Dispatch 1 Printed LIVE at the House of Illustration 1st April 2015 by Ladies of the Press* Featuring Stereotype and Gendered Violence: Ladies of the Press* in discussion with Caitriona Scanlan and Dr Deepak Kaur Hora Candid interviews with #Camden50 commissioned artists: Dmitri Galitzine, Elly Clarke, and Walls on Walls (Tullis Rennie & Laurie Nouchka) Live content from House of Illustration!
The Martinis are quite strong and beautiful indeed
Caitriona (left) and Dee (right), who both contributed to the feature article of this dispatch, were able to join us for the live press at House of Illustrationâ€”yay!
Dispatch 1: 1st April 2015 3
“We cut this out of an ad selling petrol— obviously!” Emily Jost, Head of Education at House of Illustration
Early into the night we are introduced to
Councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli, Mayor of Camden. Ana is keen on his chain. Very keen. The Mayor laughs, and recalls a few things about the chain: “Every couple of months there is an event with the different boroughs of London. They’re called the ‘Chain Gang’. There’s a lot of chat about ‘oh, look at your chains. Oh, and there’s a good story about this chain. There was a Mayor many years ago who was from Bangladesh; he wanted to go to Bangladesh on an official visit, but the insurers wouldn’t cover the chain during the journey so a plastic replica was made. It’s shiny, nice and everything. But it’s not the real one. This one is the original.” We’re all fascinated, though we’re worried whether this should be in print. The Mayor reassures us: “It’s a part of Camden’s history!”
e p y t o e r d e t e r S e d n e G and nce Viole th tion wi a s r e v ra n aur Ho * in co K s s k e a r p P ee of the nd Dr D a Ladies n la n na Sca Caitrio
he elegantly laid out fountains of Granary Square cascades water into the chilly March air while the two of us hurry along from House of Illustration to meet Dr Deepak Kaur Hora and Caitriona Scanlan, who both work with Camden Borough Council to provide a wider range of support for victims of domestic violence and relationship abuse in the borough. They are already seated on the colourful outdoor furniture, waving at us enthusiastically. We’re not hard to spot with the both of us in costume, wearing our rainbow wigs in all their glory.
Dee is a former colleague of Renée’s; a GP by trade, but she also works in A&E. Her role in Camden Borough Council involves working with the most vulnerable in society via the troubled families programme, which aim to provide cohesive, integrated ways to improve their facilities—many who would have had contact with a plethora of services, including the police and probation. The experience of social services is cumulative to these families, Dee explains—their view of the world is to see the council as something to make their lives worse. Her work takes a small number of at-risk families’ lives at heart. The police, probation, mental health workers, psychiatrists, GPs, youth offending services all come together to create a wider net in order to make a difference through tailored interventions. We briefly talk about how we had been performing at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester the day before in an event called ‘Sex and the Stereotype’, and that we had been surprised by the amount of both aggressive and patronising behaviour by men we encountered on our way to the venue in our head-to-toe pink costumes. And we weren’t even wearing our insanely large pink wigs yet! We question the relationship between the stereotype and gender inequality, and how it can potentially become violent. Caitriona suddenly grows animated:
“Gender inequality is cause and consequence of violence against women.” Caitriona has been working with domestic violence victims for over 30 years. “I fell into a DV role,” she says; “I learned on the job. This was before ‘DV’ needed qualifications. We have formed what the knowledge base and what was needed.” (Dee is quick to add that she is selling herself short here: she is a “rockstar” in this field.) “This is a gender crime—two women are murdered per week from domestic violence.” Caitriona, who has been working in Camden for 13 years, tells us that she has seen some real changes in the borough. All incidents of domestic violence reported in Camden are referred to specialised department, and there 2800-3000 incidents of domestic violence reported in Camden per year. “We set up a service called the Camden Safety Net. Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), a conference working with high risk people, meets every month to review the see whole picture surrounding domestic violence: police probation; mental health; social Workers. Particular cases are discussed at the conference, for instance ‘Mr X will be released at Y, but probation tells us he has been released already. We discuss how to make his partner, a known DV victim, safer in this instance?’
Recovering from the experience of emotional and psychological abuse is no easy task. There are victims who find themselves being re-victimised. The experience of continued abuse can destroy you as a person. “You think about victim, perpetrator, children. You’re thinking about all three. It’s fascinating—police will say, you might be able to pick him up for drug charges. All quite subtly. All this work goes on to protect children,” says Dee. She continues: On average it takes five years, or 35 physical assaults until a victim seeks help. There is a lot of evidence that women receiving domestic violence seek more primary care; they seek more GP appointments and more referrals to hospital as they statistically suffer a higher level and a broader range of medical symptoms. Camden’s GP Domestic Advocate Service trains GPs and administrative staff at medical practices. A domestic violence advocate worker will see people in the surgery. This removes stigma from seeking help, for instance if you’re being followed or stalked, you would still be ‘allowed’ to go to GP. This resulted in a huge increase in a number of referrals from General Practice. “And children’s safety,” adds Caitriona. “We would suppose, impact on those children’s trajectories,” says Dee. Ana asks whether either of them have directly intervened, and what the chances are for relapse. Both say yes. Dee tells us about these lovely case studies of people at GP surgeries. “The kind of things they might be presenting to me with would be low mood, palpitations, gynaecological symptoms—the abuse may have been so insidious (normalisation) that the victims themselves are unaware, nor would they be aware of the support mechanisms available. Caitriona explains that the project looks at the wider picture: it tries to think differently. Take noise complaints for example. What is causing these noise? Every evening at 9PM, mum with four children. Lots of noise emanating from the household, inviting lots of complaints to the borough. The normal thing would be a knock on the door, letters. But we try is to find out reasons for the noise, and there have been successful interventions through investigating noise complaints. “It really is about how to intervene earlier, to ask those questions,” says Dee. “They did a study in 2001 in GP waiting rooms in Hackney. They asked 1000 women what their experience is in domestic violence, and 40% responded saying they experienced historical physical violence and 70% have experienced psychological abuse. To actually think there are that number of people who were suffering in silence! Probably our patients have a perception that if it’s not physical violence, it’s not violence. IT was my fault, if I had dinner ready on time etc…” “There is a huge under-reporting,” says Caitriona. “40% or 75% underreporting.” Dee continues: “And a lot of women take that role of
internalising it and blaming themselves. A lot of men who initially identify themselves as victims are later identified as perpetrators. The subtle difference is that…” Renée stops typing to blurt out, “Male entitlement.” Caitriona agrees. “Yes! Male privilege and entitlement.”
“Not to say that violence doesn’t happen to men, but the more frequent episodes of abuse happens to women. The figures state that 50% of female homicide is by a partner or ex-partner. In men, the flip figure is 5%,” says Dee. Camden has a perpetrator programme, which is mandatory if you get a sentence over a year for domestic violence. There is also a voluntary programme where men can self-refer or it can be a part of a child protection programme. Everyone says, “I’m not a perpetrator, they’re talking rubbish”. But it challenges their patriarchal, entitled ideas. “We trained mental health workers in GPs—how to spot domestic violence, and where to report. But we thought what can be do earlier? What does early intervention look like? Health is a great starter. There is an effect on children, for example—increased infectious diseases, not sleeping, they could be subtle signs. Most GPs have been fantastic in the training programme.” “What would be the ideal change that you instigate, do you think?” Ana asks. “To put less blame on the victim—always the one that has to leave, regardless of what the perpetrator does. The other thing that needs to change is response. We want to change health professionals’ responses. Responses need to change from police angle. In one quite significant case of psychological abuse, the perpetrator kept tracking her down and send a message consisting of just a full stop. It’s understanding the perspective.” Dee stops for a moment to apologise for speaking too fast. “I’m used to your dictations,” Renée says quietly, as she continues to type ferociously. We all laugh. Abuse can be so insidious that the victim may not even recognise that they are in an abusive relationship. Dee recommends looking at the Duluth Model of domestic abuse, which clearly charts the range of behaviour that is categorised as abusive. It can be a real lightbulb moment to realise: ‘I don’t deserve this’. Everyone deserves to be safe. “It also mentions non-physical violence. Right in the middle is power and control—it’s the core of all these types of abuse. We can all have unhealthy relationships, but if one person consistently feels subordinate and fearing of being controlled, this can be abuse. We aren’t asking for Prince Charming, this tends to be so far from what one would think they deserve. The chart helps them recognise it.” We wonder about this Prince Charming character. There is quite a discrepancy between this image of a man on a white horse arriving out of nowhere to ‘save us’, and the repeatedly macho imagery that young
men are bombarded with in the media. In the manner that our pink costumes we wore the day before in Manchester had ‘dehumanised’ us into targets of casual aggressiveness, the stereotype casts a dark shadow upon our beings, threatening to attack at any moment. And it’s not an issue of intelligence; these are images that are distilled in us since we were children, and it has normalised to the point that we do not recognise it as such. But it’s there—just look around yourselves. While violence and abuse has the ability to creep up in more inscidious ways than we expect, we were inspired by Dee and Caitriona to contribute to challenging these ideas at an everyday level. Abuse isn’t necessarily physically violent. It doesn’t always come with an unshaven man with a wifebeater, baseball bat in hand. That’s just another dangerous stereotype that detracts from the real issue, which is everywhere. And early intervention can start from recognising the symptoms, both physically and mentally, in a broader context. Caitriona had no shortage of anecdotes which we won’t repeat due to confidentiality, but some of her observations are harrowing: “But he’s a great father…it’s a classic line”. Perhaps it really is the stereotype we need to have a long, hard look at.
Useful resources Camden Safety Net Tel: 0207 974 2526 SMS:07814 671 427 Email: email@example.com ‘No it’s not love’—a campaign aimed at teens looking at how the council can intervene earlier. www.camden.gov.uk/know
Dimitri Galitzine www.dmitrigalitzine.com
Dmitri takes out what he calls “My one notebook of everything”; its pages are carefully tabbed because he tells us, “It really is a book of everything!” Dates, last night’s dream, this project, thoughts, ideas, lists… Dmitri is an interesting character. As an artist, he often crosses over into the world of theatre and approaches his installations, performances, films, and interventions with the meticulous planning of a theatre director with every detail, down to the set design and props, is in its place. And that place, as we soon find out, is centre stage. From the media frenzy that followed his record setting expedition to cross the Solent in a giant pumpkin in The Load of a Man is his Coracle, to the professionally staged portraits of prize winning poultry in Best in Show, even plants and animals in Dmitri’s works perform for the audience. That’s because Dmitri is a good scriptwriter of his works, a conceptual artist stretching our imaginations with the most ordinary of objects set in extraordinary situations or exceptional characters such as magnate Philip Clarke CEO cast in his own image, set in… Chinese marble!?
‘The Miraculous’, a great name of the giant, (prize winning pumpkin) boat in which Dmitri made his record setting expedition to cross the Solent for his documentary film The Load of a Man is his Coracle and the wonderfully grotesque, Giuseppe Arcimboldoesque, vegetable sculptures in The Lion and The Unicorn, are but two examples of the performative nature of his sculptures. They are very funny too, his absurdist sense of humour comes across in the over the top titling as well as in the end result. They are participatory too, Dmitri picked up the giant pumpkin from an allotment in Lancashire and the Mr. Potato Head style sculptures were made by pub regulars at a local Hackney pub. “All my projects are collaborative”, Dmitri says as he picks up his notebook of everything. Understandably, we are all anticipation and cannot wait to hear what he is up to! For his Camden50 commission, Dmitri is building a human scale revolving, all singing and all dancing, stage and set. No, really! A tabbed page opens and this pops out, an early drawing nested among other unrelated contents of his mind.
The two doughnut shaped UFO type objects remain a mystery to us all. Dmitri’s work is centered on alternative theatre in 70s and 80s Camden. He is collaborating with a set designer to build a large revolving stage and set which is going to incorporate elements of different productions that happened — and restage them. It is reminiscent of his earlier work Mr and Mrs Andrews where the audience could pose in front of a painted set in the manner of Thomas Gainsborough’s original 18th century couple, only technology has moved on a bit; there are real-life owls, and takeaway souvenir photographs! “This whole photographic element - people will be photographed in portrait style photography booth while holding placards — is important to me. Re-enactment is too.” Dmitri will be re-enacting scenes from 70s and 80s theatre productions on his stage. Well, he won’t be, his collaborators will, in and effort to bring back to life some of the more obscure plays and performances of the era. He has been delving into archives with the help of an organisation called Unfinished Histories, dedicated to putting on record the underground, untold history of theatre in the borough. Meanwhile, Dmitri has been tirelessly tracking down previously unpublished photographs. In particular, he is after negatives of a photographer based in Camden from the 70s. “He photographed lots of street performances,” he says as he turns his laptop screen to us showing a selection previously unpublished photographs. We pass around a handful of hilarious photographs he has brought with him to the workshop at the House of Illustration, somehow they have something of Dmitri’s humour and in them: a ‘herd’ of what look like performers in white reindeer costumes legging it across a field, a man upholstered into an arm chair and another with a toothy bucket on his head at a family picnic.
“They have never been printed or seen before,” he says enthusiastically, “I still don’t know if they exist,” the negatives that is, but even this mission impossible seems like a Dmitri thing to do. A model of the stage will be unveiled in a week’s time then there is the task of scheduling a rolling programme of performances to happen on this stage for when his show opens on 10th June 2015 at Swiss Cottage Gallery. “Are we going to lose you to theatre?” Ana asks. Dmitri thinks about the question but his train of thought, like his notebook, is interrupted by a stream of consciousness. He tells us about the his ideas for the rolling programme, about Cindy Oswin starting off her performance as conventional lecture, then slowly evolving to her lying on a table covered in spaghetti. “She is now in her late 60s so she decided to…cover up. Saffron Avenue Dockers Strike. What else? Bernard Cox. Playwright. Reciting some of his poetry, centred around his libraries. He lives in Swiss Cottage. And others.” He is in talks with the Horse Hospital about doing a legacy project come October time. And, with RADA students, collaborating on Talking Heads scripts. We told you he is a character!
Ana: For our humble zine Charlie, what should we talk about that hasn’t been talked about already? Charlie: About this! She holds up a pencil drawing she has been working on, it is a constellation of artist and art. Chalie: I would like to talk about the legacy of art. It is not only a provocation about the Magana Carta, it is about the whole world. And as much as Camden50 is about our past achievements as a borough it is also about the next 50 years! Let’s think about creative projects, long term. I think that needs as much focus as the rest of it. My friend Caitlin just left, she is an artist and a curator. She tells me she always gets ‘preview anxiety’ when she goes to PVs; everybody knows each other. But she said ‘Tonight, I felt so great! I got to talk to everyone and it is so nice here.’ It needs that, art; to take itself less seriously.“ We agreed, we were disorientated and dissolution with the art scene, it was and is so showy. We talk a little about the discomfort of the art world PVs and also about funding for smaller art spaces who are going to be hit the
Ladies of the Press*
Walls on Walls
hardest. The art world is changing and is under threat, it seems like the middle ground is disappearing and only the ‘grass roots’ and ‘giants’ are managing to survive in this climate of austerity. But perhaps there is hope in making constellations of artists and of creativity, like well meaning and generously spirited crowd gathered here tonight. Charlie: When I first moved to London, I was trying the east, west, south and north scene. I was thinking ‘Is this where I want to be?’ London is such a large place, so diverse. It’s not like Birmingham, where the art scene is very small and connected. But I hardly go to any previews anymore. Because you never get to see the show either?!
Elly Clarke www.ellyclarke.com
We met Elly Clarke by chance a fair few years ago, on a late summer afternoon over an improvised vegetarian BBQ where a motley crew of artists had assembled. It was in the early days of Ladies of the Press* and we were there to discuss artist’s initiatives; Elly had set up a gallery in Berlin, in her flat. Fast-forward to spring 2015 and another group of artists is meeting for the first time at the Camden Council offices. We had not seen Elly since the BBQ but we recognise her instantly because we distinctly have what she calls a “sticky memory” from that afternoon all those years ago: We had taken a funny group photo that resembled a kind of backyard, struggling artists version of Francisco Goya’s Las Meninas painting, or so we thought at the time? Anyhow, the memory stuck—and that is that! Elly says we all live with memories that stick with us. What is it about memories that make them stick like glue to our psyche and reliably reappear whenever we find ourselves in the singular place they were made or encounter the particular person they were made with? What she finds fascinating is that these sticky memories are not the kind of spectacular, life-changing moments in our lives we wish to remember but those annoying non-events, like waiting for a bus for an hour, in the pouring rain. “It’s the mundane things that stick. It’s not spectacular. I’ve got a sticky one from recent times which is waiting 45 minutes in the freezing rain, singing ‘under my umbrealla, ella, ella…” it’s often those kind of memories.” We get the feeling (and it is a feeling) Elly is most interested in these strong memories of non-events that happen in non-places. Her Time and Place series of photographs follows this logic of association of place with memory. Using photographs of places that triggered memories of other places Elly has paired up photographs that, while representing different places, times, locations and dates, still resemble one another. The resulting diptychs (and one triptych) are surprising. “There’s a piece that Lee Campbell wrote about (incidentally Lee is another artist from that sticky BBQ who we have not seen since but has a megaphone related sticky memory in both our collective conscious!) I can show you quickly…it was about putting together images that were of different places but somehow had the same vibe.” As she scrolls across multiple pairs of images, talking us through each one, it is clear that she is not only referring to their superficial visual similarity, but to the affect they had upon her, the similarity of feeling evoked by each sticky memory she associated with them. “I am interested in my photos - can you feel the feeling I had at the time? Does this matter? Is there something there? Translation, transmission of ideas and feelings. The idea is place. This is a temple in Thailand and this is a Cosco, but somehow it’s got the same vibe! When I take photos I often talk about these being self portraits. It captures not the place but the time; the sense of the self. I remember how I was feeling at the time.” We ask: “Do you take photos of moments or places?” Elly answers: “Moments in places, probably.”
Conversational Traces is another on-going work of Elly’s and describe another closely related aspect of her practice. Since 2008 she has been taking a picture during almost every conversation that she has had via Skype. The beautifully written descriptions that accompany these Skype screengrabs on her website talk about haircuts changing, babies being born and other mundane details that add poignancy to her work as a whole. Elly points at one of the screengrabs, she says that in a way, they are portraits of her as much as they are portraits of the people she is having a conversation with. “This one’s like I’m an ARTIST! And this one’s more ‘cas’… I have thought to not take any photos for a year, as a durational performance. Would I feel blind? Couldn’t hear anymore? My first self-portrait was from when I was 8, in a school uniform in my parents’ mirror. I was 9 years old, describing everything happening around me. I am affected by the now. This is why I am so into technology - I am made really anxious as well. You can’t breathe, and you get overwhelmed by it.” Sometimes the people she is talking with relocate to other places, near and far. Skype collapses that distance and creates another space altogether “like how we were saying people create places”. She too has been living between London and Berlin for several years and this duality of place and of person is also reflected in her work “particularly as having a bi-city existence”. For the Camden50 commission Elly will embark on an epic project called Camden Encounters, an ambitious and adventurous series of interviews and portraits that will grow with time. “I’m curious to see whether my story will be contagious, to see whether other people’s stories are contagious? I will collect between 10-15 sticky memories, initially. We’ll see how it goes and it will help me find a wider range of people. There’s this drag queen called Rubyyy that I’m going to meet soon. That’s Rubyyy with three y’s. I am keen to involve a wide range of people as possible. Camden has a big gay history, so Rubyyy has been performing on the scene for years, in the Black Cap. I’ve also been in touch with Club Whatever; it used to be in Kings Cross but now moved. I want to get sex workers involved, but we’ll see if that’s possible. I’m speaking to the Digital Content Manager of the Wellcome Collection.” A rhizome with multiplying degrees of separation, Elly hopes this way of working will lead her to unexpected people and places like the fabulous drag queen Rubyyy whose name is scrawled all over her blue notebook. She holds it up to show us!
Just this week Elly has collected the first three of Camden Encounters and future sticky memories: Hannah Morris, the Youth MP for Camden; Councillor Nasim Ali; and
Ruth Ingram, a poet based in Camden Mews. She scrolls through her files for images from the encounters. “This is a pre-encounter selfie. I often do these.”
“And the out-of-focus biscuits. Do you want out of focus biscuits?” ”Yes!”
Returning to her work for Camden50, when collecting material for her Camden Encounters, Elly asks her selected interviewee to share their sticky memories with her then arranges to meet them at the location associated with the memories. She records the encounter by way of photo camera, video camera and a sound recording device. “There’s a pattern—people usually come up with two. Which is weird? Quite often they come forward with two sticky memories in slightly different locations. Hannah we met at one of the sticky memory location, and got a bus and got the other. It was near Gospel Oak. You make many journeys that are completely forgotten. I now have three cameras. My digital camera, the Leica and my phone. There is a Leica photo moment, there is a phone photo moment.” And there’s Sergina. An artwork and alter-ego Elly has constructed who is a drag queen.
She’s SO BEAUTIFUL! Can we meet Sergina! Ana: Shaving. Where do you stand on body hair with Sergina? Elly: She does do her legs, but not necessarily religiously. But this tummy hair is one of her trademarks, and that’s not going anywhere. Armpit hair, long, always. Sergina is Elly’s alterego but Elly is also developing her into this performance that anyone can embody. “Anyone can be Sergina. It’s an image that can be done organically as well.” Sergina is also a self-portrait for Elly, one fabulous self-portrait of many!
Walls on Walls wallsonwalls.co.uk
Walls on Walls, artist duo Tullis Rennie and Laurie Nouchka, will be making abstract murals together with residents from four Camden estates. Or rather, the residents will be making the murals with them! Over several weeks, they will be attending residents association meetings, taking residents on gallery tours, giving painting workshops and giving local residents of Camelot House, Castle Road, Fellows Road and Medway Court an art school experience. Laurie is a painter and Tullis is a sound artist. Together they make visual and audio landscapes on public walls. It’s Laurie’s turn to show us their work at our The House of Illustration workshop and talk about their Walls on Walls Camden50 commission. The first thing she does is put up several pictures of what appear to be weathered walls. They show fissures, cracks, peeling paint in an assortment of weathered colours: mossy green, rusty brown, chalky white. We look at these pictures then look to Laurie to enlighten us. As she describes the layers of paint and pattern, guiding our eye with her finger, we start to appreciate why she finds these old walls so fascinating. Suddenly we see a gentle, pastel coloured pattern emerging from underneath an industrial grey, the green hues in another section resemble aerial photographs of rainforest or nature reserves. There is more to these crumbling walls than meets the eye, and that is precisely the point, Laurie tells us. “The long process of looking and making is incredibly important.” The residents will enjoy entire workshops dedicated to looking intensely at the infinite possibilities of paint and pattern on existing walls for inspiration for their own. “The end result is something they have to live with, so this process is very important.”
We haven’t heard someone talks so passionately about paint since our art school days when writing a many thousand word essay about a single painting, analysing its every detail, admiring its forms, colours. Laurie uses a very painterly language to describe the preparatory paintings that populate her sketchbook. She points out an area in one of these, it has almost a stained glass effect. On the adjacent page the same area is enlarged and abstracted further, revealing more detail. All of this is done the old fashioned way, by a painter’s eye and hand, and this is the skill that Laurie would like to pass onto her collaborators.
We talk to Laurie about her influences, which unsurprisingly are abstract painters or even Gerhard Richter’s painting approaching abstraction. She has infinite enthusiasm when describing the micro and macro levels of observation and execution that is required to make a Walls on Walls mural. We talk about scaling up and scaling down, and about human scale in relation to our immediate environment. Laure says that their work is about scaling up and making visible what is usually unseen. Although we did not talk much about relational aesthetics, there are definite aspects of their practice that share the best of intentions and aims of relational aesthetics, such as putting the participants at the centre of the working and making process. Both Laurie and Tullis are passionate about that. Tullis is not at the workshop so it is up to Laurie to describe the importance of sound in their work. Laure paints a picture of an immersive environment, of sound bites and colour swatches merrily merging together in a coherent symphony. We ask if the two forms of their work, painting and sound, are inseparable? Laure tells us “No, but they bring a complete piece, a context and a backdrop to audience interpretation.” Sound is a way of engaging with the environment and is particular to every location, a way for the residents’ voices to go on record and be heard. “The point of the piece is to be celebratory and uplifting. Many people live in challenging urban areas: things are falling apart; things are disappearing and changing rapidly. It is about seeing the beauty in the decay.”
Michael Czerwinski’s expert Martini making skills Construction by Kaajel Patel Everyone is Revolutionary in Camden! Merlin arrived at our press desk with her daughter, who started drawing a shoe. It is rather good. “Are you an illustrator?” We ask. “Yes, she says as she draws a vintage ladies boot reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s early advertising illustrations. See! (holding the illustration) I work here. I wanted to start my own illustration business (which she now has) so I started here about six years ago as a volunteer. I now work with Emily Jost in the Education department, giving workshops—I like this!” Reading the back of our cover, Merlin says, “Hard working, revolutionary women of Camden; this should be my tag line. Everyone is revolutionary in Camden!”
By Merlin and family
Our thoughts exactly!
by Caitlin Griffiths Collage by Rowan A man eagerly approaches Renée. “What are you doing? How does it work? I’ve got this charity event.” Renée challenges him to explain in his own words what is going to happen: So. Ten Stores Challenge. It’s a 10km walk through London’s West End, taking in some of the world’s most prestigious and iconic stores. Walkers will be put to the test; dodging other shoppers, leaping up and down escalators in order to reach all ten of our stores. You’ll be raising money and awareness for Hope & Homes for Children. I am head of major partnerships and brand. I raise money from people of affulence and influence, would be the way I put it. www.tenstores.com It’s 7PM and the first Martini is going down well. Renée is telling Dmitri how much she LOVES his project that had people creating heads out of edible things in an East End pub, especially the one who made a head out of squid and fish. Dmitri recalls: “He was a strange one in that he was half artist, half fisherman. Where normal people negotiate a dead fish...(cringes theatrically), he was really getting in there (looks decisive in his meta-fish handling)...he knew what he was doing.”
A great big thanks...
Firstly to Camden50 curator Charlie Levine, for making this amazing project happen, and letting us into the party! Anna Lowe and Lorna Gott for their support. Caitriona Scanlan and Dr Deepak Kaur Hora, for their invaluable time to come and chat to us—you are an inspiration! Elly Clarke, for That lovely morning photoshoot that had us jumping up and down with disco balls! Dmitri Galitzine and Walls on Walls (Tullis Rennie & Laurie Nouchka) for their amazing insights into their projects. Dr Susan Croft and Jessica Higgs from Unfinished Histories for their talk on alternative theatre in Camden. Michael Czerwinski, Olivia Ahmed and everyone at House of Illustration for such a warm invitation and welcome!
And last but certainly not least: Councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli, Mayor of Camden, for coming to visit and meet with us today!
About the typeface
The typeface used for the logo of Demo Press as well as headings used here is designed by Spike Spondike, font developer at Dalton Maag (daltonmaag.com). ‘Spike connected the diversity of shapes in the Thai script with the design of Blenny. She took on the challenge of creating Thai glyphs whilst maintaining the key features of Blenny’s design. Creative decisions on the Thai in turn led back to refinements to the original Latin.’
Ladies of the Press*
Via pop up events in various sites and interactions with people on the streets of Camden, Ladies of the Press* challenge conceptions of engagement and go straight to the audience with their mobile printing press. Informed by DIY cultures, grass roots activism and inspired by Camdenâ€™s rich history of radical press they are making new works in print for the 50th celebrations. These are printed instantly and promote the hard working and revolutionary women of Camden. #Camden50 #DEMOpress
Published for #Camden50 at the House of Illustration, March 2015