Art Camp

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Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Art Camp A muf architecture/art project with Vicki Lewis

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Art Camp Art Camp is an authored art project by the artist Katherine Clarke, partner at muf architecture/art and delivered with Vicki Lewis. Art Camp provides a structured environment in which children can work with artists to experience the artists’ way of appropriating available resources, to create art as a critical reflection on their social, cultural and material relationship to their immediate environment. The Art Camp process promotes the transformative nature of art and ensures the continued visibility of the artist as a valued constituent of a neighbourhood community in a period of change. This document sets out in four parts the provenance and context of Art Camp, the delivery of years one and two in 2011 and 2012, the review of the project objectives 2012 against delivery and evaluation by the partners and participants. A summary of Art Camp from the perspective of the children can be downloaded as a film at

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Art Camp Contents Introduction Project context and provenance Authorship, funding and client relationship

Part I Delivery Open Air Art School, We Are Artist How Can We help? 2011 Pass It On 2012 Art Camp 2012 Part II Review of Objectives against delivery of Art Camp 2012 Part III Evaluation Participant Children Artists Youth Workers Art Camp artefacts exhibited at Open House Open Studios

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

The Art Camp project context Art Camp originated as a project called the Open Air Art School, We Are Artist How Can We Help? It was initiated by muf and delivered with Vicki Lewis during the summer of 2011. As the name implies the project was propositional. The original premise was to test the potential for artists and critical art practice as proactive agents of change in the pre and post Olympic regeneration of the fringe neighborhoods of Hackney Wick and Fish Island. The project sought to test art practice as a mode of appropriation of the ‘as found’ environment as a co-authored process between children and artists.

Ironically this mapping is now used by developers to demonstrate the desirable character of the area and to underpin external masterplan projections that seek to raise land values and make the ongoing presence of SMEs and CIs vulnerable. Unlike external projections, the mapping recognises that on-the-ground conditions are always more complex, more nuanced and easier to erase than to build. The local authority acknowledges the value of the existing SMEs and CI but has limited capacity to sustain the existing situation as there is limited LA land ownership, however the LAs are able to determine the quality of the public realm and muf’s research identified that one of the conditions that supports SMEs and CIs in HWFI is the quality and use of a public realm that is under determined and so provides ‘slack space’ for appropriation for ad hoc commercial and creative events.

The Open Air Art School emerged from muf’s work in Hackney Wick and Fish Island from 2007 onwards. This work began with the principle to value what was already there and muf mapped the local SMEs, including the local artist community and other cultural industries that are chracteristic of the area and which are the the legacy of what was known as ‘Factory Town’. The mapping made visible the 600+ artist studios and other cultural industries as well as research to determine the conditions for this scale and grain of activity.

As part of the public realm improvements muf designed and implemented a number of strategic schemes, one of which is ‘Street Interrupted’ on Prince Edward Road, the scheme formalises under determined, slack, public realm space and so enlarges (or at least sustains) opportunities for self determined appropriation as an ongoing condition shared between all constiunets of HWFI.

Over the last two decades, both the previous and current governments have evidenced culture, creativity and more latterly innovation as major UK exports and contributors to the national economy. VALUE WHAT IS THERE 610 Studios in Hackney Wick and Fish Island

The Open Air Art School began with the question whether appropriation through play of the kind seen in Crown Close can be magnified as a tactic for living and working in the neighbourhood, and asked if the artists’ habit of making the most of a available resources can be shared with the next generation. The question was directed at the artist community themselves who have expressed a wish to play a part in the development of the local area to ensure the ongoing presence of the current and the next generation of artists and cultural industries.

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Open Air Art School and Art Camp are muf architecture/art initiated projects authored by Katherine Clarke with project management and development from Vicki Lewis. The project is itself an authored art work in that it is initiated, developed and delivered by the artist Katherine Clarke. Client and Funding The Open Air Art School was initially funded by the client DfL Following dissemination of the documentation of Open Air Art School and the organisational change at DfL and OPLC the project was subsequently funded by OPLC and later as LLDC and was designated a Legacy List project.

HW, FI and the and wider area have high levels of deprivation. Evidence shows there are a lack of role models and career routes into the arts in communities of high deprivation. This factor coupled with education policy, where art will become increasingly marginalised from the National Curriculum in primary and secondary education and tertiary education will be unaffordable, means that unless there is additional support or alternative routes into these careers the next generation of creative thinkers are unlikely to come from these immediate neighbourhoods, therefore this next generation will not be able to reap the whole benefit of the regeneration of this area.

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The Open Air Art School took this model of appropriation and proposed that what is of value in the CI of HWFI is not solely the commodities of creative practice but the practice itself, the habit of appropriation.

Project Authorship

The loss of creative thinkers in a community is to lose the experience of the artists’ way of doing things, which is valuable in its own right and as means of creative problem solving and making the most of available resources. This process is a factor in cognitive resilience as a transferable skill to other areas of life.

Since its inception the funding ratio for the project has been between 2/3 - 1/2 fee from the client and 1/3 - 1/2 pro bono work by muf, the project manager Vicki Lewis and the commissioned artists.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Part I Delivery in 2011 and 2012

The Open Air Art School 2011

Pass It On

Art Camp 2012 - 14

Open Air Art School was delivered from a portacabin on a derelict development plot on Wendon Street on the border of Fish Island.

The role of the artist in participation and the compexity of co-authoring was further explored through a discrete action research project and seminar debate called Pass it On in March 2012. The aim was to inform the brief for Art Camp 2012.

At the client’s request the Open Air Art School was relaunched as a three year project called Art Camp.

Art Camp 2012 was delivered by muf with Vicki Lewis between June and November.

The objectives for the inaugural Art Camp 2012 were:

The workshops were delivered by the artists Mary George, Verity Keefe and muf with Andreas Lang and master carpenters Aldworth, James and Bond.

Nine workshops and events were delivered in colloboration with five artists during July and August to a total of 126 participants. The participants were U13s from Eastside Youth Club, which is run by Old Ford Housing who own the site. The findings from OAAS 1. Co-authoring in a child led environment is complex, challenging and requires continuity, commitment, space and time for reflection.

Pass It On commissioned four artists paired with four local people who make art and together they created a collaborative work. Their work was the focus of a debate with invited local practitioners chaired by Jason E. Bowman with an introduction by Fiona Fieber from Space Studios. The research and debate was funded by DfL. The recording of the debate can be downloaded from

2. Enabling creativity is not making art. 3. The impact of appropriation and scavenging materials for making from business and studios in HW and FI had as profound an impact on Martin, the youth worker as on the children.

3. To establish in young people/children a sense of responsibility and ownership for the transformation and use of the neighbourhood environment. 4. To promote to developers and local authorities the need to include the presence of the child in future developments. 5. To value children as individuals.

4. One to one conversations between the child and artist were as valuable as one to one making 5. The portacabin was totally inadequate. Findings from Pass it On

7. Attendance was voluntary and unpredictable

2. To establish and promote a model of cooperative working that draws on local expertise between artists, play specialists, youth workers and children.

6. Space for large scale making to evolve over the duration of the project was essential.

1. To establish and promote a model of coauthoring of critical art practice between artists and young people/children so young people can grow up to imagine themselves as the next generation of artists

1. Particpation is a complex and political process 2. The role of the artist in co-authoring is to devise and manage a structure within which open ended decisons can be made. 3. What is of value in the exchange is the artists’ ability to eanble creative thinking rather than teach skills. 4. The artist must manage a high degree of perfromance anxiety, With adults this can be consiously talked through, with children it will be a less conscious process and therefore requires additional non verbal skills.

6. To provide opportunities to include parents to support their children and constribute to the process.

The participant young people/children were 8 - 13 year olds from Eastside with the support of the youth club leader Martin King. Four trainee youth workers undertook placements and Tracie Trimmer, the senoir lecturer in youth work at UEL and local resident shadowed the process. The Art Camp workshops were delivered from two warehouses in Hackney Wick, one of which was empty and one still operational as Central Books. The program consisted of: Fourteen workshops sessions to 132 (aggregate) participants, of which 20 were special needs Six follow-up evaluation sessions at Eastside youth Club to 100 (aggregate) participants. Seven trips to exhibitions and museums to 76 (aggregate) participants.

The initial plan for Art Camp 2012 was for four local artists to deliver the workshops and for the children to be involved in the selection process.

The Art Camp art works, authored collectively by the children and the artists were exhibited at three venues with an approximate total audience of 2600.

A brief was circulated through the HWFI networks, thirteen artists submitted proposals. These were exhibited to the chikdren, however there was no consensus as to which proposals were perferred.

Five artists, two senior and four trainee youth workers and two master carpenters were involved in the delivery of workshops, the partners attended one briefing and three review sessions.

Three submissions were considered by muf to be of sufficient quality, one of which was from a HWFI artist. These three artists were commissioned one of whom subsequently failed to get a UK work permit.

Total contact sessions 20 (14 x five hours 09.30 - 15.30 6 x two hours 17.30 - 19.30) Total aggregate number of participants 308

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Workshop Delivery The children were introduced to Art Camp 2012 in May with an inaugural trip to the Kusama exhibition at the Tate Modern. The following week the artists’ submissions, in the form of posters, were exhibited to the children at Eastside and the baseline evaulation interviews were undertaken.. The commissioned artists delivered an inaugural one day session in the summer half term in the third week of June with follow up sessions over the summer and the remaining workshops and trips in the summer holidays between July and August. Art Camp was exhibited by the children and artists at Open House Hackney Wick Open Studios in September and again in late November at the Jerwood Gallery. During the autumn half term in November a final Art Camp workshop was delivered on the tow path in Hackney Wick as part of the design devlopment of the QEOP Canal Park. A brief synopsis of each of the artists’ workshops is outlined opposite.

Book Breaking Club , Verity Keefe The Book Breaking Club is an artwork made with the assistance and resources of Central Books in three parts, these are: The process of collaboration, exploring what it is to make work that is co-authored The transformation of 10,000 books earmarked for pulping into an art work Reflection; A fanzine made from selected pages culled from the 10,000 books.

Splatterhouse Art Camp muf architecture/art with Andreas Lang and Aldworth, James and Bond. The first rule of splatter house is to take things apart, including your preconceptions, the second rule is to put things back together in your own way. The under 13s scavenged and found materials from the streets and local businesses of Hackney Wick and Old Ford and inspired by visits to galleries and other artists, re-purposed these to create a series of art works.

Foodoo Cafe, Mary George Foodoo Cafe is a movie and an installation to be savoured with lots of sauce! The process began with a musical jam using amplified toys to create a horror fuelled sound track and a reflection on things that are scary in life. Art Camper Peter came up with an “evil chef” character who quickly became the movie’s lead nemesis and antihero.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Part II Review of the Objectives against the delivery of Art Camp 2012 The review and findings of Art Camp 2012 are based on interviews with the artists and youth workers as partners to the project and with the children as participants. Addicitonal external critical review was provded by the client Claire Gevaux, Tim Gill, leading UK play theorist, Lucy Macmeney LBH Cultural Development Officer, Edmund Harcourt, artistic director of the Whitley Festival.

Objective 1: To establish and promote a model of co-authoring of critical art practice between artists and young people/children so young people can grow up to imagine themselves as the next generation of artists.

Neuroscience has evidenced how fundamental play is to the cognitive development of the child, with research showing the negative behavioural consequences of children who never experience ‘normal’ child led play.

Outcome The Art Camp team acknowledged the objective for co-authoring is highly challenging and complex. Critical art practice is fundamentally propositional, in that it asks questions or challenges existing norms, in this way it does not have a defined outcome from the outset but is an exploratory process. Additionally the ‘asking of the question’ always presuppose an audience with whom the artist is in dialogue, therefore the practice is open ended rather than closed. Co - authoring therefore requires that each is prepared to embark on an unknown journey with an unknown other to an unknown destination and towards an unknown response.

However the territory of play is itself a highly contested realm; play theorists acknowledge genuine child led play exists at the ‘edge of chaos’ and so it is no surprise that it is vulnerable to being misunderstood as anti social behaviour and is therefore persistently policed out of the everyday by adults.

The process of co-authroing at Art Camp was more accurately described by the artists as an exchange of experiences leading to the authorship of art works, either as discrete pieces or as parts of a whole, where both the child and the artist drew on one another in a conscious and questioning way. The children considered themselves artists and took authorship of the outcomes and the project was considered of value to the artists’ individual practice and development. Art Camp was exhibited at three venues; during Open House at Wallis Road and at See Space Studio and at the Jerwood Gallery, with an approximate total audience of 2600. The complexity of co-authoring critical art practice is acknowledged and to better explore the conditions required and to facilitate this process it is recognised that creativity shares many of the cognitive processes of open-ended child directed play and the Art Camp workshop process can more effectively draw on and be supported as well as inform play theory and practice.

To further develop the ambition to co-author and for the mutual benefit of developing participative critical art practice in relation to play, we have initiated preliminary talks with potential partners Bridget Huntscomb from Play Association Hackney and Penny Wilson from Play Association Tower Hamlets (in addition to a continued relationship with youth worker Martin King from Eastside Youth Club.) and also aim to commission the childhood expert and theorist Tim Gill to give a critical overview. Play Association Hackney is part of a postgraduate research unit at the University of Gloucester with a particular focus on play and resilience theory. Those cognitive skills that support ‘resilience’ are additionally valuable in areas of high deprivation, where children and young people are disproportionately affected by the results of high unemployment, family breakdown and social isolation due to cultural or language barriers and the impacts of poor housing, which is frequently coupled with little opportunity for play. This creates the onditions for a sense of alienation and lack of worth for the growing child, impacting negatively and permanently on educational achievement and aspirations, which on reaching adolescence may be played out in anti-social behaviour with long term and often irredeemable consequences.

Promotion of the Art Camp process Art camp is itself an authored art work in that it is initiated and delivered by an artist, it is therefore not a teaching program to be reproduced verbatim. However the value of the process as a methodology is shared as best practice through the partnership in 2012 with the youth woker Martin King and the proposal to expand this partnership to play workers in 2013. In addition, the process and the resources are described in detail (see the next section) to enable other practitioners to build on and adapt the project in relation to their practice. This document is available at publications The further dissemination of the findings of Art Camp 2012 is limited by the available funds. If further funds become available there is the potential for the Art Camp 2012 participant children to be trained in public speaking and with support to undertake a series of presentations to their peers and more pertinently to teachers and youth/play workers in schools and youth clubs. The evaluation ( available in full at the end of this document) demonstrates the value of the process to the children, both in terms of their understanding and capacity as artists and how the process impacts on other areas of their lives. The intention in promoting the process would be to show an alternative way of sharing art practice in formal and informal eductaion between childen and adults and for each situiation to then adapt this process to what is feasible for them to deliver.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

The model of Art Camp developed from the initial manifestation as the Open Air Art School, We Are Artists How Can We Help? which established the ambition for co-authoring as a critical reflection on the immediate neighbourhood.

The organisational structure of Art Camp is as follows:

ivery del

As outlined in the previous objective, because critical art practice is at the heart of the project, it remains fundamentally propositional and iterative, therefore quantifying the optimum conditions for excellence will only always be the best that can be achieved at that time and should not be confused with a fixed structure, or a program that can be rolled out without critical review. The model as described is constrained by the scale of the budget.


Actual cost including pro bono work

Open Air Art School 2011 £27.000


Art Camp 2012



Art Camp 2013



Art Camp 2014



Skills and tasks of project manager

The lead artist must have a critical art practice and a critical position in relation to participative art practice.

The project manager must have experience of managing the delivering of participative critical art practice projects.

The lead artists must contextualise the project and negotiate the tension between art as an autonomous practice and as meaningful within the context of regeneration.

The project manager will enable the delivery of art camp through the management of the following tasks:

project manager

‘critical friends’


The emerging model of Art Camp comes from 17 years experience of art practice in informal and formal education settings and an ambition to redefine ‘participation’ as a more transparent and less hierarchal process.

Skills and tasks of project director as lead artist

project director and lead artist lead play worker

commissioned art-

The next step for Art Camp 2012 is to determine the most productive structure and resources to deliver the conditions for co-authoring.

tion rec di


Objective 2: To establish and promote a model of co-operative working that draws on local expertise between artists, play specialists, youth workers and children.

play workers

Art Camp Lead Artist and Project Director The lead artist determines the conceptual and critical direction of Art Camp as an authored art work and ensures the project is relevant to the context of local and wider regeneration and within the art world. The Process of Catch and steer Catch and steer describes a strategic way of working to ensure the ongoing development of Art Camp identifies relevant partners and emerging and existing opportunities and uses these to mutual advantage. Identified opportunities and partnership include siting Art Camp 2012 as part of Open House Hackney Wick Open Studios, brokering its inclusion as part of ‘Now I Gotta Reason’ the Marcus Coated and Adam Sutherland curated exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery and initiating a dialogue with Play Association Hackney and Play Association Tower Hamlets for delivery in 2013. Further opportunities to ensure the impact and profile of Art Camp are detailed in Objective 3 and 4

The lead artist must have an understanding of the specific regeneration issues of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park fringe boroughs. The lead artist must have a prior interest and understanding of the value of play and its role in the neurological and cognitive development of children and young people.

The project program, the timetable for workshop delivery and the critical paths of discrete events such as exhibitions The selection and commissioning process of the artists The coordination of the project progress, briefing meetings and the production of agendas, minutes and the dissemination of information.

The lead artists will: Establish working relationships with play workers as project partners

Securing permissions, licenses and insurances for the use of base camp sites Artists’ contracts including CRB checks

Secure viable and meaningful base camps within the regeneration context Broker relevant relationships with private sector developers engaged in local regeneration

Budget management and invoicing Collation of documentation and evaluation.

Broker relevant relationships and pool knowledge with other institutions and organisations with mutually identified ambitions Ensure the project has an impact within the regeneration context and the wider art world discourse by identifying opportunities to disseminate, exhibit or site Art Camp Direct the selection process and ongoing briefing of the participating artists. Art Camp artefacts exhibited at ‘Now I Gotta Reason’ at the Jerwood Gallery

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis


Skills delivered through a learning process of ‘instructional scaffolding’


Risk managed access to tools


An artist made, non-task oriented situation, rich in possibilities, materials, tools & technical skills, from which art can be made through many means


Sustainable access to locally procured materials



Access to instruments for scoring, recording & documenting the process.



Under determined space that can be appropriated and where more than one thing at a time can happen


The artist creates the workshop environment as an ‘event scenario’






The Art Camp model

The artists’ ‘Event Scenario’ is framed by visits to exhibitions, artists’ studios, museums & public realm works.

PROCESS Phased engagement in an environment produced & managed by the artist.




as a kit of parts




PARTICIPANTS 8 - 13 years olds

T AR ART Public exhibition of the work authored by the young people, the artists and by collaboration between the two




Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis The Art Camp Model as a Kit of Parts Role of the Artist + Art Practice




The artists’ practice must be critical, reflective and engaged in contemporary discourse. Th artists must come with a prior critical enquiry and interest in participative practice and the relationship between their practice the territory of play and the impact of these on the wider urban context.

Children offer a challenge, it’s like moving to a foreign country and being forced to scrutinise your soul in the face of values foreign to your own. You never knew how foreign until you’re there being confronted. Mary George (Art Camp artist)


The identified age group for the participating young people is from eight to 13 years old. This age group is identified as under resourced in terms of informal education and play provision. This age group is receptive to new ways of working and the program is proven to impact positively on their understanding of art and how this translates into positive problem solving in other areas. This age group is capable of both independent and group working and have sufficient manual dexterity and responsibility to use tools in a risk managed environment. The relationship between the artist and the children is an exchange of experiences initiated by the artists to empower the children to coauthor both the process and the outcomes and where authorship of the outcome as artworks is located in varying degrees with the children, the artist and a collaboration between the two. As the relationship between the artist and the individual child is key, the number of participant children must be limited. The maximum size group for a day long workshop with support from youth workers, technical skills of makers and artist assistants is no more than ten and for some artists will be less.

PARTICIPANTS 8 - 13 years old

YOUTH WORKER as co-participant.




The role of the Art Camp artist is to establish a working method that enables co-authoring through the experience the artists’ way of appropriating available resources to create art.

Art Camp as a Research Environment

Art Practice and Play Work Practice

The Children as Participants



Art Camp is delivered through partnership working with play workers and preexisting structures for young people for children and young people to engage in art making as a critical practice. Art Camp is situated within the critical context of play work, which is understood to be the provision of a risk managed, open ended, child led, reflective environment. The lead play worker will contribute to the conceptual direction and structure of art Camp through briefings and ongoing evaluation to ensure best practice. The lead play worker will nominate the play workers who will work with the artists to deliver the project. The artist is the lead practitioner and their task is to establish with the youth workers an agreed method of engaging with the children. The artist must also consider the impact of the project on the play worker as participant and the extent to which their creativity as an artist is enabled and how this additional aspect is managed.





The workshop delivery of Art Camp is both a creative process and a research environment to determine the optimum conditions within which artists and children can make art using the resources of their neighbourhood. The research focus of Art Camp operates simultaneously on four levels of enquiry, these are: 1. Making space for risk managed transgression as the condition of creativity and the condition of play 2. Making space for children to develop the process and language of critical reflection 3. Making space for children to develop technical skills and a knowledge of materials 4. Making space for artists to challenge existing models of participative practice. The research process and outcomes are documented and analysed through feedback sessions with all the participants and through critical review by the invited experts.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis The Art Camp Model as a Kit of Parts Art Camp base camp

Comparative scale of space available to children who attended Art Camp 2012




The base camp as an actual site is an essential part of the experience of Art Camp for the children. The use of disused or still working light industrial units in Hackney Wick introduces children to the potential of this kind of work space and is particularly important as children rarely have adequate space for self initiated creativity, or even play, at a scale or for a duration free from adult interference. For example, the private domestic space of the child’s bedroom, even if they have a room to themselves, is likely to be very small and is within the jurisdiction of a parent or carer.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Hackney Wick + Fish Island

Art Camp base camp 2012, 66 Wallis Road warehouse, space for multiple activities at a range of scales

The non domestic spaces of school or youth club allow degrees of play or creativity but are governed by predetermined adult rules and activities. Children’s use of public spaces, including play spaces are constrained by adult anxiety and the interpretation of certain types of play as misbehaviour, in turn, acts of appropriation by children can be seen pejoratively by peers as territorial.

Legion Terrace maisonette, single bedroom of Art Camp participant with limited play space

The use of the light industrial buildings not only allowed the children to experience the potential of appropriating such places but the exhibition, located at the warehouse, made visible the positive presence of the child as part of the wider creative community of this neighbourhood.

there weren’t no mums or dads telling you what to do Theresa

Eastside youth club room, Parnell Road predetermined provision of play in the form of table tennis table, pool table, piano, karaoke machine, exercise machine, with limited opportunity for appropriation.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis



ART The products of the process, as art works authored by the young people, the artists and by a collaboration between the two are publicly exhibited.



The Art Camp Model as a Kit of Parts ‘EVENT SCENARIO’

An artist made, non-task oriented situation, rich in possibilities, materials, tools, technical skills, and opportunities for reflection.


Risk managed access to tools


Sustainable access to locally procured materials


Access to instruments for scoring, recording & documenting t he process.


Skills delivered through a learning process of ‘instructional scaffolding’

Workshop Process and Resources

Art as the outcome

Additional Outcomes

The process is one of enabling explorations, experiences and reflections synthesised as creative actions in an environment that is iterative, open ended and produced not directed by the artist.

The workshop activity is produced and framed as art that is publicly exhibited to an audience.

The Art Camp is a research environment and an environment of art making for the three different participants, the artist, the youth worker and the child. In addition to the objectives the additional outcomes are therefore multiple

The workshops are structured but not task directed and are described as ‘event scenarios’; this is, the provision of possibilities that can be activated by the children to create objects or event based outcomes. The session is structured by the artist in the provision of materials, tools, instruments and skills and in the manner in which these are made available to the children and how they are contexulised by visits to galleries and/or museums. The artist initiates the process with an introductory session to the children that outlines the intention, which is to make art, either individually or collectively and how this will be achieved, over what period, how many sessions and when and the outcome, which will be a public exhibition of whatever is created. The introduction by the artist may not be a literal description of what is going to happen but is the narrative that begins the creative process.


The artists’ ‘Event Scenario’ is framed by visits to exhibitions, artists’ studios, museums & public realm works.

The role of the artist is to enable the children to critically reflect on their activity and relationship to the process and to understand and ‘own’ the products and their status as intentional authors in the process of exhibiting.

It made me really proud to see my work on display and to have people interested in what we did Louise 13 I was surprised how good I was when I watched other people watching me in the film Jack 9

The art works may take multiple forms and it is accepted the meaning of the work will be different for the children and the artist. Just as the artist provides material for the children so the children will provide material for the artist

For the Artist + Art Practice The opportunity to make a new work as a critical response to contemporary participative practice. For Youth and Play work Practice The opportunity to explore how art practice and youth work can make space for child led play. For the Child Art Camp delivers a space of creativity shared between artists and young people. The space of creativity is a space where boundaries can be transgressed in a safe and reflective environment, this is a valuable process for children and is fundamental to fully develop their cognitive potential.

at school now my art is really good as I’m growing in confidence and I know how to express myself Abbi 13 Art Camp inspires the imagination Peter 9

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Art Camp Artists Commissioning Process The ambition to draw on local expertise of artists, play specialists, youth workers and children was only partially achieved in 2012 with regard to the artist commissions as only one of the commissioned artists, Verity Keefe) works and lives in HWFI (although both Mary George and muf have extensive experince of the area) . The principle to support local skills is one muf’s identified in their 2010 public realm environmental improvement plan for HWFI as a strategy of ‘Made In,’ ‘Made In’ is a means to enable local practitioners and suppliers to be commissioned on local projects. To achieve this muf established the ‘Made In Directory’, an on line inventory of all local businesses and demonstrated through precedent on muf designed public realm projects how it was possible to commission locally, these commissions included Laura Lewis’ remake of the Hackney Wick sign as a permanent way finder, ‘Rock Paper Scissors’ fabrication of the ironwork for Street Interrupted, the production of ‘Hackney Wick Terrazzo’ using reclaimed London aggregate from McGraths and ‘Stadium Creative’ to create the web site. muf’s parallel strand of work to commission permanent and temporary public art works for Hackney Wick engaged the local artist community in a debate as to how ‘Made In’ could deliver home grown public art. The finding from that pieces of work established that the input of local artists was important but that quality was paramount over the geographical provenance of the artist. In subsequent commissioning process muf supported HWFI artist by only circulating some briefs through local networks and in some commissions, mentoring those that wished during the application process.

The brief for this commission was only circulated through local networks, though local networks are acknowledged to have a wider national and international constituency. There were only thirteen submissions and only three were considered of sufficient quality. This may be because: • •

The brief was challenging The brief was aimed at artists who have a particular kind of practice so was self selecting as participative practice is complex and challenging The fee was modest

Review of artists’ submissions at Eastside Youth Club

However as critical scrutiny by peer review is essential to the development of the project, the quality of the commissioned artists is paramount, as is an understanding and engagement with the issues of the area, which was was identified by both Art Camp 2012 artists (as well as in the project objectives) as vital to the delivery of meaningful work. To enlarge the opportunity for critical peer review and to ensure local input to the project, it is proposed that the process of commissioning artists for subsequent Art Camps will be by invitation and through a staged process. Every artist will be paid a fee for each stage.

The invited artist will be the short list from which the Art Camp artists will be commissioned. The first stage will be an invitation to engage with the project through a series of debates with at least 25% of the invited artists from HWFI. If during the first debate other artists with a practice relevant to the discussion are identified by their peers they will be invited to the next debate. The intention is both to ensure the commsioned artists are fully briefed and committed to the Art Camp process and to share the methodology and thinking with local artists in order it can inform their practice.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Objectives 3 + 4: To establish in young people/children a sense of responsibility and ownership for the transformation and use of the neighbourhood environment. To promote to developers and local authorities the need to include the presence of the child in future developments. These objectives were achieved in the folowing ways:

November 01 Play Walk Art Camp was relocated to the canal side and with Albion Kids Club kit of ‘loose parts’ the children re purposed the tow path as part of the design development process of the Canal Park

Opportunities identified for Art Camp 2013 St Clements Hospital Development Proposal to deliver Art Camp in partnership with PATH at St Clements Hospital as meanwhile use to brief develop for the future presence of the child and creativity.

This work is included in the Canal Park Masterplan and Design Codes. The children will be further included in the detail design of a number of elements in a session in February 2013, for example positioning embankment slides on site in accordance with the rules of the picturesque.

St Clements is a CLT Community Land Trust and a potential model process for the HWFI Cultural Interest Group to include children in brief development of sites they may establish through CLT

September 23 - 24 Open House Open Studios The exhibition of the children’s work at Open House and the inclusion of Art Camp on the official guide situated children as part of the culture of Hackney Wick. (Audience numbers in the 1000s)

Development of Central Books Site Art Camp was located in Central Books in 2012 and has a baseline experience of the site which is to be redevelop. We are in dialogue with the developer to secure Central Books as a base for Art Camp 2013 and for the children through muf to contribute to the development plans.

At the Wallis Road hub development site the presence of the children to explain their work to adult visitors and the work itself transformed the site entrance in a tangible way. Encounters included those with both journalists and passers by, including a family group from the traveller community in Hackney Wick.

Barbican Art Gallery, Create and Frieze ‘free art school’ Seminar We are talking to the Barbican Art Gallery, Create and Frieze to host a seminar on Art Camp as part of the development stages of their ‘free art school’ project (for adults) Spring 2013.


FooDoo Cafe as an exhibition, a performance and a drop in experience for local children demonstrated the capacity for child led performance to appropriate the public realm.










Eco Build at ExCell Art Camp film screening The Art Camp evaluation film is selected to be screened at EcoBuild in March 2013 as part of the regeneration film program and muf are invited to present Art Camp in the panel discussion.











Ongoing The Art Camp as process contributed to the principles for Chobham Manor public realm as a London iteration of the US model of play-borhood. The potential for Art Camp to have a presence during the construction of phase 1 and to input into the detail design of the ongoing phases for Chobham Manor is part of the public realm strategy for the Zonal Master plan. The strategy is for a presence on site during construction entitled ‘more than a canteen’ and is supported by Sebastian Balcombe of Taylor Wimpy (to further develop this proposal requires dialogue with Taylor Wimpy and the LLDC and the Chandos Centre.)






















‘Re – imagining the Children’s Museum of the C21st Art Camp is a case study for ‘Re – imagining the Children’s Museum of the C21st that will be presented to 352 children’s museum directors theorists and practitioners in Pittsburgh 2013 in May.
























Produced by: J & L Gibbons muf architecture/ art East Meadowcroft Griffin Stockleys






STUDIO A, 22 AUBERT PARK LONDON N5 1TU T: 020 7226 1345 F: 020 7226 3337





The information in this drawing is copyright of J & L Gibbons LLP Do not scale from this drawing. All dimensions are to be verified on site prior to construction. J & L Gibbons LLP to be informed of any variation between site conditions and dimensions.



Scale 1:2000 @ A1 1:5000 @ A3


27_11_2012 Drawn:






Drawing number:





Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Objective 5 + 6: To value children as individuals. To provide opportunities to include parents to support their children and to meet each other. The one to one relationship between the adult as artist or technician was invaluable to the process and ensured the children’s ambitions were heard and realised. To enable this process requires a low ratio of children to artists. In retrospect the ambition to both value children as individuals and to include their families as participants was not feasible within the resources of the project. Many of the children come from complex home environments where parents are either unable or unwilling to make the time commitment or to be part of a process where they would be expected to be an equal with their child. This is not to say that both parties would not benefit from this experience, however it would require additional time and skills that were not available within the limits of the budget.

The cost to deliver Art Camp with adult family members or carers could be quantified with some further research as it would require: • A longer lead in time with more extensive ground preparation to establish viable relationships with families. (possibly with additional input and support from other agencies including referrals through schools and Social Services) • A two-tier process, with additional behavioural therapy skills to ensure the adult parent/carer does not dominate the process. • More artists time as there is likely to be less continuity from adult participants who will be unable to commit to the same time scales to which the children have , the outcomes as art would require more pre and post production. • A large degree of co-operation from adult participants as they would require CRB checks.

The inclusion of families without additional resources to ensure equal partnerships would jeopardise what was identified as one of the primary benefits of the experience of an environment where children were able to self initiated and follow through their own ideas, and as one child remarked ‘it was great because there weren’t no mums and dads telling you what to do’. Involvement of parents in 2012 Parents and carers have been part of the process. Parents came with their children to the exhibition at “Open House’ and to the Jerwood Gallery. A film screening of ‘Foodoo Café’ is schedules at Eastside Youth Club to which parents are invited. Eight families made independent return visits to galleries and museums as a consequence of the original Art Camp visits.

Film screening at Foodoo Cafe for parents and siblings during Open House Open Studios

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis Part III Review of the Impact of Art Camp on the particpating children and on the partners, the artists and youth workers The impact is measured from the primary perspective of the project as an art project and how this has been achieved in a meaningful way. The Participant Children Baseline Evaluation The baseline evaluation established with the children their definition of art, how it was produced and whether they considered an artist could make a valuable contribution to a neighbourhood All the children described art as a cognitive process; art comes ‘from your imagination’ or ‘from your head’. Despite their description of art as a cognitive process, all the children described their experience of making art as a mechanical or technical process and recounted following numerous steps, directed by a teacher that led to an ‘art’ outcome, all referred to art lessons at school as the place they made art. The majority felt that an artist could make a positive contribution to a neighbourhood but were vague as to how. A small but vocal minority felt the presence of artists could make a neighbourhood worse through graffiti.

Final Evaluation The final evaluation revisited the initial questions and also asked the children to reflect on particular aspects of Art Camp. Unlike school, the children elected to come to Art Camp, so merely turning up was a positive affirmation of the process. The children strongly expressed a desire to ‘do it again’.

The children understood and embraced art as a self initiated practice that begins with thinking about the everyday environment, It was different working with artists as they find most things art, you find something and you turn it into art, because that is what artists are good at and they inspired us to do things.

Baseline Evaluation Questions

Final Evaluation Questions

What do you think art is?

What did you do at Art Camp that is different from what you do at school or youth club?

The children described the relationship between themselves and the artists as one of being ‘inspired’ to make things, rather than being told or taught how to do things, so understood and took up the challenge of self initiated working.

Taking an idea from your imagination

The experience of seeing their work exhibited and publicly taking up the role of the artist author was positive and to some children surprisingly so. The children understood and appreciated the rare experience of working in the warehouse as having sufficient space and resources to allow them to individually pursue their own ideas without impinging on one another or being told what to do by an adult. The children felt that an artist could have a positive effect on a neighbourhood by ‘making things like this happen’, showing that children could work together and make things people found interesting, the children proposed that they themselves should run an Art Camp for their peers. The exposure to the wider cultural context of art through visits has had a lasting and positive effect.

Art is using your imagination At Art Camp we made stuff up ourselves. Having an idea in your head and then being able to make it happen

Art is having all the skills and then putting things together from your head

We made a horror story, there was a mad chef who wanted to poison everyone, he turned humans into zombies and you can’t really do that at school. We chose the genre and what to do with it.

Art is drawing and painting and making things from your head

The artists did teach us stuff; it was like a second school but more fun and not being told what to do but finding what you wanted to do yourself

Artists look at things differently and if they think it is interesting they make art from it

You can’t do proper acting at school, I could be crazy, but in a good way

What kind of art do you make?

The artists teached us to make stuff up ourselves and at school they won’t let you do that; you have to make up the stuff they (the teachers) want.

I do art at school but not often, we had a bit of polystyrene then we cut a shape from it and then dipped it in paint and then pressed that onto the paper. We have two circles and cut them in half and painted a night scene on one and a day scene on the other and then you put them back together. We painted ourselves to look like Greeks from a picture. We copied some old fashioned paintings We made models of what Greek houses look like from clay Do you think an artist can make a positive contribution to a neighbourhood?

The children described how they have acquired new skills and how this has impacted positively in their schoolwork.

Yes, artists can make things look better

The full transcript of the interviews with the children follow.

No artists make graffiti and that’s vandalism

They could get involved and make sculptures and stuff

Art Camp is different from learning at school because if you are in school the teachers say ‘no’ don’t do it like that, but at camp they say ‘yes have a go’, say you’ve never hammered before, they say ‘yes’ do it. We could find stuff other people didn’t want and cut it up and make new stuff, we learnt how to make things, me Peter and Lauren made chable, that’s a cross between a table and a chair. At Art Camp we made creative stuff and I got to express myself, we weren’t told what to do, we were encouraged to do the stuff we wanted to do, We walked from the club to the warehouse and we found things people had thrown away and we took them back and we made stuff from them, we could make anything, I made a chair. I learnt how to make sound effects and props and make a film

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Every time I have my art lessons the teachers say you’re getting better each week and I say that’s because I went to Art Camp Now I am back in school I am looking forward to doing art because I have so much confidence in my art and how to express myself. How is working with artists different from teachers or youth workers Working with artists inspires the imagination and all that crazy art stuff It was different working with artists as they find most things art, you find something and you turn it into art, because that is what artists are good at and they inspired us to do things. You make up stuff you want with artists, at Eastside stuff is provided for you but at the warehouse you make up what you want, you use the stuff and the space in the way you want to use it. It was so fun at art camp, we got to do what we wanted and we made amazing stuff and I really want to do it again. Artists don’t tell you what to do When children talk artists listen

What was it like having your work on exhibition?

What kind of trips did you go on at Art Camp?

Presenting my work was a great thing to do and made me feel happy.

The artists took us on trips and showed us stuff we’d never seen before

When the work was put on the gates, it made me feel really proud to see what we had made on display and people were asking what have you been doing and were really interested.

Going on trips was amazing I got to see stuff I had never seen before.

When I saw myself on the film I was really proud and surprised at how good I was

How was the warehouse different from school or home or youth club? In the warehouse it was really big and there weren’t no mums or dads to tell us what to do.

When people wanted to buy our stuff it was great because kids never normally get to sell stuff only adults so it showed adults that kids can do things.

At the warehouse it was big and there was loads of room and people to help you but not tell you what to do.

If we sell any of our stuff I would use the money to do the Art Camp thing again, to go and see more artists and have them help us again.

I would like to use the warehouse again because it was a good place to work because it was big enough to do your own thing and make things up.

I feel special that I got my things out on display so people can see how creative I am.

We have to save the warehouse and use it again.

If we do sell stuff in the exhibition we will save the money and buy the warehouse, obviously I would save some to go shopping, but I would go out my way to do this for art camp because I love art camp.

Do you think an artist can make a positive contribution to a neighbourhood? Yes they can do things like this, make use of old buildings and have exhibitions and stuff. Artists should do more stuff like this, in fact we could do stuff like this, we could run Art Camp, with your help of course. Artists can make use of stuff people think is rubbish and then they turn it into something interesting, so they change how you think about things. Art Camp should be here all the time so you could come after school and do something rather then just sitting around and being bored.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Impact of Art Camp 2012 on the Artists

The evaluation with the artists focussed on the conceptual premise of co-authoring and the value of the project as part of their practice as well as on the practical experience of delivery.

Practical Aspects of Delivery The time constraint was a limiting factor in how open ended the artist could allow the process to become.

The delivery of the Art Camp workshops was structured to allow the artists time for reflection between workshop sessions and to prepare for the exhibition.

The co-authoring process required follow up sessions after the June workshops, these could only happen at Eastside Youth Club on Friday evenings. The typical club environment is not conducive for this type of discursive activity and it was unreasonable for Art Camp to take over the club so the follow up process ( to ensure co-authoring rather then the artists leading the process) required a number of return visits and was very time consuming.

Between the first workshop session in June and the final sessions in August there was a team meeting with the artists and the youth workers to debrief and discuss the next steps as it was acknowledged that the brief was very challenging. Co-authoring between the artist and the children This was acknowledged as very challenging and required continued self refection and critical review of the process, but co-authoring was ultimately felt to be achieved in the sense that the children recognised themselves as making art and of being the active authors. The necessarily open ended and iterative working method although challenging was felt to be an extremely positive experience with a beneficial impact on the artists’ wider practice. The artists experienced the lack of an instrumental outcome in a project with children (ie the project was focussed on art practice) as welcome (and unusual) and felt the process allowed them to work effectively and positively with existing ideas and interests and so advanced their practice. The artists therefore experienced the project as a continuum of their practice and not as a tangent. The intimacy of one to one working with the children was experienced very positively and was felt to be a factor in the final quality of the work.

All artists put in at least a third more time than the budget allowed but felt this was justified because the project brought them professional satisfaction. The youth workers required more ‘managing’ than the artists initially envisaged. The lack of continuity and not knowing which children would turn up was problematic and curtailed some ideas before they were able to be developed and also effected co-authoring as due to budget and time constraints there was necessarily a degree of group working so some children had more authorship than others. The uncertainty of access to Hackney Wick during the Olympic period made planing difficult. In retrospect this was not the case and continuity of attendance (for children and youth workers) may have been easier if it had been possible to determine and circulate a workshop program in June. The full transcript of the interviews with the artists follows.

The project began with the premise of co-authoring and it is evident that is complex and not necessarily the only description of what happened, can you elaborate from your perspective as artist Mary George Initiating a project with the group of participants who were not all able to be present on all of the scheduled activity days, slightly dictated my approach. I was very aware that the framework should be loose enough to enable each participant from child to youth worker, to co-author the process and outcomes. It was evident upon some early discussions with the children, that they did require some steering from a practical nature. For instance, I went along to The Tate Modern trip to see the Kusama exhibit and the Damian Hirst skull. Outside the Tate was Damian’s bigger-than-lifeanatomical-body. The children were loving the enormity of such a perplexing display and we took some time posing for photographs in front and all around it. Several weeks later I was in the youth club getting some ideas from the children to inform the direction of our project. When asked simply what the children would like to make and what materials they’d like to use, several children burst out saying they wanted to make the Damian Hirst body sculpture... This idea sadly got lost in the shuffle and was replaced by infinite subsequent desires- illustrating the gap between a conscious thought process in trying to plan an ambitious art project and what actually happens when artists thrust themselves into a context and get caught up in the moment fuelled more by whims and immediate satisfaction. This paradigm is very much the reality most artists are immersed. It is the challenge of artists to match ambition and abstract ideas with practical constraints. If considering this process of attempting to match desires with reality, as part of the non-traditional learning curve, I see value, but it is the collaborative aspect of the project that is simultaneously exciting and fun as well as slightly frustrating for those who like to be see what one person can achieve. I think collaborative projects yield wilder results however and it is also a morale booster to work with friends as well as a challenge... I could see the benefit for some children to work solo in the future-supported by mentors... while also dipping into a co-authored experiment so to maximise on all that Art Camp has to offer. In the case of Foodoo Cafe, I see the process as an immersive experience of what it’s like to be an artist.

I consciously suggested that some of the characters might be artists in the film to see how the children took to the role. The concept of a horror film was not so much to create a scary thriller, but to use the atmosphere of the hub space and the unwieldy energy of a mass of young collaborators, in the loosest and most expressive manner while focussing on the geographical surrounds. The output is genuinely a mass of contributions where I set up loose starting points and let the children and youth workers run with it. The materials were basic, but the energy is real. I do believe that all who took part felt they’d made the art and it was their work as well as shared, so in that sense there was collaboration, though as the commissioned artist I do have more influence and power than the children. This seems to be partially the result of being an adult and having the ultimate decision over how the budget is allocated... That said, I don’t think this has been at all negative from my perspective. I engaged in a challenging process that was unique and yielded a range of interesting and unexpected outcomes. I went along for the ride and found it to be stimulating. The process has given me another layer of experience and interests to consider as well as endless material for subsequent outcomes. Verity Keefe Creating a situation of co – authorship is incredibly hard! Creating an environment for creativity is easier to achieve but that was not the brief….It was only through inviting the children to the warehouse undertaking an activity - which I had to lead - and then going back to the youth club with photos and ideas and talking to them one to one, or getting them to interview one another that I felt I achieved that level of coauthoring and it really tested me – but in a good way. Making enough room (conceptually and actually) so the children could do what they wanted was really important and that required managing the adult youth workers whose first impulse was to tell the children what to do and to encourage them to defer to me as the ‘artist’. Next time I would have a really clear set of rules of engagement for the adults, I thought they would be more enlightened. I feel vindicated that the process worked when I hear the children say how artists have inspired them to understand that art can be made out of anything if you do it with intention. I captured some of their ambitions in the Book Breaking Club fanzine which I then gave back to them and that was a good thing to do to continually reflect their ideas back.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

How would you describe the process? Mary George 1) A getting to know you phase 2) A how can I manage all this energy and channel it into something more than just a fun-wild-day-out for the children phase 3) Getting stuck in and by stuck I mean really sticky 4) Overcoming sugar highs and lows- damage control 5) Mad scramble, sprint to bring it all together for the satisfaction of the children and myself (some children were frustrated by other children who would sometimes lose the plot in favour of disruptions-see sugar highs and lows above) The over arching theme is: a mass of energy being wrangled by a “lead artist” enabled by youth workers who sometimes needed to be managed more than the children... Verity Keefe Thinking on the go all the time, thinking what worked - what didn’t - I will try this now- now this. It was iterative. It was an incredibly self-critical process…! But in a good way. I took many many ideas and experiences from previous projects and moved them forward and it was a really good experience to have the support to resolve some of these things and not feel it was driven by an instrumental outcome, as projects with children so often are – it was a unique experience in that sense!

Do the children bring anything to the process that would otherwise be absent if you alone made the work?

The numbers of children coming to the sessions has been beyond our control, but what is the optimum number with which to work?

Mary George There would be much less sugar on my own. ha ha ha, but seriously... I would not have access to this context without this scenario. It would be difficult to venture into such terrain without the framework of muf and the research that is behind this ambitious process. I feel really honoured to be a part of it all and I hope some value can come from my contribution. I have followed the debate and discussions over the Hackney Wick Fish Island artist community over the past few years and that was strongly in my mind while venturing into Art Camp 2012. I feel strongly that this project is unique, grounded and has the potential to be influential for many years to come. It would really be impossible to attempt this kind of project alone without all that fuels the foundation. I would not know where to begin and it would lack the impact and momentum. Children are amazing to work with and offer a challenge that I think all artists could benefit. It’s like moving to a foreign country and being forced to scrutinise your soul in the face of values foreign to your own. You never knew how foreign until you’re being confronted.

Mary George I am just answering instinctively here, but it feels like we needed at least one adult to every 5 children in order to make sure we were getting the most out of the experience. It also depends on the activity and the space(s) that are being used. In a contained space you would potentially not need so many adults, but the intimacy is special and should be considered if this is to be a deeply meaningful and exemplary programme.

Verity Keefe The children are the work, it’s not like making a thing with children - the co-authoring is the work.

Is there a value in continuity and over what period of time? I can see how much the children have opened up and let me into their world since I first met them to now having shared many adventures. I could only see this bond enhanced by more exposure and it would be satisfying to see the results of some influence I’ve had. I also think in terms of working with youth workers, continuity is also a good thing as we also have developed a relationship and feel much more liberated around each other after year 2. Verity Keefe Not knowing if the same children would turn up was really tricky and even when the same children did come again they often needed a while to get back into the swing, which was fine but as the project was time limited there was a need to marshal ideas and recap that was led by me, also as I said managing the adults was trickier – their need to dominate the process and tell the children what to do… I know you (Katherine) were much more emphatic and told the adults to be led by the children and I should have been more autocratic too. There is a limit to how many children can have a meaningful relationship and it was about right – otherwise it does become crowd management, if the adults had been more skilled and more in tune with the ethos of the project it would have been easier but in my experiences youth workers are hard to work with, a ‘pass it on’ process with the youth workers first was what I should have done but that was impossible with the available fee. As it was I put in more time than I budgeted for.

If you could do the project again how many children and how many sessions are the ‘right’ number to make a meaningful and productive relationship/ artwork. Mary George More time is always good... I think now that I have had a chance to reflect on the material produced, I would have enjoyed going back with some different propositions to pursue with the young people... though I am aware that children move on very quickly, so I don’t know that I would have needed too much more time to produce another realm of experience. Some urgency is required in art making, so it’s a delicate balance. I think a few more days would be nice to have had as contingency and I could have involved more people in the actual finalisation and display of the variety of material outcomes. I think that would have been interesting. Verity Keefe I have thought about this long and hard and if I did it again I would do the whole thing differently. I would make it more performative I would introduce the idea of the ‘audience’ to the work to the children really early on so they understand that what they do is always a ‘cultural’ product for someone else so they would start from the position of being conscious makers and so the project is more the same for them as it is for me as the artist. Is ‘drop in’ more of less worthwhile in terms of art production? Mary George I think drop in sessions could be interesting and good for getting more children signed up to art camp, but I think the true essence of Art Camp is intimacy which I think you only get over time spent with a fairly dedicated group. Verity Keefe Much less worthwhile, it is about the relationship, but…having said that if a situation could be set up like a performance but even then the artists and the children need time to reflect and rework what they have done, it is the therapautic process, remembering, reflecting and changing how you do things.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Is the fee and materials budget adequate to the process and does it enable the production values you would normally deploy? Mary George I have put in a lot of extra time into this project, but that is normal for me... not that that’s right, but I am used to working for nothing... sad but true. It would be extra appealing to have a bit more funds to deploy to take the outcomes to another level, though I could work with this structure again and would happily. Verity Keefe I put in extra time and there are hidden costs like the existing relationship I had and so the generosity of Central Books, the making of the documentary films that I don’t charge for – but are an additional outcome, because the project is research and is so valuable to my practice of I spent more time that is paid for and also it is impossible to know when it is finished because the ideas cross pollinate the next thing I do. At this point, if you had another £5k, what would you do and with which children (if any) and why? Mary George I would involve anyone who wanted to take part. We’d brainstorm, reflect and produce a show out of the endless material. It would involve more of an editing process and a reflection... consideration of who the art audience is and how we might make even more use of unusual spaces. The opportunity would also allow for even more audience participation and engagement all around. Verity Keefe I would really like to do the whole thing again totally differently but that is not to say I think what I did was ‘wrong; just it has brought me to a point where I could go so much further….but that is always the problem with commissions,,, however working with muf is always like picking up good ideas again and I really appreciate how you have supported the work I have done in HWFI over the last 3 years.

How does this project fit into your portfolio and has it changed the way you think/work at all and if so how? Mary George This project has made me think about how I might develop different strands of my individual art practice to encompass the involvement of more and more people of diverse ages and contexts while staying true to my interests. It definitely made me tune into different challenges and also liberated me. It was as much my joy as the children’s to be able to work in the warehouse and have the unofficial approval of an “Art Camp Mission” to fuel my fire. It is definitely something I would pursue in the future with this group as well as others. It was like having permission to go there if you know what I mean and I’d like to see where else this path might take me. I see this as a beginning of something very exciting. I think it would be a real loss to me – and to the children – if I could not develop this way of working Verity Keefe The Art Camp was part of the ongoing relationship I have to this place (HWFI)– and it is unusual and valuable to have that opportunity and because of that relationship I believe the work is richer – so going back to continuity it is not just for the children but the artists too.

Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis

Impact of Art Camp 2012 on the Youth Workers

In 2011 and 12 Art Camp partnered Eastside Youth Club, in a relationship brokered through Old Ford Housing who own the original site on Wendon Street where the pilot ‘Open Air Art School’ was delivered in 2011. Eastside is a youth club for 8 - 13 year olds run by lead youth worker Martin King. Tracie Trimmer, local HW resident and senior lecturer in Youth Work at UEL was a critical friend to the project and through Tracie we secured placements for four trainee youth workers to shadow the workshop delivery.

Practical Aspects of Delivery The uncertainty over access to Hackney Wick during the Olympic period made planing difficult. In retrospect access was not a problem and continuity of attendance (for children and youth workers) may have been easier if it had been possible to determine and circulate a workshop program in June. The artists’ working method was iterative and intuitive and at times the youth workers wanted more structure and definition of the outcomes which was not possible.

The evaluation focussed on the conceptual premise of co-authoring, the value of the project as part of youth work as well as on the practical experience of delivery.

The additional time put in by the artists was not able to be matched by the youth workers and so they were unable to partner every session.

Co-authoring between the artist and the children

Martin King Lead Youth Worker Eastside

Co-authoring was understood to be a challenge and there were tensions between the artists way of doing things and the youth work trainees and it was felt that a more formal introduction of the aims of the project to both the youth workers and the children would have facilitated the project better. The impact on Martin and the activities at Eastside have been very positive and have changed the events program. Martin (who works in one of the local schools) reports anecdotal evidence from teachers in improved performance by the children who went to Art Camp. As a result of the experience in 2011 and 2012 Art Camp will partner Play Workers from LBTH and LBH in addition to the continued relationship with Eastside.

It was a fantastic experience; it was real for the children. The response I had from the parents was good and the passions, the energy and the commitment from the children was a wonderful experience. If I ask the children, ‘what would you rather do, go to a funfair or an art gallery’ they say ‘art gallery, a fun fare only lasts 5 minutes but an art gallery stays with you for a long time’ and that is what we are going to do now, more trips to galleries, the south bank and all that. We are going to use what we learnt at Art Camp at the youth club and do more art projects, do photography and making and stuff like that. At first the parents weren’t 100% sure (going to the museums) but when I sent on the email invitations, eight parents and their children have gone back since and it was fantastic going to the museums and galleries with the filming and the bloods and the splatter paintings it was great for them.

I talk to their teachers at school and they (the teachers) say how they can see a diference in the work the children are doing, they are much more confident and they just get better and better

Tracie Trimmer Senior Lecturer in Youth Work and Critical Friend to Art Camp The project premise to introduce children to the artist’s way of doing things so they can grow up and be next generation of artists in HWFI, is a great aim, meeting people who make a living from art makes it real to them and encouraging the children to understand how the artist community works in HWFI and experience some of the living environments and workshops – seeing how artists live dispels ideas that they are exclusive in some way or elitist. (The children visited artists studios at Open House) Co-authoring is a great idea in theory but really in many cases in practice, by the very nature of the artist remit it is always the artist who takes the lead. As youth workers we strive to engage young people as active participants and avoid ‘telling them what is good for them’ but try and encourage them to decide via informed choices and conscious decision making what they think is best. The most positive experience for the children is the experience of the artist and of real art and the adventure and freedom of new and often forbidden places such as the warehouse. More structure to the time tabling and project workshops would have helped – this way the young people have an on-going engagement and expectation. They can take ownership of the project and develop a closer relationship with the others both adults and children. Although we call youth work ‘informal education’ we find that generally (and particularly those from chaotic home lives) prefer to know where they are, who they can rely on, who will be there and what is expected of them – it also enabled those that can, to manage their parents better.

Trainee Youth Workers partnered to artists The days could have been closer together, there were large gaps between session, which for some broke their interest and some parents are likely to forget, whereas if it was done over a course of two weeks, concentration would be better. The whole concept of the project being art really enabled the children/young people to express themselves and be creative, it becomes very therapeutic while having fun! Overall a great experience, the warehouse was a great use of space and the costume making was really good. Overall I did enjoy the project and working with the kids and I liked what we made. I only wish I had had an opportunity to see them “in action” at the exhibition. I enjoyed exploring my emotional attachment to what we made and how it was different from the children, I found the experience interesting and fulfilling. It would be good to have more lead in time with the artists and to go to all the sessions at the youth club. Excellent idea for the summer. The whole horror movie concept worked a treat! Maybe the age group could have been extended to have two or three groups divided into, 8-12, 13-16, then an older group. The video technology to create the movie was fantastic, maybe each child could have had a DVD copy, that way they have something to show parents and may persuade parents to be more interested (this has happened with a screening at Open House to which children and parents were invited and another is scheduled at Eastside in 2013) Del Bond and Tom Donald Joiners who collaborated on 2 workshops The children were massively experimental and creative in making new pieces of furniture from old. It was a really enjoyable project, we loved, and were slightly jealous, of the final items of furniture and art that were constructed.

Tate Modern Eastside Youth Club Stour Space 66 Wallis Road 66 Wallis Road Central Books Eastside Youth Club Eastside Youth Club Eastside Youth Club Eastside Youth Club Beatrice Tate workshop Eastside Old Ford Housing Olympic Torch Relay Hampstead Heath Camden Arts Centre 66 Wallis Road 66 Wallis Road 66 Wallis Road British Museum Hunterian Museum 66 Wallis Road Central Books Central Books Open Studios Open Studios Open Studios

Play Walk Lea Navigation Canal Eastside Youth Club Eastside Youth Club Jerwood Callery

Tate Modern Tanks

11 May 25 May 06 June 07 June 8 June 8 June 15 June 22 June 29 June 13 July 18 July

02 Aug 03 Aug 08 Aug 16 Aug

21 Aug 22 Aug 21 Sep 22/23 Sep 22/23 Sep 01 Nov

16 Nov 24 Nov 07 Dec 24 Nov

Lis Rhodes

Egyptian Galleries Teaching Collection

Jeremy Deller Sacrilege Bruce Lacey Experience

Damien Hirst & Yayoi Kusama

Cultural Trip


muf/VL Inclusion in Now I Gotta Reason exhibition

Beatrice Tate workshop, Mary George FooDoo CafĂŠ at See Space Studios Mary George Splatter Camp with Book Breaking Club at Wallis Road muf + Verity Keefe muf with Albion Kids show muf

muf + Aldworth, James & Bold Verity Keefe Verity Keefe

Mary George Mary George Mary George muf

Mary George


muf + Public Works + Aldworth, James & Bold Mary George Verity Keefe Mary George muf muf muf Mary George





Follow up VL

Follow up

Follow up

Follow up Follow up Follow up Follow up

U13s baseline evaluation & exhibition of artists posters Artists & youth worker baseline evaluation


14 workshops with an aggregate total of 132 participants of which 20 were special needs 6 follow up sessions with an aggregate total of participants 7 Trips with an aggregate total of 76 participants Approximate audience to the Art Camp exhibited works at 3 venues is 2600

09 Nov

17 Aug

01 Aug

25 July




14 8






10 10


12 15 14 10



8 5 11 21 16 19 10






1 1






1 1




2 1












2 2



2 2


Youth Worke r






Parents /carers

Approx 400

Approx 1300

Approx 900


Art Camp muf architecture /art with Vicki Lewis