What?: We lived a 15-minute walk from Camden Arts Centre for a whole year, giving us around 40 opportunities to go along to the Family Takeover, and somehow we didn’t even manage to make it up there once. Then, the weekend after we moved, I discovered that Frederik Andersen – AKA Fredde Lanka, erotic ceramicist of dreams – had taken over the Family Residency for the remainder of the year. Being a massive fan of Frederik’s grumpy face pots, bum plates and sexually explicit urns I escorted Babu back over to Finchley Road sharpish, having made the fairly confident assumption that we wouldn’t be making sexually explicit pottery with our children.
And of course we weren’t. Instead Frederik had set up a blank canvas with trays of paint against one wall of the studio, with the idea that everyone add to it throughout the session, layering and scraping away paint as they desired, and drawing loose inspiration from the centre’s temporary Amy Sillman: Landline exhibition. There was a bloke from CAC on hand to help with this and he was brilliant with Babu, showing her how to use her finger to scratch shapes into the sticky layers of paint, which she seemed completely hypnotised by.
The main activity was an iPod animation task, which I was convinced Babu would be too young for, forgetting that she has her own iPod and at two and a half is a million times more tech-savvy than me (I mean for a start she will probably go her whole life without even thinking about using the expression ‘tech-savvy’). Frederik loved her ‘the moon with legs’ creation that we’d drawn and cut out of coloured card, and helped her photograph it using the iPod so that she could create layers of animation on top of it – which obviously she aced even though I was complete crap having never animated anything more creative than my face.
We left with our own super-cool five-second moon with legs animation, sent via email, and I even spotted a bum drawing on one of the side tables, which made me really happy. I was, however, a bit gutted that we were away when Fredrik was running his half-term children’s ceramics workshop (which, again, I’m assuming didn’t involve sexually explicit pottery, but I guess we’ll never really know). If you fancy popping along to a Family Takeover then you can still catch Fredrik on the 9th and 16th of December before his residency ends, and he’ll be handing the baton to a new artist on the 13th January.
Where and When?: The Family Takeover runs as a drop-in session from 2-4.30pm every Sunday during exhibitions, led by the current Artist-in-Residence. Camden Arts Centre is on Arkwright Road in Hampstead, and is a two-minute walk from Finchley Road & Frognal Overground and a seven-minute walk from Finchley Road tube.
Best Bits: I just think Frederik is really cool.
Worst Bits: Babu got bored after about an hour and I would say these sessions seem to be aimed at slightly older children, but she loved the Amy Sillman exhibition we went to see afterwards and that padded the afternoon out a bit.
Facilities: Step-free access, baby changing, on-site cafe, all materials provided.
Would We Come Back?: We don’t have time this month but we’ll be back for one of the next resident artist’s sessions in the new year.
Bab gets scratchy with the communal canvas at the Family Takeover, Camden Arts Centre, Hampstead.