CAMDEN TOGETHER OUTDOOR CINEMA – Waterlow Park, Highgate
PROUD TO BE – Camden Town
CAMDEN INSPIRE OUTDOOR FESTIVAL – Camden Town
Our last participation in the Camden Together series of events was our own CBC Culture Fest which was in collaboration with The Building Centre in South Crescent, Bloomsbury. This was our first organised event as a group of people who had never worked together before and it certainly brought its fair share of challenges.
Participating in the outdoor cinema was one of our creatives Modu Sesay, an up and coming film maker. The outdoor screening project was a worthwhile experience for Modu as funding allowed him to finish his film project in time for the festival and it was the first time he had seen his work on such a big screen and showing to a mixed audience. The feedback from his film has given him the much needed confidence to continue pursuing his ambition.
The events team at Camden, led by Nicky Ezer were extremely helpful and supported us in organising and managing the coordination of the event.
Our event consisted of a 2-day festival with black performers, speakers, a fashion show and food vendors selling African and Caribbean foods and drinks. The indoor event included an art exhibition, short film screening and fashion stalls.
Unfortunately, due to the unpredictable British weather, we were forced to cancel the outdoor part of the festival at the last minute and managed what we could inside the venue. Because of the weather, we had a lower turnout than expected, but still had an amazing turnout of support, from our social media followers as well as people from the street.
The event was well received and positive feedback from participants and attendees on the diversity of creatives and programs and the quality of the festival. We had over 30 participants and over 150 guests attended the event over the 2 days. The whole project proved to be an invaluable learning experience.
EXCELLENCE REDEFINED EXHIBITION – Roundhouse, Chalk Farm
The Black excellence project by one of our artists Violeta Sofia, was a collaboration with The Roundhouse. Violeta had always wanted to work with the Roundhouse having attended many events there herself and as a local resident, the Roundhouse was the perfect backdrop to showcase photographs taken of local residents and visitors to Camden from the black community.
The exhibition ran into Black history month and offered audiences an opportunity to experience something new, a different view on Black Lives Matter, the diversity of Black people as well as addressing matters concerning race and identity. The exhibition launch was attended by over 100 people with over 30 people taking part in the photography process.
THE AFFORDABLE ART FAIR
We were excited to have exhibited at the @affordable art fair Uk located in beautiful Hampstead Heath from the 5th to 8th of May 2022.
The Affordable Art Fair celebrated its 10th edition by displaying an abundance of amazing art. This is definitely an event worth attending!
Some of the artists that exhibited were @violetasofia @carolinechinakwe @asiko_artist and @aradicalsho at the Omenka By Camden Black Creatives.
LETS DO LONDON OUTDOOR ART PROJECT – Tottenham Court Road
Launched in May by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the campaign has aimed to attract visitors back to London to support the city’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor was joined on Tottenham Court Road by award-winning artist Yinka Illori to unveil new colourful pedestrian crossing designs to kick off the new Let’s Do London campaign season of events and attractions.
There are a total of 18 pedestrian crossings that have been transformed by Yinka Illori as part of London Design Festival, one of the first events to feature in the Let’s Do London campaign autumn programme.
The campaign will look to entice visitors to London with events such as London Fashion Week, London Film Festival and photography exhibition Rankin Live.
As part of the campaign Camden Black Creatives organised free pavement art workshop in Whitfield Gardens. The project ran for three days during the October half term and aimed at young children.
OMENKA POP UP – Heath street Hampstead
Having a PopUp was at the top of our list of missions when we started CBC. Although Camden is known for its cultural diversity and also as an arts borough with over 160 art galleries, it’s surprising to know that there isn’t a gallery that specialised in arts from the black community. As artists, creatives who live and work in the borough, it is extremely important for us to have representation in all areas of the borough. Being visible and inspiring the next generation of artists was our aim in having the Pop Up space to showcase our work.
With the support of Camden arts development officers like Suzie Plumb and Mike Candler and Sharon Wallace from the property team, we were successful in acquiring an amazing space on Heath Street in Hampstead. The shop was our first step to bringing culture and diversity to a very popular, but very white and middle class area of Camden. The shop was extremely popular with the locals and has gained a lot of positive feedback and support. Customers have been thrilled with new works and products by local artists and creatives from an ethnic minority group that they would normally never get the opportunity to see and support.
As well as supporting creatives to have such a prominent space to showcase their works as well as engage with a different clientele, the shop also served as a space to break down cultural barriers, to educate people about another side of the black experience and also the opportunity to engage and learn with creatives from the local community.
This was such an eye opening experience for not just the creatives who have met valuable customers and some are still working with them even after the closure of the store, but also for the local community who welcomed the diversity in businesses on their high street. We made great partnerships including 2 commissions of work for private homes as were featured on a podcast for Hampstead art walks run by a local resident.
We had 4 weeks in the shop and had 12 creatives/businesses take part, and had over 1200 people pass through the shop.
Feedback from shop customers and visitors.
“This is by far the best shop in Hampstead, we hope you guys can stay longer” Maria NW3
‘I love the diverse range of products and art from the different artists and it’s so nice actually meeting some of them in the store’ David NW3
‘This gallery is such a breath of fresh air and a change from seeing the same shops opening in Hampstead, love everything!’ Anoushka
‘I’ve lived in Hampstead for 10 years and have never seen a store here that represented my culture, as I walked by, I nearly missed the shop as I wasn’t looking for it and it had been empty for so long that wasn’t expecting anything new there, but I was caught off guard by the colours and then to see black women in there was really shocking. It’s just a shame that I will soon be gone, I was hoping to bring my sister down…’ Tunde
ADC X CBC POP UP – Charlotte Street, W1T
This is our second pop up shop in collaboration with brand Adorn The Common. We were welcome to join Adorn the Comon in February 2022. We felt very comfortable to join the brand as the shop had a concept very similar to Omenka pop up shop in Hampstead, this space was also able to accommodate two of or artist by providing them with studios for the duration of the collaboration.