First Artist Workshop
On Friday 7th March 2015 we hosted the first #Camden50 artist workshop led by Ladies of the Press*. For a couple of hours we borrowed the House of Illustration education room to update on all the commissioned Camden 50 art projects and got the artists collaborating and sharing ideas.
The workshop was organised as a prelude to the Camden 50 launch event on 1st April at House of Illustration where The Ladies of The Press* produced a live zine to comment and reflect on House of Illustration's new exhibition ‘Mac Conner: A New York Life'. This was the first UK exhibition of an illustrator from New York’s original 'Mad Men' golden age of advertising. But, instead of focusing on a top-down, dominant approach to press and image making, The Ladies of the Press* examined press as a grass-roots, democratic process. Throughout the Camden 50 programme their art project continued to explore the role of women in the media -raising awareness of the wonderful and inspiring women of Camden.
With that in mind, our initial workshop was an informal information gathering exercise where The Ladies of the Press* challenged all the artists on how they communicate. They delved below the surface image of each project and focused on any elements that were still half-formed ideas, peripheral thoughts or bits and pieces that might not make the final cut. Ladies of the Press* teased out ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories, discovered surprising links between projects and even managed to persuade the artists to open up their private sketch-books and studio photos!
This hands-on session got everyone up to date on the Camden 50 programme but, more interestingly, it prompted cross-festilization across projects and captured squiggled illustrations, amusing anecdotes and picnic munching!