Monday, 12 September 2011

Wilderness Camp-out at Camden Arts Centre

Thankfully the rain dried up as we welcomed our intrepid local families to camp overnight in the gardens. Poet Paul led some funny name games so we got to know each other.

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!

As the sun set we made a cluster of lanterns, puncturing the skin of hollowed out grapefruits with patterns and words and lighting candles inside.

We used torches to cast a ‘little full moon’ on the surface of the shelter and folded and cut paper to make ‘shadow stars’.

Equipped with glowing sticks and balloons, we trekked into the dense dark wild to make illuminated ‘drawings’ captured on camera.

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.

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