Den - Camden Art Centre

A year long project with young people from Camden and Brent exploring natural resources, waste materials and the idea of shelter.

Den is led by the artist team of Lucie Macgregor, Declan Leslie and Tom James working in collaboration with pupils and teachers from Swiss Cottage School and The Village School.

Focussing on play, process and learning together the programme will culminate in an exhibition at Camden Art Centre in Summer 2024 expanding on ideas discovered and works created together through the year.

In the first term of the project participants were introduced to the Drawing Studio and the garden at Camden Art Centre and inducted to their role as artists here. The workshops included mapping the centre and their places within it, foraging for materials to make ink from, making charcoal (with fire!) and creating large collaborative canvases painted with the foraged and formed materials.

The programme aims to create an environment where children can engage directly with artists and create work free from expectation. Camden Art Centre have been working with SEN Schools for over twenty years, the programme is part of our commitment to providing opportunities and platforms for those who may be traditionally underrepresented within the visual arts.

Our SEN Schools programme is delivered in partnership with ActionSpace.

This project is supported by the Kusuma Trust.

The Artists

The Artists

Declan Leslie creates very inventive fluid drawings in which he explores various themes. He likes to research a subject matter and really work through all the variations he can get from it. Declan‘s work is often populated by figures, he particularly likes scenarios that represent the more macabre aspects of human behaviour, these can include horror and grotesqueries in which he adds a twist of humour. He creates works with various drawing mediums and as part of his art practise he explores these mediums, pushing them as far as he can go once he has exhausted their possibilities he likes to begin experimenting with a new medium. Within his material experimentations he often creates his own unique techniques.

Lucie Macgregor is a multidisciplinary artist based in London and works between the capital and her native home town of Huddersfield. Recently commissioned by Deptford X Festival and Volunteer South London, Lucie’s art making spans through sculpture, drawing and ceramics, facilitating conversations and creative encounters through collaborative projects. Lucie was previously a member of Camden Art Centre’s Youth Collective and was a Youth Artist in Residence here in 2021. Moving between various materials and narratives, she navigates social meeting as a way to reconnect people and place. Translating mark making, writing and drawing through sculpture, she invites others to re-map space with her as an act of reclaiming personal geographies through collective gesture. Curious to push and play with the ‘boundaries’ which separate different methodologies of making, the artist considers surface as something permeable and reforming.

Tom James is an artist and writer, based in London. He creates participatory projects where people can learn new skills, imagine new ways of living, and actually get their hands dirty to give them a try. His work spans live, durational installations, participative workshops, and self-published fanzines. For the past five years, it’s mainly been devoted to helping people survive and thrive in the bitter, barren future we’re creating for ourselves and our children. Tom’s projects have been featured across the British media, whilst his cult fanzine ‘GO!’ is part of the permanent collection of the V&A.

ActionSpace is a London based visual arts organisation that supports learning disabled artists. They seek out and unlock talent, create opportunities and enable learning disabled artists to realise their potential.