Friday, 30 July 2010

England, My England

Kings Place is the calm cultural haven in which you find Chris Steele-Perkins photography, just one floor down in the very bright and airy belly of the building, but with its grandeur I can’t help but feel the exhibitions correlation has been a little lost.

I choose to turn right and so follow the photographs in an anti-clockwise sequence, and sequence is precisely what I seem to be missing. Firstly a beautiful, if not a little frightening in its realism and grit, a black and white photo of Newcastle football fans, and I must say I’m instantly captivated by Perkins’ work, however the next portrait I go on to look at is part of a series, detailing the ill and their carers. Each photograph is more touching than the last in its simplicity and truth, and I have almost forgotten the aggressive passion I saw moments earlier from the football fans. Each composition evocative in its own way, however, I’m then faced with photographs from Perkins’ personal life, immediately followed by a disturbing image of the National Front movement. Perkins is without a doubt a gifted photographer, and each photograph tells its individual story, I just wasn’t sure about the way the images hung together.

The work ranges in age from the 1960’s to the present day and having always been somewhat nostalgic myself, I must say anything he photographed between the 60’s-80’s I found mesmerising and wish there was more. The range of people, from young to old, wealthy to poor, is another aspect which fascinates me about Perkins work. How was he there when he was?

As I said each photograph tells a story, and the people within them are empowered and beautiful in their own right. The exhibition showcases both his work in black and white and colour, and I always feel more drawn in by those pictures without colour because the artist achieves more depth and character to a picture. Again the pieces used to create this exhibition are worlds apart, a smooth line of thought did not go into its creation, as I wonder round the sprawling gallery floor I jump from era to era and back again, and find some photos appear to have gotten lost on a further floor down, again showing the same random stage presence as their friends upstairs…first a scene of worship in a church, then a game keeper in a field with his 7 dogs…

Now I worry I may have sounded a little negative, each photograph I found myself peering at as if I was terrified I’d never see its beauty again, but when it comes to an exhibition I would like a little chronological order, perhaps a little consistency, and maybe even a little more focus, but what I did see was a taster of Perkins work, which I haven’t ever seen before. This exhibition gave me something that left me wanting more, a knowledge of his work that is open ended enough for exploration.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Today King’s Cross is very sunny, very sunny indeed, and so with this uplifting sort of weather I thought it was best to have a little wonder out of the office, right on down to the Gagosian Gallery, where right now they have dedicated their entire space to Picasso’s work ranging from the 1940’s – 60’s.

It’s beautiful. I found myself smiling sublimely at odd paper cut outs of owls and a little chic he’d coloured yellow and put in a wooden box with bars on. In the hallway as you enter there is a collection of sketches devoted to the development of a picture of a bull, starting off as a few lines creating an outline and soon becoming an over-detailed masterpiece. I want these in my hallway.

There was experimental work with sculpture, paper, pottery, sketch and painting and only a handful I felt stared back at you with the mark ‘Picasso’ firmly on them. My idea of Picasso’s work from a young age has been that he’s that guy who paints ugly pictures of women with everything on her face in the wrong place and to liven it up why not paint blue, yellow, green, orange…the list goes on. With this particular exhibition I was truly inspired by the pieces I saw. Picasso really wasn’t a frustrated toddler who struck lucky, he was a very talented artist, and with a good sense of humour too I feel.

One portrait that really caught my attention was something he’d called “Portrait de femme à la robe verte” which I think roughly translates to “Picture of a woman in a green robe” the simplicity of this was what got me, it was a woman, check, and she was wearing a green robe, check…but who was she? And what was so fascinating about her that she deserved to be painted and thus immortalised by this man with such talent?

The moral of my story is please go to the Gagosian Gallery as soon as you can, and wear more green.

Monday, 28 June 2010

On a very hot and sunny Friday afternoon I walked down Euston Road to the Wellcome Collection because I had been dying to go and have a look at their intriguing new exhibition: Skin.

They say themselves that skin is “the largest and probably most overlooked human organ” and yet it is what holds us all together, creates our identity and shows our age more vividly than anything else, all areas which this exhibition explored. I personally found the wax figures for the early 15th and 16th centuries fascinating, that since then we were taking such an active look at the more intricate parts of the body, I also found the look into tribal markings and tattoos really interesting, the instruments once used, now on show, conjure up some rather graphic ideas of pain if your imagination is just half as active as mine.

The more contemporary works with the use of photography and video are beautiful in a grotesque way but again I can’t take my eyes of something that scares me a little. All in all, the entire exhibition is very comprehensive, it shows a total spectrum of this organ in a space that was not as sprawling as I’d expected, yet still large enough to debut all these topics and never overcrowd itself.

This exhibition showed how the exploration of the human body will never cease to amaze us, as lets admit it; we all love to talk about ourselves.
Exhibition Runs 10 June-26 September, for information call: 020 7611 2222

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Creative Director

The Claremont Project are taking applications for a new Creative Director. Claremont has a reputation for being a community where its staff and members shine. We’re looking for someone to take over from Louise, our current Creative Director, who is moving to deepest Somerset to start a new life in the country.

They're looking for someone who is quite special. The person needs to have a mix of warm charisma and leadership confidence while also being thoughtful and sensitive to the perspectives, needs and moods of others. The person needs to combine being creative and enthusiastic with being an excellent administrator and planner. The person has to be able to work competently with MS Office applications.There’s lots of creative programming, from one-off arts events (dance extravaganzas or the world record attempt at the largest gathering of sock puppets, for examples) to regular weekly classes and monthly Culture Shock shows. There’s also lots of listening to people and building trusting and worthwhile relationships, often with people who may have been very lonely. Being able to engage with a wide range of people and to manage occasionally difficult situations is important, as is a sense of optimism and a sense of humour.

For more information of course please visit this website:

And best of luck to all applicants! x

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lingering Whispers

I've just been to go see 'Lingering Whispers' at the Crypt Gallery at St. Pancras Parish Church on Euston Road, London, and it was fantastic, the space definitely lends itself well to this particular exhibition and the layout will spark every element of your imagination.
The exhibition comprises mainly photography with a few cleverly placed items that make the exhibition come to life, and seem to tell a collection of individual stories.

A couple of words of advice however, the images are not for the faint hearted; nudity and a knod towards sado masochism is noticable throughout the exhibition, however I truly felt that every image - despite being challenging - held sincere beauty at the same time. There is also a series of mannequins hidden around the gallery and they do appear a little spooky in the crypt surroundings, but again powerful if you're willing to see it from a performance art point of view.

The collection as a whole gave me a sense of being set between 1990-2010, some of the images are incredibly modern yet others appear to take the form of something inspired by an earlier decade. I also think alot of the objects say more than come to light at first glance, for example the beautifully grotesque "Vegas Girl" shoes by Iris Schieferstein.

I would definitely recommend a visit to the gallery, the exhibiton ends thursday and it would be a shame not to see this work if, like me, you can't tear your eyes away from something that scares you a little.

Monday, 10 May 2010

King's Cross artists Jim Geddes (1932-2009) left an extraordinary body of sculpture, ceramics, paintings, drawings and textiles in the house he lived in for some 30 years. His work has been places in store and will be distributed through a series of 7 day ebay auctions, each item opening at £7 and closing around 7pm on Sunday. Two items will be auctioned each week. The two items are places on display at 24 Caledonian Road N1 9DU adjoining Peter and Tony's Barbershop.

Bids for his work can be made via or via Postage will be refunded on works collected from King's Cross.

Samples of his work can be found on and on search for James W Geddes."

So seriously...get on this! x

Friday, 7 May 2010

Magnificent Maps

I have just been given the opportunity to go and have a good mooch around the 'Magnificent Maps' exhibition here at the British Library. On entering the crowd seems pretty typical, the over 60's and the trendy young mums who've pushed their designer prams to something fabulously intellectual in hope that baby will absorb it, but the further in I get I can see more and more young people, and realise more and more as to why. These Maps are utterly beautiful.

The maps date from around the 1200's to 2008, however from my gathering I feel that the majority lie between the 1400's and 1600's. The Medieval maps put the word intricacy to shame and so I had no shame in standing with my nose only centimeters from the protective glass to try and get a better look at the tiny trees, and the tiny huts, and the even tinier men on horseback.

You also notice the amount of information that they have written on each of these maps, the typeface being a work of art in itself, along with the huge range of materials on which these maps are presented on, from parchment to tapestry. The range of the whole exhibition is enormous (not only in sheer volume of the number of maps there are to look at) showcaseing everything from pocket globes to the world's largest atlas and so on these grounds I seriously prompt you to go and have a look, it is free after all.

Stephen Walter's "The Island" presents London as an island, and comments on each tiny aspect with some lovely humour. There was a little crowd forming around this piece of work, each person trying to find what it says about where they live. As for my neck of the woods I was informed that it is "ye olde good place to buy your milk" - which is rather helpful actually.

Magnificent Maps, British Library, 30 April-19 September 2010.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Good Morning!

Just a quick buzz about a few lovely things that are on this weekend in King's Cross (naturally) Firstly, over the weekend 23nd-24th April we see the run of two truely awesome performances, 'In Time' at the London Sinfonietta starting at 7pm and '1000 Revolutions per minute' by Periplum starting at McGlynn's Pub at 6pm!

Secondly, there is a Ukelele Cabaret on at the Lincoln Lounge on York Way, it's on April 27th and starts at 8:00pm! It looks like a really nice way to spend an evening and I myself am a huge fan of any genre of live music.

Please go and see something, majority of it is free, and so if you are too then why not treat yourself!?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Hello lovely blog readers,

I am dying to tell you about an awesome new cafe: LUMEN cafe!

They say that what they do is very simple – they buy the best ingredi­ents that they can find and turn them into deli­cious food, cooked from scratch. They make all their own cakes and bis­cuits, pickles and chut­neys, dress­ings, may­on­naise and breakfast jams!

Lumen Cafe is owned and run as a social enterprise by the Holy Cross Centre Trust (, a local charity which works to promote positive approaches to mental health, homelessness and refugees and asylum seekers. All profits to go into supporting timebanking and other community projects, and so you can have a delicious lunch and feel a little better about yourself too!

Lumen Cafe is part of the award winning development at Lumen, 88 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT and for any more info please visit their wonderful website:

If your in or around King's cross I can't think of anywhere better for a bite to eat?

love x

Friday, 9 April 2010

Hello everyone!

I've just been on a rather long tour (on foot) of King's Cross to chase up important places that might be showcasing our all important flyers for REVEAL!

A quarter I admit to not finding, another quater were closed, the 3rd quarter already had the beautiful flyers and so my work there had been done, but at a few golden places, about a quarter of the list I was given, there were lovely people who genuinely wanted to here about REVEAL and were more than happy to take some flyers off me and display them proudly! These places are The London Canal Museam, Thornhill Community Centre, Marchmont Street Community Centre, and a very cool pub called the Cross Kings. To anyone working at the above places I say thank you, and to anyone in the area of these places, do pop in and pick up a brouchure, you won't be dissapointed.

On another note, I totally under estimated how big King's Cross is, and also, how beautiful it is, there are so many quiet little streets, corner cafes and peaceful rows of terraces that look like they've just wondered out from Notting Hill. Well done King's Cross you've once again made me smile!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Reveal: What's On

Periplum Theatre - 1000 Revolutions per Moment

'This company pushes theatre in bold new directions with such scale & ambition. Breathtaking.’ UK Fringe Review

Tickets are going like the proverbial hotcakes for Periplum’s exciting new promenade theatre piece, 1000 Revolutions per moment.
The inspirational performance trail leads small groups of audience through the backstreets of King’s Cross on a mission to discover the music within us! Discover quirky hidden venues and open spaces with a soundtrack of live music supplied by local musicians. To book a place for this FREE and innovative performance, visit the Reveal website but please hurry as capacity is limited!
To find out more, and book visit the booking page on the Reveal website.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

What's been happening this week with the Reveal Crew...

Getting creative on the canal

Last weekend, Reveal’s coordinator Catherine headed down the canal to catch up with artists Sophie Charalambous & Helen Maurer at the St Pancras Cruise Club Harbourmaster’s Ball. There was a great buzz about Reveal amongst the splendidly-costumed boating community, with the creative workshops already underway. This wonderful King’s Cross community are already preparing for their illuminated narrow boat installation, taking place between April 22 -25. We can’t wait!

Out & About with Time Out

Reveal’s producer Susanna took Time Out deputy editor Rachel Halliburton and Photographer Greg on an alternative site-seeing tour around Kings Cross, to check out some of the unique spaces that are about to be Revealed!

Look out for the feature due to appear in next week’s Time Out, with a special map highlighting our amazing venues!
Why not sign up for more news with the Reveal newsletter

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Welcome to CreateKX

I shall admit right now that I am not entirely sure how a blog works however it is my first week at CreateKX and I utterly love it. It's an all girl office which I noticed, being a girl may have aided my competition for this position? but I'm very happy to be here non the less.

This week I have been creating the April Newsletter which gave me a chance to really research what was on offer to see and do around King's Cross and to my surprise there is tons! People in King's Cross and the nearby areas are genuinely spoilt for choice when it comes to the arts and coming from someone who thought herself to be rather cultrually sound I've sadly realised I don't see half the things that I should do, or infact would like to. So with the aid of the finished article I hope that I will have a step by step plan to a very cultural April indeed.

Last Night I was kindly invited to attend our first in a long line of Reveal Lauches and events, an informal mixer/networking event at the Hub which saw guests from both CreateKX and The Hub come together to here about Reveal, the Creative Journey Event that we are launching on April 22 for 10 whole days, and from what I can see of the exsisting posts on this blog you should already know about. The event was fun, the Hub is a great space (which I believe you can hire) and so all in all, life is being very nice to me right now.

Natalie x

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Kings Place Street Ping Pong Project Artist Competition

Fancy getting a piece of your own artwork into Kings Place this summer?
Following from the success of last years’ Street Piano project, Sing London are launching the Street Ping Pong Project.
Ping pong tables will spring up across London's squares, landmarks, train stations ....... and in Kings Place concert level foyer.

Kings Place are inviting proposals from local artists to design and customise their Ping Pong Project table.

The ping pong table will be based on the concert level foyer on level -2, and will be launched during Kings Place on Sea, the annual Kings Place family weekend July 24th and 25th, and remain in the concert level foyer for 4 weeks.

You'll get £200 towards materials, a venue based space to create the artwork, and a load of great publicity.

Deadline for submissions is: 5pm Friday 28th May 2010.

For more information on the project, and details on how to apply email

Friday, 26 March 2010

Reveal Fringe...

The Reveal brochures have arrived! We'll be busy sending them out to various venues, libraries and leisure centres around Camden and Islington over the next few weeks. But if you have a load of colleagues, friends or school mates who you would like to share Reveal with, do let us know and we can send you some copies.
We're also looking for events and activities for our Reveal Fringe. If you have an exhibition, music night, poetry reading or theatre production taking place around KX during Reveal then get in touch. We'll be able to provide a free platform for publicity and a great opportunity to get involved with a wide range of amazing KX partners, artists and venues.
Drop us an email at or give us a ring on 020 7412 5511.
And check out the full programme at

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

REVEALing the website!

Drum roll please...

The REVEAL website is now open for business! Check out the latest events, performances and excitement that we've got lined up for 22 April - 2 May.

Image courtesy of Artangel: Smother, in association with Reveal.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Your King's Cross Needs You!

Are you interested in getting involved with REVEAL a ten day spectacular of visual & digital art, live music and site specific performances, taking place throughout King’s Cross?

REVEAL is a CreateKX produced programme, happening between April 22nd- May 2nd 2010. We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help assist in running a variety of projects and events across the festival.

REVEAL will offer valuable experience of working at an exciting arts festival happening in an intriguing area of central London. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet a wide range of artists, musicians, locals and network across media’s. Gaining skills in front of house roles, art events and festival production. The festival also provides a unique way to explore and get to know the hidden places of Kings Cross before it is transformed in redevelopment.
In return for your valuable time and commitment, we will cover expenses of £10 for the whole day £5 for half days/evenings.

Please get in contact for a full list of projects, details of the dates and ways to participate. Also please visit the website for further information.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Search Party Table Tennis @ St Pancras International

If you have some spare time today, and are looking for a bit of adventure, why not head down to St Pancras International where you'll find Search Party taking on all comers in a durational game of table tennis.

The performance continues till 5pm, and is presented as part of Camden People's Theatre's annual Sprint festival which begins today.

Arts Business Symposium @ Kings Place

This event slipped through the net when I was writing the newsletter this week. It's just on our doorstep, and is particularly topical given the financial instability of many arts organisations today. See you there?

Subsidy Junkies?
A day of practical survival strategies for arts fundraising
Friday 26th March at Kings Place

How can the arts sector build and sustain income when faced with public spending cuts?
This one day symposium brings together fundraising and development professionals working in the arts and cultural sectors to explore this changing landscape, learn practical survival strategies, seek out opportunities and generate new ideas to stay financially healthy.

The day will include panel discussions looking at different business models in the arts and getting boards engaged with fundraising along with interactive workshops on pitching to business, major gifts ("making the ask") and the importance of looking after your supporters ("donor care").

Speakers include:
Peter Aspden - Financial Times
Alyssa Bonic - Sky Arts
Peter Buchan - BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Bruce Carnegie-Brown - Shakespeare's Globe Trust
Lucy Cooke - National Maritime Museum
Stephen Crocker - The Lowry
Helen Ellis - Prudential
Keri Elmsley - United Visual Artists
Ginny Greenwood - Tricycle Theatre
Donald MacDonald, CBE - Arts & Business Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy 2009 Recipient
Richard Mantle - Opera North
Alec Reed - The Big Give
Lady Solti - Arts & Business Goodman Award 2009 Recipient
Tim Stockil - Creative Intelligence
Vanessa Swann - Cockpit Arts

Booking via Arts & Business Website

Monday, 22 February 2010

Market Estate Radio

They also have a brilliant radio station:
Tune in here:
They are calling for proposals and ideas for programmes, to be aired on the show - so get in touch with them and you could be broadcasting soon. The station is live until 10th March.

Market Estate - Volunteers Needed!

Last Friday morning I hiked it up the hinterland of York Way to visit Gadi Sprukt, the co-Mastermind behind the amazing Market Estate Project. The large, and now rather desolate, estate is being readied for demolition, but Gadi and his team are ensuring the place goes out with a bang not a wimper. They have selected 75 artists to come together for a gallimaufry of live art, sculpture, installations and performance throughout the flats and common parts.

The tickets for the one-day spectacular on 6th March are already gone - blink and you missed them! But there is still time to get involved. The Market Estate team are looking for volunteers to act as guides and invigilators for the day. In return you will have the chance to see behind the scenes of this unique project, and join the artist celebrations after the show. You will also be well fed and watered. If you are interested, drop them an email at:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin & Paula Rego at The Foundling Museum

Get yourselves down to the Foundling Museum for a unique exhibition from three contemporary art heavy weights; Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin and Paula Rego.

The Foundling, which charts the history of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children, is an unusal but apt space for this exhibition. Throughout their careers all three artists have explored key themes relating to the museum and its objects; childhood and parenthood, loss and grief, love and exploitation.

Work is festooned around the museum, including the building's facade. For a few pennies more you can get to hear from the artists themselves, as each will be leading their own tour of the exhibition for a few lucky people. Mat Collishaw kicks off the proceedings this Friday - so book fast.
I have just bought my ticket to Emin's tour and talk (I am on a tight budget this month, as otherwise would be tempted to go to all three). I promise a full review to follow then.

The Foundling Tours and Talks:

Friday 19 February, 6pm - 9pm
Artist's tour £10 (includes a drink), admission only £5.

Friday 19 March, 6pm - 9pm
Artist's tour £10 (includes a drink), admission only £5.

Friday 16 April, 6pm - 9pm
Artist's tour £10 (includes a drink), admission only £5.

Image: Foundlings and Fledglings- Our Angels of this Earth, 2009, neon, by Tracey Emin, courtesy of the artist and White Cube

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Kings Place Music Programmes

If you are an aspiring young jazz player or a music teacher looking for some professional development – look no further than Kings Place this summer. It’s getting together with the National Youth Jazz Collective to produce a young musicians programme and a CPD programme for teachers. Expert facilitated workshops will be followed by Sunday concerts by NYJC and the summer course students.

If you'd like further information about either strand, then get onto Joanie Magill, Kings Place Outreach Manager:
Tel: 020 7520 1450

Friday, 22 January 2010

Reveal is Coming!

Everyone in the CreateKX office is aware of a very quiet but insistent tick-tocking: The countdown to Reveal has begun.
Our 10 day cultural programme takes place all over King's Cross and launches on 22nd April.
The full website is still in development, but here's the teaser site to spark your imagination. You can sign up to the Reveal newsletter to hear exclusive programme news and events, or follow Reveal on the CreateKX twitter feed.
In the meantime I'll be twisting the arm of Susanna Roland, Reveal Producer, to share some insider info on the blog... if I can make her stay in one place for long enough.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

New Year, More Fun

Happy new year, all!

2010 was heralded in to the CreateKX office with much sneezing and snuffling. Bad weather, colds, and the annual detox - January is a challenge to us all. To ease the winter blues I have spent the last 24 hours compiling the most exciting January newsletter ever.

My personal must-see this month is Resolution! Over the next 6 weeks the Place is hosting its annual platform for the newest contemporary choreography. Resolution! has been showcasing up and coming talent since 1990, and the UK’s best choreographers gave us a first taste of their talent here.
This year features 102 companies in 34 performances – catch these rising stars while you can.
Resolution! runs until Saturday 20th February. For full listings, and to book visit The Place online:

Some of the other highlights for January include:
The pioneers of photography at the British Library
An exclusive screening of Ria Pacquee's street level portait of King's Cross - commissioned by Camden Arts Centre.
The UK's first A Capella festival at Kings Place
Love, and other Magic Tricks arrives to Camden People's Theatre

...Or if you're in need of a post-Christmas health-kick, then why not pop down to the Lexington for a spot of Rock Aerobics?...

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at the CreateKX website, and never be at a loose end again!

Image courtesy of Hitchhike Dance Collective, for Resolution! 2010

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