17th April to 7th June
In May 1999 I was appointed as CAA’s first Education Officer to set up and run an Outreach Programme that was, at the time, nothing but a promising dream; the brain and heart child of Andrew Phillips, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, of CAA’s Council of Management.
From 1999 HANDS ON! evolved and took shape – it developed a distinctive identity and character. From the very beginning I was certain that the Outreach Programme would depart from the usual education models. Perhaps idealistically, I wanted HANDS ON! to focus its activity away from theory, academics, books, reports, seminars and exam based projects. Instead, the Outreach Programme focused on people - the pupils, students, teachers and makers. They were the sources of inspiration and motivation for the style, tone, nature and content of the projects. So, between 1999 and 2002 a programme of community and school-based projects that celebrated the making of original contemporary applied art happened throughout Camden.
HANDS ON! developed a fine reputation and has left its mark as a significant and noteworthy Outreach Programme. Celebrating Education marks the dynamism created in the HANDS ON! projects and highlights the enjoyment of 20 of the participating makers Each piece is a new work inspired by their experience and an expression of their HANDS ON! involvement. For me, the exhibition is an inspiring, impressive and highly meaningful collection of work made by people whom I came to know well, and greatly admire.
From the start I knew it was a remarkable project. I would return to the gallery after a HANDS ON! session and time after time say, ‘now that is what education is all about’. There were never the right words to describe what had just happened. But now, there are 20 tangible statements and interpretations of the dream we all experienced and together made come true.
Kim Jacobson 2003
- CAA Exhibitions