Friday, 6 April 2012

Taking Root unveiled on Easter weekend

During the Easter weekend erect architecture will unveil the first pieces of the new 'nature trail' in the wild edges of the garden at the Camden Arts Centre. Find out how your models have shaped the installations.
Come and venture beyond the threshold to experience the wilderness: Saturday and Sunday, April 7th & 8th from 12-5pm.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Taking Root residency at Camden Arts Centre

Come and participate in the design of installations for the garden at the Camden Arts Centre. These pieces will be the beginning of a 'trail', which invites the visitors to re-imagine and use the garden in interesting ways.
Sessions are running every afternoon and we will be talking about the process during Cafe Curio on Wednesday, February 15th at 7pm in the Artists' Studio at the Centre.
(Click on flyer for more details).

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Modelling Ideas

During their residency in Camden Art Centre's studio space from 7th - 19th February, erect architecture will be testing the potential of the participatory design process and ways in which it might inform inspiring interventions in the garden.

You are invited to contribute to this process by modelling your ideas for any, or all of 3 proposed sites. Come and take part in the open studio sessions at the following times:

Thursday 9th 14.30-17.30

Friday 10th 14.30-17.30

Saturday 11th 10.30-17.30

Sunday 12th 10.30-17.30 (family session between 14.00-16.00)

Tuesday 14th 14.30-17.30

Wednesday 15th 16.00-21.00 (artist talk at 18.30)

Thursday 16th 14.30-17.30

Friday 17th 14.30-17.30

Saturday 18th Open for viewing

Sunday 19th Open for viewing

Monday, 30 January 2012

Distance and Proximity

On Tuesday 24th January 2012, Year 2 and Year 4 pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School returned to the Centre to make creative and playful enquiries into the current exhibitions, the conditions of garden in Winter and ideas around distance, proximity and reflection.

Raphael Hefti's work in Gallery 3, Subtraction as Addition, 2011 was really mesmerizing! Playing with trial and error in industrial processes Raphael has produced large panels of glass which vary in degrees of transparency, reflection and intensity of colour.

We sketched the panels and tried to show how they rest against the gallery walls, mirroring, framing and obscuring each other and little fragments of architecture: pulling parts of windows, walls and ceiling into unsettling planes and depths. How did these large panels of glass get into the building?

Outside we looked at how the rain gathered in puddles making low, horizontal mirrors reflecting the high bare branches of trees. Without leaves we could see through the tree canopies, further into the wild edges and the sky.

The ivy embankment seemed to double in size in reflections in the cafe's glass walls!

The Camden sign seems to be written in mirror writing! If you hold a mirror to the glass or this screen you can read it properly.

Inside, caught in the glass of an emergency exit door leading from the artificially lit stairwell to the garden, a reflection of a window seemed magically suspended high in the dull, grey sky beyond! If the sky had windows, what could we see through them?

In the studio, we talked about the story of Alice Through The Looking Glass and imagined what sort of adventures might lie beyond Raphael's glass panels. We looked at different mirrored surfaces, including "foggy" mirrors, "wobbly" video tape and soup spoons which reflected our faces upside down!

We made very simple periscopes to help find a sequence of words "hidden" on top of the cupboards. Out of reach and sight the words were revealed in small mirrors held on long sticks. The words were written backwards (just like the Camden sign on the glass in the garden) so that we could read them in the mirrors.

We discovered our eye is like a tiny convex mirror in our body, so we worked with partners to closely observe and draw one of their eyes and the reflections on it's surface. Holding small mirrors to the drawings we quickly created pairs of eyes.

Finally we built a tiny collage model of a section of the wild edges of the garden in Winter. In this model lots of trees and paths between trees are multiplied and magnified in a magical landscape that might play host to Alice or other wonders - such as the interventions that will be designed in future sessions in collaboration with architects and visitors to the Centre.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Design a midtown habitat

We have just discovered that an open competition has been launched for the design of urban beehives, bird/bat boxes and planters. See here for more details. Don't be put off by the fact that the Architecture Foundation is running the competition, it is open to all designers. So where's your pencil ... ? Or maybe it's a photograph of something you have already built?

Monday, 7 November 2011


On Sunday 23rd October several families explored the gardens and galleries.

We looked at the project blog, to learn what other people's experience of the gardens has been over the year. We discussed what 'wild' might mean in terms of a place. People came up with some great describing words e.g. wonky, overgrown, spikey, dangerous, dense, deep. We agreed that these are special qualities that should be maintained in the garden.

We looked at a small sculpture by Haroon Mizra. He used a mirror to reflect a bisected green vinyl record to appear as a complete circle, the work creates the illusion of depth and invite us to imagine echoed sounds. Playing with green square and triangular motifs and mirror sheets, we created new shapes and deep, unending spaces.

On our way to the garden we looked at Nathalie Djurberg's work in the foyer. She had installed abstract swirls of coloured gels on the glass panels in the ceiling. As the sunlight changes it reveals magical, fleeting pools of colour of the walls and floor.

In the garden the fearless adventurers journeyed beyond the barriers to explore the wild edges.

Although we couldn’t see or hear any birds, we found some feathers which indicated a place birds might gather, along with a snail and a space we thought might be a fox nest. We used our mirror sheets as a periscope to view the contents of the bird table and as reflectors to create pools of light on the ground, the tree trunks, the garden shed and gallery walls and Ashley's jumper!

We gathered fallen leaves, twigs, feathers, berries and seeds, (like Nathalie we employed the sunshine) and produced sunprints. We identified the source of some of the leaves – in hawthorn, rowan, sycamore and plum trees.

We learned some of the varieties of birds that have been spotted by staff and made drawings which were brought together with real leaves in a collage of a wild space hosting a variety of birds.

We took this collage into gallery 3 to face and respond to Angus Fairhurst's paintings of uninhabited wild spaces before taking the bird drawings and sunprints home.

Autumn animations

Friday 21 st October Year 4 pupils from Holy Trinity School returned to the galleries and gardens to explore changes that have occurred since summer.

Birdsong from ashley mccormick on Vimeo.

Birds nesting from ashley mccormick on Vimeo.