Transformative Futures Youth Collective Takeover 2 July 2023, Camden Art Centre. Video © Adam Moore 2023.

Transformative Futures, a syllabus for young people to re-build, reclaim space and take action at Camden Art Centre. Transformative Futures found a resolution to their year long programme with a gallery takeover. Working with a range of techniques including drawing, ceramics, performance, and facilitation, and inspired by a range of artist’s practices involving collectivity, design, architecture, materials, and spatial relations, with a focus on process rather than presentation, this video documents the Transformative Futures 2022-23 collective in their installation of works in Gallery 3 at Camden Art Centre on 2 July 2023. Full Programme of co-produced activities led by the collective below:

Adam Moore collaboratively designed and facilitated the Transformative Futures syllabus with artist Madeleine Pledge from October 2021 – July 2022, and with artist Becky Lyon from October 2022 – July 2023, hosting sessions in Camden Art Centre’s drawing studio with Becca Thomas, Asha Fontenelle, Iris, and Adele. A series of free onsite and online artist-led workshops for people aged 15-25, the programme offered an opportunity to learn new skills and approaches to art-making and thinking to support young people facing challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform provides a safe space to question, develop and engage with new ways of working to mobilise creative futures.

Transformative Futures Youth Collective Takeover 2 July 2023, Camden Art Centre. Photos © Adam Moore.

A free weekly collective for young people to think, discuss and create together, sessions included investigations into the ancient human history of clay, exploring the natural environment from more-than-human perspectives and have touched on references from Ursula K Le Guin, Xunzi’s theory of ritual, and Black Quantum Futurist texts. Adam’s sessions explored space, the built environment, sculpture, ceramics, performance installation, drawing, colour, minimalism, invisibility, healing, and more, introducing participants to, and examining the thinking of, artist’s such as Amy Sillman, Dani Restack, David Hammons, Gordon Matta Clark, Grace Ndiritu, Abby Nocon, Polly Apfelbaum, Andrea Zittel, Stanley Whitney, Sol Lewitt, Giorgio Griffa, Christina Rosetti, Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Torkwase Dyson, Morgan Quaintance, Lydia Okumura, and Kazuo Shiraga (among others) as a way of encouraging, inspiring, and liberating creative practice. Unpacking different themes and provocations each week to enable participants to build awareness around different types of art, concepts and techniques. Each session was designed to allow participants to develop new skills, learn about the art world and use their passions and interests through making.

Transformative Futures Youth Collective Takeover 2 July 2023, Camden Art Centre. Photos © Hydar Dewachi.

The uncertain terrain of the pandemic has affected lives and livelihoods globally, especially young people’s mental health, confidence, education and employment. This expansive programme of artist talks, events and workshops, aims to provide a resource to access different creative methodologies and tools to enable independent learning and thinking. Empowering those to take direction, build a network, open up an avenue to apply their voice, to be seen, heard and valued. Allowing young people to experiment in a supportive peer environment throughout the year the collective worked towards a weekend takeover of Camden Art Centre in July 2023, co-produced by the participants and the artist leads. The shifting landscape of modern life continues to affect lives and livelihoods globally with young people often underrepresented in the conversations and decision making processes that shape the world we live in. Transformative Futures aims to empower and amplify the voices of young people through sessions that explore alternative ways of living, thinking and being through the lens of contemporary art.

Transformative Futures Youth Collective Takeover 2 July 2023, Camden Art Centre. Photos © Adam Moore.

Transformative Futures is designed for those with an interest in Art, no other knowledge, practical skills or training is required to participate with sessions designed to be inclusive and accessible. Transformative Futures is an ongoing project supporting emerging creativity in Camden Art Centre’s local community and beyond, with further opportunities, like the Transformative Futures summer residency, occurring throughout the year.

Special thanks to the Transformative Futures Youth Collective
Ishwari Bhalerao
Maya Kincaid
George Collum
Asha Fontenelle
Becca Thomas
Amelia Martin
Gemma Wright