A project reimagining and rethinking the role of public art with school pupils in Camden.
Situated at the corner of Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Central London Camdonian is a 1980 public artwork by renowned British sculptor Barry Flanagan. A striking 15-foot wave cut from a single sheet of steel, Camdonian has been visibly marked by four decades of inner-city life.
Exposed to the elements since its installation over forty years ago, with rust, pollution, graffiti, wildlife and skateboarders all leaving their mark, the sculpture became an unknowing record of environmental, human and non-human interference. In 2022 Camdonian was lovingly restored by Rupert Harris Conservation and returned to its original glory as envisaged by Flanagan. The weathering effects of time, the restoration process and Camdonian’s enduring presence in central London are the starting points for this project which invites pupils to propose and build their own maquettes and question “Who owns public art and what is it for?”
The project is led by artist Millie Layton who produces bold playful sculptures often inspired by the natural environment in a range of styles and materials. Millie brings her knowledge of contemporary sculpture, fabrication and production to guide the participants to think about their relationship to their surroundings and how city life, art and nature intertwine.
Using Flanagan’s playful material manipulation and the creative processes of design and fabrication the project encourages young camdonians to think about the future of their city and the role art can play within it.
The project is delivered in partnership with Camden Spark and Camden Council, and will conclude in Summer 2023 with the creation of a resource detailing the project and activities that will be distributed to local schools.