Taking Root - Camden Art Centre

Taking Root is an ongoing project set in the Camden Arts Centre garden, exploring wildlife, habitats, growth and the ecology of ideas

We invited erect architecture and Ashley McCormick to be Artists-in-Residence within this space, to create an evolving nature trail for discovery, play and engagement in a previously wild and overlooked area.

Extending on the work by art and architecture collective muf during the building redevelopment in 2003, Taking Root addresses a desire from families and children to have a place in the garden for appreciation and discovery of wildlife in all its myriad of forms. Led by artists, the project continues our diverse use of this space which has included Ilana Mitchell’s vegetable growing, Heather and Ivan Morison’s bee hives, Ron Haselden’s string installation and our annual summer festival Spiral.

The Artists-in-Residence work with local schools and families to develop ideas and research into how a flexible structure for the nature trail could extend over time. During the course of the project people were offered the chance to be involved and get their hands dirty with planting, digging and building. Taking Root has so far included family days, expert discussions and a camp out.

Throughout 2011/12, artist Ashley McCormick worked with pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School exploring how seasonal changes affect our experiences of garden ‘wild spaces’. Working closely with erect architecture Ashley and the pupils have been taking inspiration from Camden Art Centre’s changing programme of exhibitions to take a playful look at how we interact with our green spaces in London.

To keep up with the project’s progress there is a blog at takingrootonline.blogspot.com/

erect architecture
erect architecture works with communities to create engaging environments such as the local Kilburn Grange Park Adventure Playground and Cypress Infant School. They have recently won the international Children’s Making Space Award as well as a Special Commendation at the Young Architects of the Year Awards. erect architecture take up a formal residency in the Artists’ Studio 9 – 26 February 2012.

Ashley McCormick
Is an artist with a special interest in the built environment, place making and collaboration. Previous projects integrate multiple disciplines spanning urban design, learning programmes, interactive archives, illumination, animation, performance and temporary intervention. www.ashleymccormick.co.uk

Images Related events

Taking Root: Family Day

Sunday 26 June, 2.00 – 4.30pm
Exploring the wild edges of our garden. Looking closely, measuring, and recording using specialist equipment, the focus was on the different shapes, sizes and spaces that appear in the area. The findings directly contributed to the formation of our new nature trail.

Taking Root: Taking Part

Saturday 20 August, 2.00 – 4.30pm
Erect architecture and artist Ashley McCormick invited a range of experts to explore and analyse the wild edges of the garden at Camden Arts Centre.

How might this special place inspire a choreographer, a scientist, a psycho-geographer, a poet, an architect, an artist… and you?

An active afternoon to share in their findings and follow in their footsteps. Short presentations, opportunities for discussion and different mapping activities will expand our experience of this place in extraordinary and delightful ways.

To see more information about activities to date go to the Taking Root blog.

Taking Root: Family Camp-Out

Saturday 20 August – Sunday 21 August 2011, 5.00pm  – 9.00am
Ever wondered what Camden Art Centre’s garden is like at night? Camp-out with us to experience the magic of nature. Build shelters, explore the wild spaces and see them transformed. Tell stories around the campfire, toast marshmallows and have a BBQ supper.

Family Day: Taking Root

Sunday 23 October, 2.00 – 4.30pm
Autumn treks through the wild edges of the Camden Art Centre Garden. Visitors were invited to imagine
and model alternative journeys in a fun and creative session.