top of page

Search Results

2 items found for ""

  • The secret life of Wood Green – N22 open studios reveal a hot-bed of creativity

    You may have seen the brown directional signs that locate the Wood Green Cultural Quarter. On the surface these signs seem to promise more than they deliver. However, behind the often-brutal facades of N22, is the secret life of the capital’s powerhouse of creativity From noon until 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday 12-13 November the creative community of Wood Green will open their studios revealing the work by over 100 artists and creative practitioners, ranged across 5 buildings and over 80,000 square feet. Collage Arts has been in Wood Green for nearly 40 years. This will be the 24th time they have coordinated the N22 Open Studios space which is home to artists, music producers, creatives and social enterprises. Manoj Ambasna, Executive Director of Collage Arts, has been at the creative helm of the charity, since its formation. He said: “we know we are the keepers of one of London’s best kept secrets. Within the 5 buildings we operate in the heart of Wood Green, is one of London’s largest and most diverse creative communities. Nestling between painters, furniture makers and craft people, we and many technical crafts supporting theatre and television production. For the first time ever, we will be offering people the chance to get a peep at some of our 18 professional recording studios.” Across London the spaces used by artisans are under threat. A recent report by the Mayor’s Office suggested that up 30% of artists studio spaces could be swept away by redevelopment projects. Collage artists have become part of the social fabric of the area. Ambasna continues: “The vision is to establish new purpose-built studios that will safeguard employment in the creative sector way into the future.” Haringey Council said: “Collage Arts is an important partner - they are well connected to the creative industries and also have a sizeable space of their own where they offer space at low rents to creative SMEs.’ Collage Arts works as a direct provider of services and opportunities. Collage Voices, offers young people’s performing arts club. But this isn’t like a usual stage school. The emphasis here is on young people finding their voice – so there is a great deal of original work produced by the company. There is also a deliberate attempt to create a safe inclusive space for young people to meet. Collage Arts has acted as midwife to a range of socially engaged arts projects. Studio 306 Collective goes from strength to strength. It offers a model of creative engagement to clients of the mental health service. The jargon calls this work social prescribing – art therapy to support mental well-being. The Essential School of Painting also offers training as an alternative to attending traditional arts schools. The calibre of the teachers and small class sizes prove to be a hit with their learners. PramDepot has also emerged from the arts community in Wood Green. This was the response of a fine artist to ensure that vulnerable mothers with babies get the support they need. Every week, packs of recycled and reused baby equipment and clothes are sent to women in hardship and need. There are few places in London where you will find socially engaged artists working alongside designer-makers, fine artists, sculptors, ceramicists, glass blowers, printers, framers, furniture makers and fashion designers. This is a smorgasbord of creativity. The 24th N22 Open Studios will take place in Wood Green on 12 and 13 November 2022. From Wood Green tube station, follow the art trail on lamp-posts to locate the five participating Artspaces.


    “We will enjoy flowers again” by Alina Potemska I went to Ukraine just for three days during Easter to see my brother. I will never forget that fear while hearing an air siren and dealing with the silent public agreement to be killed any day. Even though it was a relatively safe place. This experience is extremely scary and damaging. Most people won’t share their real experiences and they should not, they need time to pass thought to heal wounds, to find stability. They need to get used to not being scared of a clap, plane sound, or any other unexpected loud sound. Ukrainians want to cherish life, enjoy flowers, sing songs and draw. And we will. We just need time. To love. To win. And maybe a tiny bit of support. 08.03.22 “I wish you to enjoy flowers again!” My brother wished it to my mum and me on International Women’s Day. Usually, he buys us flowers and nice presents on this day. Now we are all miles apart, not even able either to buy flowers, neither to receive them nor even think about presents. The idea of enjoying beauty felt inappropriate that day. The only thing we were focusing on was surviving… Art heals. Art helps to talk and share. I’ve always been the one who carried a small sketchbook with a pen. Now it is turning into a digital version, but the concept remains: observe, feel, document. On the 24th of February, life changed significantly. Even being safe myself, I stopped doing everything I used to. I already experienced that feeling during the Revolution of Dignity in 2013/14, the annexation of Crimea the same year, and the long-lasting war since then in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This strange feeling of responsibility to synchronise your whole life with political changes in your country. Being settled in London for a few years hasn’t separated me from the same feeling about my home country. Art saved me again. An emotional rollercoaster that pushed all anxiety feelings to the limit had to be balanced in some way. The inhumane behaviour of occupiers, contrasting sacrificing of Ukrainian heroes more honourable than any Marvel movie ever seen, constant worry about friends and family… I just kept drawing… – Dr Alina Potemska – visual artist and illustrator, board game designer, Doctor of Arts. Artist’s Bio Alina Potemska was born in Kyiv and graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She specialises in visual arts and games. She designs board games and researches effective methods of using games as an educative and healing tool. She considers game as art medium providing fundamental help in understanding the world. Usually she captures daily scenes through drawings and illustrations. After a full-scale invasion in her home country, she focused on illustration as a way to spread the word of stories from her land. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in many countries, including the UK, USA, France, Poland, and Ukraine e, introducing the different sides and similarities in illustration and games. The exhibition is on display from 27 September to 29 October 2022 at the Karamel Gallery, Opening times: Wed-Sat 12-8pm. MAAD, 4 Coburg Road, London N22 6UJ

bottom of page