now embellishes and patterns the Ford Transit.

‘Transit: The Identity of a White Van’ is the first project made possible through Firstsite’s partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project. Based in Chelmsford, Essex Cultural Diversity Project create opportunities, stimulate participation and provide a focal point for the development, celebration and co-ordination of cultural diversity through arts and heritage activity in Essex.

The artwork is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Essex County Council and Thurrock Borough Council.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (with charge)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsRegional Tourist Board MemberWelcome HostWheelchairs availableAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Children welcome

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 12 May - Sun 17 Jun 2018 10:00 to 17:00


Free entry



Plan route to Firstsite using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: TL 999252  Lat: 51.88968 Long: 0.90477

By Road:
Follow signs to the Town Centre.

Accessible by Public Transport: 1 mile from Colchester Town station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)Credit cards accepted (with charge)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome HostWelcome Host
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • YesDesignated parking for guests with disabilities
    • YesWithin 50 metres approx. of entrance
  • The surface of the car park and pathway leading to entrance:
    • Yesis solid
  • YesDrop-off point for guests outside entrance
  • The route from the parking area to the entrance:
    • YesIs flat (i.e. without steps)

Public Areas

  • Level access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift:
    • YesFrom the entrance to reception / ticket area
    • YesTo a specially adapted public toilet suitable for wheelchair users
    • YesTo the gift shop
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • YesContrast markings on clear surfaces such as glass doors
  • YesBaby changing facilities
  • YesVisitor information available in large print (14pt and over)
  • YesHearing loop installed in public areas


  • YesSeating available for visitors with limited mobility
  • YesClear signage
  • YesEffective lighting for visually impaired visitors
  • YesGood colour/tonal contrast for visually impaired visitors
  • YesRoutes/pathways suitable for wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility
  • YesDisplays at suitable height for wheelchair users / children
  • YesAudible alarm system


  • YesEntrance is well lit
  • YesAutomatic door at the main entrance


  • YesLevel access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift to cafeteria
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • Restaurant / cafe provide meals for visitors with special dietary requirements:
    • YesSugar free (diabetic)
    • YesGluten free (coeliacs)
    • YesLactose free (dairy free)
    • YesNut free
    • YesAdditive free
    • YesVegetarian
    • YesVegan
  • YesSeating suitable for wheelchair users, ie moveable and good height for person sitting in a wheelchair
  • YesHigh chairs for children
  • YesChildren's menu