MUST DO: Camberwell Arts festival


The longest running visual arts festivals in the UK is bringing together all that Camberwell is famous for – food, art and creativity



Poster for this year's event. Photo: CA
Poster for this year’s event. Photo: CA
While it seems that almost every postcode of note these days boasts an annual arts festie, it’s impressive that this genuine longrunner has reached the grand old age of 21. Props indeed.

This year taking place from 20th-28th June, once again it’s a week-long smorgasbord of all things creative, meaning – wahey! – open house for local cafes, bars, pubs and many of the area’s artier households. Events include a market, public art commissions, exhibitions and fringe performances ranging from comedy and music, to spoken word and film.

Some highlights? Well, we’re big fans of park benches here at London Belongs To Me, and a potential draw for us is surely the ten local artists who have been commissioned to design picnic benches for a feast of public artworks across SE5’s parks, estates and public spaces.

Last year's art: Daphne Shen. Photo: CA
Last year’s art: Daphne Shen. Photo: CA
Then – ‘cos you’ll need a drink, right? – there’s the ‘Camberwell Family Gin Palace’, which follows the hoary old Victorian tradition of mother’s ruin across London. Artist Frog Morriss will bring together members of the community to create colourful stained glass windows for the local bars and shops of today.

Also, don’t miss the ‘Art Takeaway’, curated by Kay Sentance of the Art Wash collective, who’ll be hi-jacking a mysterious commercial space for the duration. All we know is that this piece “comments upon the way we often consume art as we do fast food”. Okaaay.

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Summary: things to look out for this year

The Camberwell Open

Commemorative artwork by the Mini Moderns. Photo: CA
Commemorative artwork by the Mini Moderns. Photo: CA

This is one for everybody: leisure painters, semi-professionals and full time artists. Curated by Gita Joshi of Orso Major Gallery, it presents a snapshot of practice from SE5. The exhibition will take place in Camberwell Leisure Centre, Artichoke Place from 5th to 28th June. All artwork is for sale.

Open Studios
On Sat 27th-Sun 28th June the studios of SE5 will be throwing open their doors. This event allows a hundred artists active in Camberwell to showcase their work to the public, thus highlighting the diversity of the artistic community hidden away round these parts.

#MadeInCamberwell: Arts & Food Market
Taking place on 20th June, this fair will bring together local crafters, artists and makers on Camberwell Green. It will be accompanied by a streetfood market as well as the regular Farmer’s Market to tickle the tastebuds.

Finally: the lovely Mini Moderns who we interviewed here are creating an exclusive range of festival merchandise. All profits raised go straight back to the charity.

Appetite whetted? All info on the festival is here. Camberwell Arts will also be providing guided Studio tours across the weekend. Stay tuned to @CamberwellArts for more details.

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