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First Artist Workshop

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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.


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Ladies of the Press* in their fabulous wigs
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Curator Charlie Levine with images of Dmitri Galitzine's work Mr and Mrs Andrews

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!

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Artist Elly Clarke displays her notes
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Artist Laurie Nouchka from Walls on Walls opens her sketch book

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!

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Camden 50 banana cake