Talking Crest is a seven-strong arts collective, formed in London last year. The troupe host a number of multidiscplinary creative workshops from their Central Saint Martins base and on Saturday launched a live event (even the Camden and Islaington mayors made an appearance…) to examine King’s Cross’s shifting architectural and technological landscape. We quizzed Crest’s Alexander Augustus and Sara Angelucci about it.
How did Talking Crest form? How would you define its key aims?
Talking aims of EUPA is to culturally regenerate the King’s Cross area with the help of existing communities – through a series of workshops over the last nine months, with a vision to create a final installation for everyone to enjoy.
What intrigued you about the King’s Cross area as artists and London residents? Many see it as a place of constant technological and architectural refinement that has come to symbolise London as it stands today (the Filling Station project etc…).
You can walk for five minutes in King’s Cross, and every one minute can [reveal] a completely different universe! From the diamond chandeliers of the St Pancras Hotel to the hoodies of the council estate opposite; or the Sleepy Hollow-esque grave-tree of St Pancras to the hot, pushy underground stations nearby. But there is no link between them. King’s Cross has a split-personality.
Were the creative workshops a success? Any notable appearances or contributions?
Yes! We handed out over 50 disposable cameras to locals, to capture “their King’s Cross”. From these, we pulled elements together from the architecture, people and nature they photographed. These were converted into over 100 stencil patterns, and subsequently we took to the road and staged five
textile workshops, where robotic “St Pancras-es” on legs and a flying skeleton deer were among the images produced!
It looks like it was an amazing spectacle. What does the river convergence represent to you? What is it reacting to, or against? Is it angry, optimistic, both or neither?
The carnival atmosphere is key! We focused on Regent’s Canal as a connecting artery, and linked this to the idea of ancient London carnival and procession as a way to bring the community together. With the Mayors attending, it is all very Neo-Medieval!
How and when did you get the mayors of Islington and Camden involved? How easily were they persuaded?
We thought that a meeting of the two Mayors would represent the cogency of the area. The heads at CSM thought the event would be great fun and were happy to lead the processions! We are also in the line-up of Camden Media Events, and part-funded as an Olympic moment, so there was already some weight to our proposal.
How do you suspect the group will continue to expand upon its core themes and principles?
Working with these communities has been a great opportunity for us to create collaborative relationships – we’re very keen to keep in touch. As we all move onto our thesis projects I’m sure we’ll be in lose contact with them throughout.
Talking Crest is: Sara Angelucci, Alex Augustus, Mia Frances Kennedy, Seung Youn Lee, Leticia Lozano, Radha Mistry and Rebecca Wood.
Words: Jack Mills
Images from the event: Poppie Clinch
Workshop images: Elisa Magnini