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Camden Arts Centre: a free gallery in Finchley

camden_arts_centre
FACTFILE


Rating: 9/10

Address: Arkwright Road,
London, NW3 6DG

Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 – 18:00;
Wed 10:00 –21:00;Closed Mondays

Tube: Finchley road (metropolitan and jubilee lines) 7 minutes by foot

Free Entry

Official Website

By Daria Dergacheva

Wandering the streets of North London, you can find magic. One of these hidden gems is the Camden Arts Centre.

They have galleries, workshops, events, a bookshop, café, garden and free Wi-Fi. 

They don't have an entrance fee.  

Camden Arts Centre is in an unexpected place — it is not, contrary to what the name says, in Camden, but on Finchley Road.  This Victorian building seems from another world on the not-so-clean and rather shabby Finchley. 

Exhibitions and events

At the moment, Camden Arts Centre hosts an exhibition called ‘Film in Space: group shows selected by Guy Sherwin’. 

These compositions of light, sound and film are shown in various rooms around the gallery, and it is fairly easy to spend a few hours wandering through them.  

The centre also holds events with free artist-led activities every Sunday.  For schedule and details check the centre’s website.

Read more on 'Film in Space' in this review.

Projects in Camden Arts Centre

There are a number of contemporary art projects running at the centre. In April 2012, they launched a project called ‘Junction: A North London Cultural Consortium, a shared platform for cultural activity in North London’, which is intended as an “open ended partnership between arts organisations working collaboratively on projects”.

What they do is exhibitions, performances, and - the truly exciting part – artist-led walks around King’s Cross by Rebecca Birch, Simon Faithfull, Tanya Loi and Katherine Midgley, “responding in different ways to the history, environment and people of the area”, as the centre's website describes it.

As the Camden Arts Centre website suggests, these walks can be followed using the Junction Map available from all Consortium venues or as a download.

The Bookshop

The bookshop features hundreds of books on philosophy, arts, design, and even children's' books on all these subjects. There is also a selection of artist’s editions. This is not your average North London bookshop.

Café

My favorite spot, as in every London museum, is the café. This one deserves praise because of a garden, which would be a great spot in summer. They also have free Wi-Fi, relatively good food, and inexpensive coffee. 

The downside of this entertainment venue is that if you are not so much into art, there is not much to do there. 

The café and garden are worth a visit anyway, but other than that, all the entertainment in the centre is about art.  It also closes at 6pm, and doesn't open on Mondays, so make sure to plan a visit carefully.

What fascinates me most is that Londoners have built their living space so that it keeps giving you something, even if you have never been interested. It is so accessible that it becomes your everyday life. 

Camden Arts Centre is one of those tiny parts of the puzzle which makes London so unique.

See more images from the Camden Arts Centre in Laura Wilson’s blog