Remember how, as a kid, you would invite your friends to come over? Probably for no particular reason, but then you would all come up with some great ideas to enjoy that time and have fun. We like to think that's how 180 Creative Camp works - ideas, pushed forward by our imagination, in a constant whirl of exchanges, creating what is for us one of the best kind of experiences.
180 Creative Camp is something we used to look forward to throughout the year. Within the different projects Canal180 takes part in, Camp has a special place in our heart. We tend to look at it as our physical extension, the time and place to get our online community together and to challenge each other's creativity. Located in a small city of Abrantes, it provides an important ground to raise relevant questions through creativity and art collaborations.
Every year we took hundreds of pictures to capture the experience of 180 Creative Camp and translate it in a way that everyone, even those who couldn't make it, can enjoy. During the past seven editions, we have created content with participants and invited artists to showcase some of the projects that blossomed during this creative week. But this year we thought of doing something different, something that would shed a light on what it is all about. Because after all, have we actually explained to you what 180 Creative Camp is?
Some of Us Were Looking at the Stars
"Some of Us Were Looking at the Stars" is a documentary narrative on 180 Creative Camp and its seventh edition in 2018: a portrayal of participants who have decided to come to Abrantes; invited artists who have accepted the challenge; hosts and collaborators who have given it all during the Camp; and all those who have dared to look up at the stars with us.
Every July, during the week of 180 Creative Camp, a small and quiet city is filled with noise, unusual movement and excitement one can feel around the streets. Exploring Abrantes was one of the first things the newcomers have done. Coming from places like Copenhagen, New York, Singapore or London, this city so distant from their reality has turned out to be a surprisingly familiar place.
I was just wandering around and it reminded me of being a kid and playing outside, and being bored of it. When you just look at the plants, look at the stones and you actually look at the fence. It's the things I forgot to look at in my city and bigger cities.
- Jordy Van Den Nieuwendijk, a Dutch illustrator, painter and drawing teacher
There is, in fact, nothing easier that getting here: some flew, while others have made it by train, bus or even bike. Some have definitely brought their motivations, others, their expectations, all of which have been building up during the waiting time. But one thing is certain regardless: all have brought stories to share.
My girlfriend bought me the ticket last year as a birthday present 'cause for the last three years I have wanted to come and kept forgetting to buy the ticket... So I think I was the first ticket sold by like 8 months.
- Ben Derico, a participant from Chicago, USA
Four workshops, five artists. The seventh edition of the 180 Creative Camp was indeed a lucky one.
With Devin Blaskovich and George Muncey, our participants explored analog photography and created a narrative with instant and long format cameras. Jack Turits has brought an idea of creating a short movie shot through the rearview mirror of a car. Jordy Van Den Nieuwendijk led a painting workshop where participants were invited to create an identity for an imaginary micronation. The Royal Studio took over an artistic intervention, challenging the creativity and imagination of our participants.
I stopped drawing in high school because I was so focused on the creative process of the digital image. But now I really want to get back to it and paint on a diary. This camp was like a "mental reset" for me.
- Raquel Costa, a participant from Braga, Portugal
For the "Meet the Creators" conference and later the "Meet Each Other" moment, with portfolio reviews, we were lucky to have with us artists such as publisher, editor and curator Elise by Olsen, Lucy Bourton from It’s Nice That, Filipe Magalhães from Fala Atelier and Mads-Ulrik Husum from Husum & Lindholm studio.
From graphic design to architecture, from animation to film making, our participants have come from a variety of disciplines, eager to learn from other creators and share their own knowledge. We believe that within this kind of fusion of creative minds, some of the most ambitious projects can be created.
That kind of merging of all the different creative disciplines doesn't tend to happen if you are online sharing your work, as it is so curated and you are picking certain things that you like.
- Lucy Bourton, staff writer at Its Nice That, commenting on Portfolio Review
Immersing yourself into an offline world is something we have less and less time for. That’s why 180 Creative Camp is not just about work. It is also about slowing down, enjoying small things and small talks, having no need to rush. Living together and sharing meals is also an important ice breaker, something that dissolves the boundaries between "amateurs" and professionals, artists and participants. Art and creativity is all about sharing and 180 Creative Camp is no exception.
These kinds of camps are something you remember doing when you were a kid. I think it's important as well to do this when you are older… I think it's a nice thing and we should do it more often.
- Lorena Cao, a participant from Mallorca, Spain
foto by Alvaro Campos
This is a story about creativity. About the importance of collaboration in arts. The meaning of small cities and offline connections. The blossoming of ideas and friendships.
We call it 180 Creative Camp.