Meet the Light Up Kilburn ArtistsRead about the artists we worked with on Light Up Kilburn
A brilliant aspect of Light Up Kilburn has been the opportunity to commission various artists and creators to work with us - and we'd like you to meet them to!
We spoke to some of them, find out more about who they are and what they did for Light Up Kilburn.
Here they are...
My creative roots lie in childhood imagination, nature and being raised by a trio of strong women with an appreciation for creativity. I create works that celebrate the idea of togetherness, connecting and being human. My work is informed by cultures, people and ideas coming together as a collage of positive energy, shape and form and embracing imperfection.
When I first started my career, working in London, Camden felt like a cornerstone and home to come back to and anchor myself within the city. Back then I was fuelled by the amazing collision and collage of cultures, rhythms, and energy. I felt like a kid in an ice cream shop with a million flavours all to dive into – and it still feels like that today.
For Light Up Kilburn, I’m working on a unique window vinyl installation at The Kiln Theatre, right in the heart of Kilburn. The artwork will not only respond to the vibrancy and energy of the area and the theatre, but also it will directly be connected and activated by a live special performance. I’m excited to fuse the vibrancy and energy of this into a site-specific kaleidoscopic piece!
My background encompasses a diverse array of creative and collaborative projects, rooted in experiences within arts, community engagement, and storytelling.
As part of Light Up Kilburn I have created a window installation that seeks to activate various local businesses along the High Road.
The installation consists of abstract and intricately textured wall sculptures crafted from recycled materials, exploring themes of recycling, transformation, and the regeneration of forms. Materials, including found wires, fibers, fabric scraps, and clay sourced from Traid. The structures mirror the complexities of fabric, trees, bark, and the topography reminiscent of Kilburn. Through manually repetitive techniques like fraying, weaving, dyeing, and sewing, I have created a woven fabric that incorporates lighting elements, allowing threads and fibers to illuminate.
I'm a projection artist, filmmaker and Super 8 educator. Since 1998 I've been filling interiors and exteriors with beams and images as part of the legendary London based screening club Exploding Cinema.
I've lived in Camden since 1995, and have based my whole career in the borough. From unlicensed Kung Fu movie clubs in the 90s to this amazing opportunity in Kilburn, I love doing shows here. The fact that it's closer to home for the equipment doesn't hurt either!
My work for Light Up Kilburn sits on the Analogue-Digital border. I use video of old stereo equipment, super 8 and oscilloscope-based video games as source material, then apply digital, optical and camera trickery to create this piece. I'm using The State, a legendary music venue as a canvas to display multiple forms of music visualisation, from notes on a stave to quivering needles on VU meters to the lights of a graphic equaliser. The result is a sound powered visual riot that even mute, creates its own soundtrack in the head.
I love to unearth overlooked stories in places where we live and forgotten stories in ourselves and bring them both together. I work closely with people to help share their stories while researching local histories. I then bring both stories together through digital collages, textile and installations. I work particularly closely with communities whose stories have been overlooked as a way to help them, and myself (a Caribbean descended, British-born woman) find a sense of place.
Currently I'm spending a lot of time researching Camden's 17th-19th Century healing wells which were fed by the River Fleet. This is because I'm co-devising The Black Mary Project named after legendary Black woman called Mary Woolaston who was said to keep a well in the 17th Century. I'm curious about the other forgotten women who kept wells such as Emma, Gunilda, and Cristina who kept the well at the Old Kilburn Priory as well as the contemporary "wellkeepers" who may be lost to history if we don't capture their stories now.
I'm creating series of light works for Grange Park based on Kilburn's spa and healing well history. Alongside that, I'm also capturing the stories of five local Black women "wellkeepers" or community caregivers and will create dedicated artworks for each of them. The pieces will be arranged into a kind of restful "healing well" during Light Up's final weekend.
Hattie Thomas, Matt Lloyd and Molly Freeman, Smoking Apples Theatre Limited
We, Smoking Apples, are an award winning puppetry and visual theatre company that work with complex subject matter. We recently toured our multi-award winning show Kinder across the UK, performing over 60 shows to 14 different venues. Our productions have toured the UK, Europe and Asia, across the last 10 years.
We started the company whilst living in London and studying at drama school, and though we now work further afield touring all over the UK and abroad, we always love coming back to the hustle and bustle of the city. We actually did one of our first professional jobs in Camden back in 2010 for an outdoor Christmas grotto, so we are really excited to be back this February.
We will be running a workshop with local young people, teaching puppetry performance skills and training them up to take part in the parade on 24th. We are really excited to be bringing two giant light up puppets to the event, called Xalia and Atom, who were created alongside Kinetika Design Studio.
I’m an artist creating artworks for public realm and gallery projects that celebrate nature. I create site-specific artworks in diverse materials. My research-led practice is responsive to local ecologies and aims to connect audiences to the natural world in order to examine their own role within the anthropocene. I’m driven by collaboration and am a certified B Corporation committed to a sustainable practice. My active exhibition and residency practice includes monumental sculpture, painting, film, photography and performance to explore the commonality of women and flora.
I LOVE of the vibrant shops, cafes and bars in Camden.
I’m creating a series of gobo lights featuring three local butterflies for Light Up Kilburn.
I'm a Theatre and Costume Designer and a Somatic Movement Educator. After several years working for theatre productions and events, my work is now focussed on education, community and participatory projects. I teach and develop personal art projects, which always combine reality and imagination with movement, environment, and communities.
I have been living in both Camden and Brent for the past 13 years, my daughter was born in Camden and I am raising her here. This is my local community.
For Light Up Kilburn, I have been commissioned to work on a participatory project, facilitating lantern making workshops in local primary schools and for community groups to create an installation for the lantern parade and festival closing event.
I'm a Kilburn based interdisciplinary artist, working across various disciplines including installation, mixed media caligraffiti paintings, street art, DJ soundscapes and Performance. I was born in 1970 in Harlesden, London to Jamaican parents and first moved to Kilburn in the 1980s. At the time, South Kilburn where I lived was at the centre of a new youth culture emerging.
I work in Camden at the University of the Arts London (UAL). At UAL I am an Associate Lecturer on the MA & BA (Hons) Performance: Design and Practice programmes at Central Saint Martins and President of the UAL Alumni of Colour Association. My company Lin Kam Art works closely with the London Borough of Camden events team and has produced a number of events such as Windrush 75: Jamaican Sound System Culture which was a takeover at the British Museum as part of Camden’s Windrush 75 Homecoming programme.
For Light Up Kilburn, I’m creating a light installation 'Bass Tone Regeneration' inspired by Sonny Roberts, a carpenter who arrived from Jamaica in 1958 and three years later transformed a neglected basement flat on 108 Cambridge Road in Kilburn, into Planetone, the UK’s first Black-owned music studio. It will resemble a large sound system stack, but like one never seen before with lights and lots of bling reminiscent of 90s Jamaican Dancehall music scene. Bass Tone will hold space for memories and voices that have been displaced / eroded by the ongoing regeneration of the area I call home which is rich in music history; South Kilburn.
My stage name, Dancing Pixels, sums up my practice and its roots. I like to "paint" pixels but I like to paint them synchronized to sounds, music and people's movements. This is mostly a live practice, similar to jam sessions, for example, but involving not only music but also images. I am also fascinated by analog tools and like to experiment with those as well, as I am maybe too 90s to be digital-only.
I think there are a few places in the world that are historically recognized as "where the arts live", and Camden is one of them: you learn about it in school, before you're 18 and it stays with you. Although Camden is always "not what it used to be 20 years ago!", I am happy to help shape what it is today.
I wanted to project onto the Sate building the faces of musicians that are part of Kilburn’s music scene of today and send a message that this scene exists and is alive and fascinating. I wanted to make those artists proud that they are creating their wonderful grooves for all the local people.
At heart, I guess I'm an explorer. I'm a technologist, maker and collaborator focused on working with and supporting artists at the grassroots level. I started working with traditional photography after leaving school. Over time the practice developed into making artwork and visuals for club nights and live music events. I now lecture on the subject, teaching the art and history of the VJ and moving image for live performance.
Camden Town was an important part of my social scene when I first started going out. Venues like the Electric Ballroom, Camden Palace (now Koko) and Dingwalls for live music. The market for bootleg cassette tapes, band t-shirts, vintage clothes and second-hand cameras. And later in life, having my moving image work screened in the Roundhouse and Koko.
The video piece I'm making for Light Up Kilburn turns the lens towards biodiversity. It's a prompt: asking the viewer to stop and consider the local plant and animal life, the challenges therein and how we might protect and improve our environment.
I am a visual artist and community educator. Through exploration of shape, pattern and colour, I actively work to make art more accessible by taking it out of galleries and bringing it into public spaces. At the heart of my practice is a commitment to community engagement, where I aim to craft inclusive environments that encourage creativity for all.
Back in 2020 I was successful in receiving the 'Make it! award' supported by Cockpit Arts. So for the first year and a half of building my creative practice I was based within the borough of Camden. Having the backdrop of Holborn to create in was inspiring and gave me my first push into turning my passion for creativity into a career.
I have been working with family run café Beit Alwared to create a vinyl to be installed on their front window for Light Up Kilburn. The owners are originally from Lebanon and Morocco and with the name of the café translating as 'house of flowers' this became the inspiration for the design. I created a pattern that fills the whole shop front, complimenting the vibrancy of their interior and making reference to traditional moroccan tiles. In the evening the vinyl is backlit to create a stained glass window effect.
I’m an illustrator, artist and colour addict and I’ve worked on posters, animations, children’s books and murals. I love drawing from observation and traditional printmaking techniques, particularly Lino print, and this all feeds into my digital illustration style.
I’m a life-long Londoner. I was born in Camden, grew up in Hackney and then Haringey, where I still live and work. Camden is where I went to my first live gigs as a teenager and where my partner lived when we first met.
I’m working on two illustrated maps to help visitors navigate Light Ip Kilburn. One to show the locations along Kilburn High Road and another for the final weekend events of the parade and activities in Grange Park.
I am a multidisciplinary artist, poet and filmmaker. My work consists of a mixed media including poetry, film, photography and painting. Drawing attention to particular experiences of black womanhood, identity, Caribbean culture and belonging which can be elaborated on any type of medium.
I have deep connection with Kilburn and Camden, I have grown up around the area and spent my 1st year as an infant in Kilburn Park until moving to Kensal Green. Kilburn has been an area of not just my beginning but part of many successes of my art career through having had a residency at Metroland Studios, near Kilburn Market for the past three years. Camden has always been a source of inspiration and growth especially during college and university years, it's always been a wonder to me.
For Light Up Kilburn, I have extracted of my poem, 'Home Is', written in 2022 and created the installation 'Familiar Territory', extracts from poem, 'Home Is' will be displayed around trees in Grange Park, streamed through a gobo projector. This work revolves around migration, belonging and the interpretation of home. What does home mean to you and where is it? What does it mean to the people who have lived in an area for a long time, or have newly arrived? Home may represent roots, history and familiarity yet also symbolize hope, opportunity and a new start, how we see our placement and territory in the world, in which visitors will identify these extracts differently.