Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Monday, 7 November 2011
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.
In the garden the fearless adventurers journeyed beyond the barriers to explore the wild edges.
On Friday 21st October Year 2 pupils from Holy Trinity School returned to the galleries and gardens for the Autumn session. Pupils considered the definition of a 'wild' space. Some pupils suggested it might be a space that nobody looks after - somewhere untidy - somewhere muddled - a messy place. We explored ideas about mess and order, making ordered patterns and random muddles with square and triangle motifs (inspired by the title of Haroon Mizra's work in gallery 3: I saw square triangle sine).
We looked at some patterns produced by William Morris, and the ways he uses repetition, rhythm, symmetry and two shades of one colour to organise motifs from nature including leaves, seeds, flowers, rabbits and birds.
In the garden we gathered lots of different fallen leaves and sunshine to make magical sunprints, which someone described as "ghosts of leaves". We looked for symmetry in the leaves and prints. Back at school the prints will be used to develop repeating patterns.
We listened closely to the natural sounds, including birdsong and wind rustling the last leaves clinging to the branches and practised mimicking these sounds.
In the gallery we marched around gallery 3 and performed our version of the garden noises adding to Haroon Mizra's soundscape.
Friday, 16 September 2011
The experts we invited were
Tony Canning, a Biologist. We invited him because of his interest in nature conservation. Tony is a seasoned environmental campaigner, which we trust brings a political edge to the project. He also works for the Wildlife Trust at the Camley Street Nature Reserve, which is an important local alliance.
Augusto Corrieri, a choreographer, performance artist and writer. We invited him as an artist of a discipline (choreography), which is about space, people, movement and sound. A practice of spatial exploration. All aspects of which we think will be key to a project, which will invite people to explore a space.
Petra Ungerer, a Zoologist, originally from Vienna, now researching at Queen Mary University in London. We invited her as we wanted to learn about the existing microsystems and creepy crawlies in the wild areas, how to see and find them and how to protect them and learn what makes them work.
Roberto Sanchez-Camus, a psychogeographer. What interested us about his discipline and work was his interest in edges and thresholds and their interconnectedness to a wider context.
Paul Lyalls, a poet. We invited him as we were interested about how ideas and experiences are communicated and put into words, an aspect crucial in disseminating aspects of a nature ‘trail’.
Before the date we asked interviewed each of them to get a better understanding of them, their interests and working practices.
Participants at the event were encouraged to share their experiences on the artist led treks, locating their experiences on a map of the site using.
The concluding discussion unearthed some thoughts by the audience about the wild edges. Several people were concerned whether permanent installations or even an actual trail would destroy the wild edges. They treasured its secludedness and feeling of enclosure allowing space for retreat and thinking.
We have come to the conclusion that an actual path might not be the appropriate response to the space. Perhaps a series of installations? Or devices? Would they be of temporary or permanent nature? What is their spatial relationship to the wilderness? Would they require people to enter the wilderness at all?
The brief for the day can still be downloaded here. We are keen to know about your explorations and thoughts until our residence in the drawing studio in spring 2012, when all research will be informing our proposal for the wild spaces.
You can also still see the little bug hotel Zoologist Petra and Richard of the Camden Arts Centre built as part of the event to welcome additional wildlife in the garden.
Monday, 12 September 2011
Campers were inspired by the glossary developed by Paul Lyalls and the Taking Part participants. Their words and ideas have been brought together in a collaborative poem that celebrates the wonder of the wilderness.
Deep dark wood
Chaotic protecting green canopy
Every Bug-Hotel is full, even the bee and bees have no room in the trees.
The wild corner of the garden where the magic begins
I feel invisible because no one is around me
Nice and quiet, away from the traffic of the city.
In a magical world of fairies and angels.
I walk through and it feels like an adventure,
The fairytales begin in the woods.
Leaf doors reveal fairies with graffiti spray cans of light
Golden sunlight through leaves
Sunshine glitters and dances on my face
I feel free because no one tells me what to do
Free as a wild cat
I discover the wonder around me
I discover all the world has to offer
I discover all the glory of the light that lights up our lives
Go fire-flies light up the way
Light and laughter is all we need
Green, green trees they give me lots of memories
Watching swishing trees by my side
The wonders of nature and how you never know enough.
We wandered through Mathilde’s exhibition searching for the moon and stories about night fall, sleep and dreams.
The brilliant builders Gemma and Llew from Made from Scratch led a very ambitious shelter making activity, as mums and dads erected tents. Tall sails, ropes, plastic pipes, branches and camouflage netting were lashed together to make a unique den.
Poet Paul led families on twilight treks through the wild edges eliciting written responses.
Grey and Anne Marie from Camden Arts Centre served up a delicious BBQ supper, before our young campers led a procession into the shelter to 'officially' launch the shared space with limbo dancing challenges! Tricky on a full stomach!
Camden Art Centre’s own wilderness expert and enthusiastic explorer Richard (also the man with the coolest tent!) lit the campfire and the evening drew to a close with toasted marshmallows and hot milk. Following this everyone cozied up in their tents for a night’s sleep.
The next morning we shared breakfast and struck camp. Finally we saw the real moon in the pale morning sky! Bringing down the special shelter, tents and dining area the garden was returned to it’s natural state, but having experienced this place in extraordinary and thrilling ways, not least as a 'dreaming space', we will never look at it the same way again.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Inspired by Kerry Tribe’s artworks on show in the galleries, we played memory games and made drawings from memory.
Looking at satellite photos and plan drawings of the garden, we proposed and tested new pathways for the wild edges, before measuring and mapping the real space. One brilliant proposal was for a path in the shape of a branch. It suits the theme of a wildlife trail and would adapt rather well to react to the wildlife on the ground (and above!).Using barrier tape we ‘drew’ a big grid on top of the undergrowth and studied the area in detail. The grid allowed us to produce a record of the existing wild areas.
This record can be used by the us architects to design a wildlife trail, which suits what is there. You found plenty of things to take into account: Branches above your heads, paths (who would have made them?), fences, overgrown areas, mud, leaves, stones, creepy crawlies and many, many plants of very different sizes. We made wax rubbings of different textures and developed a series of 1:1 micro map cards (which ants or other crawling insects could use to find their way!). We used the 1:1 micro map cards to play a memory game together.
In the next session we will be camping overnight, exploring the wild spaces at twilight!
On Friday 24th June, Year 1 and 3 pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School continued their explorations of the galleries and the garden at Camden Arts Centre. The pupils were led by Ashvin, from erect architecture.
In the galleries, we looked at work by Kerry Tribe, who is very interested in how to make memories visible and material. She uses delicate materials and different technologies to record and display stories about forgetting, remembering and loss. In Milton Torres Sees A Ghost, the recorded voice of Milton recounted a strange event that happened to him 50 years earlier. We followed his voice through a long ‘path’ of audio tape stretching around the room which led to an ossciloscope; a special machine which ‘maps’ the shape of sound.
We tested our memories with a game using some lost and forgotten objects which were found in the undergrowth of the wild edge of the garden.
We looked at maps and satellite photos of the Centre, its garden and its neighbourhood, before making some imaginary paths through the wild edges of the garden, by folding paper.
Outside we mapped different things including time, textures, the size and shape of trees and edges, and conditions of the space, for instance where it is most dark/light, open/closed, quiet/noisy.
Our experience and recordings will shape new maps of and designs for the area. Research and making will carry on in the Autumn term...
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Families made special viewing tools for observing the flora and fauna.
Inspired by Pino Pascali's sculptures and performances on show in the galleries, we developed camouflage treatments for the viewing tools in that would allow us to connect with and inspect the wild spaces of the garden more closely.
The barriers warning of danger and advising visitors to keep out of the wilder spaces in the garden will be removed as the nature trail is developed. The families wrote down some questions they have about the garden and threw them into the undergrowth beyond the barriers, like curious seeds. Questions included:
Why are you green and not blue or red?
How long have you been here?
Are you really dangerous?
How many different plants grow here?
We look forward to the answers blooming and revealing themselves in the next family session in Summer ...
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
On April 1st, Year 1 and 3 pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School began exploring the wilder spaces of Camden Arts Centre with Ashley and Susanne from erect architecture. Pupils looked closely at the conditions of the space in Spring, playing I Spy, drawing details and devising list of words to describe the spaces - wild, dangerous, spooky, forest, woods, green, crazy, dark, scary...
In the galleries we were thrilled by Pino Pascali's strange sculptures. Pupils observed that the artist uses a mix of natural and man made materials. He enlarges and expands familiar images to giant proportions. But the giant 'spider' sculpture, the biggest we have ever seen, seems more playful than threatening because the artist made it with bright blue fake fur fabric. Pupils speculated that a giant 'mushroom' sculpture might house fairies and small woodland animals, and a steelwool net might trap wild animals.
Inspired by Pino Pascali's use of everyday materials and taking advice from the classic song - Teddy Bears Picnic, we developed camouflage disguises that would allow us to venture closer into the wild spaces of the garden, in order to see whilst unseen.
We didn't find any teddy bears picnic, but other surprises included ants, bees, logs, tiny buds, bushes and a 'mystery tree of the unknown'.
The research and exploration will continue in the Summer term...