I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve been selected for a summer residency at Chisenhale Studios, starting this July. I’ll be developing Coast with a focus on the Hertford Union Canal. Expect family workshops looking at maintaining the canal and making recycled art work, hand made canal paper and a living installation.
Below is a copy of the latest blog feature on my work from The Canal and River Trust. It’s been an absolute honour to have worked with them as a volunteer, workshop leader and activist. I’m very happy to announce that we have decided to continue working together to highlight the importance of maintaining our canals and keeping them clean during 2019. Keep an eye on both our websites for the next post!
News article created on 9 January 2019
Trash tree decorations
A few weeks ago I held Trash Tree Decorations, a family drop-in workshop at Kindred Studios where participants worked with canal plastic, donated plastic and streamers made from widely non recycled plastic sheets.
Trash Tree Decorations workshop
I really enjoy leading workshops like this as they are left with few rules so that participants can explore their creativity. Children work with their families and guardians to make eye catching decorations. While doing this they realise how much plastic waste exists and I hope that this will lead them on, to use less. This is a great activity and can be done at home, following a towpath clean, to begin the school holidays.
Wrapped in plastic
Since my last blog I’ve been busy as an invited artist at Wrapped In Plastic an awareness and solutions event to talk about eliminating plastics in our environment at WWF HQ in Woking. It was wonderful to meet different experts and talk about solutions. Refusing straws, bags and always taking litter home or ensuring that it goes securely into a bin are small steps that we can all take today.
Camilla (left) at Wrapped in Plastic
I’ve also been featured, alongside volunteers from the Canal and River Trust, in a video made at UCL called, Life on London’s Canals, which promotes the canal system and how to keep it clean. This video gives a lovely insight into the issues facing the canal in London today and what can be done to ensure that it can be enjoyed in the years to come.
2019 will see me continuing to work with Plastics and my project Coast. I’ll be learning how to lead a river clean up and also participating on a voyage in Scotland exploring microplastics in our oceans.
MIXED MEDIA ARTIST
About the Art
Mixed media on hand made paper and driftwood.
I use mixed media and experiment with combining the manmade and natural to build on to found objects and surfaces. This is done from my Queens Park studio.
Brendon explores pattern and repeated forms found in nature along with seascapes, the sun, light and the sky. She then re-works them and abstracts them to create mixed media pieces on man made objects which are gathered from the British coastline and canal system.
Humans make plastic
I began making plastic mobiles out of waste plastic bags, back in 2013 in Bolivia - I then exhibited them in public spaces so they could be viewed alongside the natural environment they were threatening.
This blog starts in Bolivia. Whilst I was based there as a resident artist for NGO Sustainable Bolivia, I investigated how plastic was used in the South American nation. This led me to not only make mobiles out of plastic bags, but it fired up my desire to draw attention to the litter issue in Cochabamba, the city I was staying in. In time, it has led me to want to spread the message in the UK and highlight the problem we have with plastic waste.
Today in London I continue to make mobiles out of plastic from the canals, and plastics that are currently not widely recycled. I look at nature, natural forms and pattern, especially flowers and the alges that cover the canal during the summer months. Instead of exhibiting them along the canals, I hold workshops to help teach mobile creation, but also it's a way of sharing my passion for plastic waste.
During workshops I provide visual aids with a strong emphasis on the natural and architectural environment through which the canal passes. I then hand the creativity over to the participants, all the while standing by offering practical advice. I want those attending to make something meaningful to them, something that will make them feel good.
How's it done?
Humans Make Plastic is a huge mobile that I've constructed with the work made by participants of three workshops in conjunction with UCL. To connect the many smaller mobiles I used strands of plastic bags and wire, and wove sections of striking colour through the piece to give it some uniformity and make it visually stimulating. When hung the mobile moves and flows in the air.
It’s delicate nature is a direct reflection of the fragilities of our environment.
I’m getting ready to give my next workshop, this time it will be at my studio, Kindred in Maida Hill a ten minute walk from the Regent's Canal. The workshop is called Trash Tree Decorations and will enable participants to make decorations out of plastic bottles. It will run from 2pm - 6pm on Saturday 17 of November. The open studio is 17/18 November 12 noon - 6pm, and there is a full program of events both days.
If you come along feel free to bring old plastic bottles from home and any you've picked up from canal tow paths, we can use them all.
The open studios are free and fun for all ages, dogs on leads are welcome.
Humans Make Plastic will be exhibited at Kindred during the open studio.
I’ll be showing works from my series of paintings and collages COAST at the Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise, a ten minute walk form the Ladbroke Grove Canal. This showing will incorporate a site specific installation. November 27 - January 7 with an opening reception on the 27 November from 6:30 - 8:00.
I’m happy to announce that I’ll be encouraging visitors to Kindred Studio’s upcoming open studio to make use of unwanted plastic bottles by turning them into tree decorations!
Fun for all the family on Saturday 17th November 14:00-18:00.
I’ll be in my studio for the rest of the weekend, so come on up to 205 to have a look at how COAST. is coming along!
We want you to meet Camilla Brendon, a London based artist whose concerns with pollution, plastics and all man-made objects that end up in our waterways, has inspired some truly creative work.Read More
I’m really happy to have been mentioned in the UCL Public Engagement Blog:
A very engaging summer: public engagement in east London
By Briony M Fleming, on 31 July 2018
Humans Make Plastic
Ahead of Open Doors: Vote 100 (a partnership showcase event between East Bank organisations) UCL’s Engagement Team, together with Bow Arts Trust, brought together UCL researchers, local artists and zero waste activists in an event to discuss plastics, sustainability and women-led activism. The 20th June event, later named Humans Make Plastics by participants, was led and designed by London artist Camilla Brendon. It used plastic pollution (much of it sourced from the River Lea with the support of the Canal and River Trust) to design and build a collaborative sculpture which acted as a tool to talk about the research being undertaken into plastics at UCL. Catherine Conway of Unpackagedalso gave a talk about her role in trying to remove plastic from the food and retail supply chain. The final sculpture from the workshop, will also be shown at the Bloomsbury Festival in October.
Open Doors: Vote 100
Open Doors: Vote 100 was the first time all East Bank partners (Sadler’s Wells, Smithsonian Institute, London College of Fashion, UCL and V&A) came together to deliver a collaborative event. The event, on the 22nd July, included dance, music and poetry, displays, debates, workshops and screenings, and was suitable for all ages. Highlights included excerpts from Suffraggedon, an in-production hip-hop feminist musical written by Guilty Feminist contributors, an exhibition showing the works of 20 artists inspired by an image embroidered by incarcerated suffragettes in 1912, and dance performances & workshops from Company Wayne Macgregor and Myself UK Company.
In addition to re-delivering both its Textile 100 and Humans Make Plastics workshops, UCL was also represented by a number of academics who took part in an item called the long conversation. This format brought together artists, film makers, scientists and activist to discuss the question ‘What makes you optimistic about the future’. The conversation acted as a relay with each person being first interviewed and then becoming the interviewer. You can read the full programme on the Olympic Park website.
It has been a great summer so far and we are looking ahead to our autumn term activities. First up is Harvest Stomp, an event on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with live music, dancing, food stalls, arts and craft stalls as well as a programme of workshops, demonstrations and entertainment. We will be hosting a stall in partnership with Biochemical Engineering and their micro-brewery (yes, UCL has a micro brewery!). If you are interested in taking part in this event or finding out what more UCL is doing in east London please send us an email at: email@example.com
An interview I gave in Brazil in 2013. It explains the project that I was working on at the time, which laid the foundations for what I'm up to today!