Standing at the Crossroads

Standing at the Crossroads is a 50 minute oral history documentary about artists in North Kensington. It was made by the Year 5 class of St Thomas’ CE Primary School in collaboration with digital:works. It documents ways North Kensington has changed in relation to the arts; why the area is so famed for its creativity; and what being an artist from Ladbroke Grove is like.

You can watch the film here:

The film was screened at The Tabernacle on Monday 6th June to a large community audience of over 250 people. 

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Photos by Zute Lightfoot of Lightfoot Photography

The entire evening was compared by pupils, who opened the night by performing the song, ‘Standing at the Crossroads’ by Afrikan Revolution. They were accompanied by three of the interviewees from the film: musicain, Niles Hailstones of Afrikan Revolution; singer, Emzee Haywoode; and musician, Samuel Dubios of Ebony. This was followed by a short overview of the project; a performance of poems written by pupils (of which you can read here) and a dance to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival.

After the screening, pupils answered questions from the audience, before finishing the evening with acknowledging the many local individuals and  groups who worked with pupils throughout the project – many of whom did so at no cost.

The children were also presented by a beautiful artwork by interviewee, artist Fiona Hawthorne (completed piece far right) which she began drawing whilst the pupils interviewed her. 

We would like to say a special thank you to the following people for running workshops throughout the project: Local historian, Tom Vague, for his informative workshop; Grace and Mike Laslett for telling us about the beginnings of Notting Hill Carnival; Matthew Phillip for giving us a tour of The Tabernacle and telling us even more about how Carnival began and grew; photographer, Zute Lightfoot of Lightfoot Photography and artist, Toby Laurent Belson of Brownbaby, for their brilliant photography workshop; Jaime Turner and Angelique Schmitt for their amazing ceramics workshop and giving us tours of Kindred Studios; plus all the artists from Kindred Studios who gave time to explain more about their artistic craft; Dave Walker and Kim Turner from Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies and Archives for teaching how to find fascinating historical sources of evidence; artist, Fiona Hawthorne for her local walking tour of her artworks and captivating talk; Tony Warner from Black History Talks for his local history walk about the influence and treatment of non-white immigrants of North Kensington; Ruth Morrison and the members of The Pepper Pot Centre, who shared their inspiring stories of arriving in North Kensington from the Caribbean; musicians, Niles Hailstones and Samuel Dubois for teaching us to perform the song, ‘Standing at  the Crossroads’.

We would also like to thank the interviewees for sharing their captivating, funny and thought-provoking stories: rapper, JC 001; artist, Fiona Hawthorne; sculptor, Carl Gabriel; dance & musician, Nigel Warwick; musician, Sam Dubois; photographer, Charlie Phillips; photographer, Steve Mepsted; music promoter, Huey Walker; singer, Emzee Haywoode; poet & artist, Mark Jackson; sculptor, Joe Rush; and musician, Niles Hailstones.

And we would like to thank: 

Emzee Haywoode from One Voice Community Collective and Westway 23 for helping Ms Brierley to promote the screening of the film at The Tabernacle.

Zute Lightfoot of Lightfoot Photography for taking photographs of the screening.

Niles Hailstones from Afrikan Revolution, One Voice Community Collective and Westway23 for performing Standing at Crossroads with us at the screening and letting us use the song’s title for our film.

Samuel Dubois from Ebony for performing Standing at Crossroads with us at the screening…and teaching us steel pan every week at school.

Our teachers Ms Wilson and Ms Brierley for working so hard to coordinate this project, for arranging all the workshops, and for teaching us how to write blogs and such brilliant poetry.

Sav Kyriacou and Mathew Rosenburg from arts and education charity Digital Works, who taught us so much about filming, edited the film, designed our DVD booklet, and were so much fun to work with.

Ken MacDonald for helping to find us such interesting people to interview.