Monday, 30 November 2009

Art in Redundant Housing Estate

This December The Market Estate Project will take over a soon-to-be demolished 1960’s housing estate north of King's Cross, and begin to transform more than 100 vacant flats, communal spaces and building facades into a creative playground for artists, designers and residents.

The Project offers artists and designers free spaces and an opportunity to freely intervene with what was considered to be one of North London's most notorious housing estates. With works starting from mid December 2009, they are looking for projects that engage and address the site's architecture, history, and community. Culminating in a one day live event in February 2010, they will invite the public to explore and experience the site and the art works, just before the bulldozers move in.

They're inviting YOU to submit proposals for artistic activity. Check out their website for more information about the project and how to apply

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

REVEAL: Arts & Community Grants

As part of the Reveal programme CreateKX is offering grants for projects led by established and experienced arts and/or community organisations that will provide exciting opportunities for local people living around Kings’ Cross/St Pancras as participants and audiences, and add value to the artistic programme.

Reveal is a creative journey through King’s Cross, taking place 22 April- 2 May 2010. The programme’s themes of discovery, revelation and exploration will reveal the creative history and celebrate the future of King’s Cross. Reveal builds on the success of the 2007 Arrivals programme.

Reveal will offer artists, participants and audiences access to the hidden treasures of King’s Cross, discovering the past through local stories, site specific performance and installations in some of the iconic buildings in the area whilst glimpsing the future through a range of innovative partnerships, unique venues and multi art-form and digital media events.
Reveal will create an arts trail with King’s Cross and St Pancras International in the centre, a creative treasure map where X marks the spot. We’ll weave this web of activity through three strands of work:

  • Create KX projects & commissions

  • Partnership Projects

  • Arts and Community Projects

We can offer funding for original and adventurous arts & community projects that will culminate in a performance, showcase or other public event as part of the Reveal programme. Please note that we will be looking to fund projects in the region of £2-3k. If your project will cost more then you must identify and access the match funds from another source.

Successful projects will be able to demonstrate all of the following:
Involvement of a professional artist or arts organisation

  • A theme or idea linked to the Reveal concept

  • A small amount of match funding

  • A good track record of arts project delivery

  • Real benefit to local people

Proposals must be submitted by Monday 4th January 2010. For more information about eligibility and the application process, please visit:

Monday, 23 November 2009

The Hunterian Museum, Holborn

Our last VisitKX event - Culture and Enterprise: Made for each other? (Friday 20th November) - was held at the Hunterian Museum. The museum is tucked away inside the The Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and proved to be a fascinating location to the delegates at the event and to the CreateKX staff!

In 1799 the government purchased the collection of the surgeon and anatomist John Hunter (1728-1793). It was placed in the care of the Company (later the Royal College) of Surgeons. Hunter's collection of around 15,000 specimens and preparations formed the nucleus of one of the greatest museums of comparative anatomy, pathology, osteology and natural history in the world. The Hunterian Collection today contains approximately 3,500 specimens and preparations from John Hunter's original collection.
The Huntarian Museum is a quirky little museum and isn't for everybody. If glistening jars of preserved innards make you queasy, or you feel a funny turn coming on at the sight of blood, it may not be for you. However, if you are at all interested in science, medicine or the history of medicine, it's a delight and gives a real appreciation for how far medicine has come.

It was also a pleasant suprise to find that the museum has an interactive and new media section in the upstairs gallery. Although, again, the videos of various operations in full colour may not be wise watching for the more sensetive visitor. The current exhibition is called 'Sci-Fi Surgery: Medical Robots'. Patrons are invited to enter the world of medical robots where surgeons can operate without even touching their patients. Mini-robots creep, crawl and swim around your body, diagnosing disease and performing vital surgery.

This is a small museum with a huge collection, and I think it is really worth the effort of seeking it out. Their website is also worth a look and provides an in depth history to the museum and it's founder, as well as a virtual tour tool and a lecture archive from past events.

Hunterian Museum @ The Royal College of Surgeons
35 - 43 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London WC2A 3PE

T - 020 7405 3474
W -

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm
Free and open to all

Sci-Fi Surgery: Medical Robots
Qvist gallery
Until Wednesday 23 December 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

G-Fest at the Drill Hall

London's premier LGBT cross-arts festival, GFest is a platform for LGBT and queer artists, organisations and venues to promote LGBT and queer arts. Organised by arts charity Wise Thoughts, GFest features queer artists and talent across the arts, including visual arts, theatre, dance and performance, LGBT short films, debates, workshops and parties. I went along to sample one of the workshops on offer, which were hosted by the Drill Hall arts centre in Chenies Place.

The first event of the festival was a practical theatre workshop run by award winning theatre practitioner Barcy Cogdale. Barcy is also the founder and director of the Ruby Tuesday Theatre Company. The 2 hour event was centered around the theme of 'Identity' and had a very inclusive and friendly atmosphere facilitated by the bubbly nature of our workshop leader. Many fun exercises took place, including the dreaded but inevitable name game and ice breakers which reinvigorated the sleepiest of minds after a long day's work. Particpants were encouraged to use their own stories to help with developing ideas and improvisations around the theme and I was suprised at how open everyone was willing to be after only an hour or so together. It was a good opportunity to be inspired and really got the creative juices flowing.

The event was a great success and I think a great start to what I hope was a great festival. It seems that every section of society has their own month, season or festival at the moment, and when creating such events provides opportunities to meet with like minded artists, explore new themes, share ideas and have some fun, I say, long may that continue.

The Drill Hall also runs various classes in the performing arts throughout the year.

Free Film Workshops for North Londoners!

The North London Film Fund have just released the first edition of the NLFF newsletter, timed to coincide with the launch of a new fully functioning website! NLFF is dedicated to supporting all filmmakers who are over 18 and live or work in Camden, Enfield and Hariney.

Following a successful run of workshops in September they are now running a Sound workshop on November 24th at Central Film School from 6.30-9.00pm. See their website for more details. There are 10 places left so if you are interested please email - it’s first come first served.NLFF also aims to run further script writing workshops in January.

If you want to receive their monthly newsletter please email your name to You can also send news of any screenings, workshops and film associated events you want featured in next month’s newsletter to the same address.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Points of View: Capturing the 19th Century in Photographs

The Points of View exhibition at the British Library gives an insight into Victorian culture and presents the discovery and development of the photographic image in the 19th Century.

The exhibition is a suprisingly interactive celebration and reveals 250 fascinating images from the library's catalogue of 300,000 photographs. I enjoyed the opportunity to make 'then and now' comparisons of London streets on one of the interactive machines which are dotted around the exhibit.
We are taken through a brief history of the orgins of phtography, given an insight into early travel photography and then into the various popularisms through the century.
I particularly enjoyed the 'Criminal Types' display, with examples from the work of Alphonse Bertillon, which helped the French police to document and capture criminals with identification overlays which superseded fingerprinting. I was fascinated, if not enamoured by the 'Documenting difference' display which demonstrated the Victorian obsession with archiving and documenting data. The striking images of Africans, Native Americans and Brazillians were taken mostly for comparison purposes and seen as the only way of preserving doomed cultures in the face of colonialism. The 'Medical Case studies' were also of interest. People at the time strongly believed that your mental ailment could be reflected in the face - I looked for quite a while trying to see if would be able to tell!
The selection of stereoscopes and stereoscopic images immediately leads the mind to the recent resurgence in popularity for 3D films and television. It was fascinating to see where it all started.
One can't help but compare the many examples to how we use photography now, with almost everybody who owns a mobile phone also having the capacity to take digital photographs and even videos with it. Cameras are an integral aspect of modern life especially in one of most 'watched' nations in the world. Our fascination with documenting our lives via the medium certainly hasn't waned. There are, apparently, approximately 14 million photographs uploaded to facebook daily!
George Eastman, founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. His goal was:
" make the camera as convenient as the pencil."
I would say, it certainly is that...if not on it's way to being more so.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Cloth of Gold and their Winter Carnival Float!

Would you or someone else you know like to help build a Winter Carnival Float?

Cloth of Gold has been commissioned to design and build a brilliant Winter themed float which will be the centre piece of festive celebrations at 6 different locations in Camden this year. They are in the process of creating some large-scale carnivalesqe light sculptures which they would love to share with other arty people. If you are any good at making, painting, sticking and generally enjoy being creative, then please get in touch with them to help. It is a great opportunity to get some extra experience of making artwork for events and to work alongside practicing professional artists.

Cloth of Gold are looking for up to 2 volunteers. There are 2 key making days available at their studio on: Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th November from 10am - 3pm. With an additional production day on Thursday 26th November.

For more info; call Sarah on 020 7372 0628, or email cog (at)
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