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WHOS WHO: Jenni Lomax OBE, arts director

PUBLISHED: 15:03 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:38 07 September 2010

Jenni Lomax, recently awarded an OBE, as been the Director of the Camden Arts Centre since 1990 and lived in the area for 13 years. Although now in South London, she spends more time at work in Camden than at home. HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN the borough

Jenni Lomax, recently awarded an OBE, as been the Director of the Camden Arts Centre since 1990 and lived in the area for 13 years. Although now in South London, she spends more time at work in Camden than at home.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN the borough of CAMDEN?

Since joining the Arts Centre as director almost 20 years ago.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE AREA?

There are so many cultural venues in Camden which cater for all ages and represent different traditions. The borough is so vibrant and mixed that it makes it a very exciting and energetic place.

WHAT IS THE WORST THING?

Finchley Road could do with a bit of cheering up and the volume of traffic tends to cut the area in two. It can be unwelcoming especially to large groups of schoolchildren visiting the centre.

WHAT IS MISSING?

When the Saatchi Gallery was in Boundary Road it provided a critical mass who would visit other cultural venues like our own. Fortunately we still have popular venues such as the Freud Museum and 176, as well as smaller contemporary attractions like the Showroom which has just moved here, and Kingsgate Gallery.

WHich LOCAL BUILDING IS YOUR FAVOURITE?

Camden Art Centre of course! I also love Swiss Cottage public library for its architecture and sense of space. The King's Cross development is a great opportunity for excellent contemporary design and I look forward to seeing what develops.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE SHOPS IN THE AREA?

Regent's Park Road has lovely shops but I'm a real window shopper! I love walking around Primrose Hill and Heath Street, especially for all the small independent shops.

WHere IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL EATERY?

I take all my artists to the Rosemont Cafe for breakfast. It has a great atmosphere and the Italian couple who run it are wonderful.

AND YOUR FAVOURITE PUB?

The Holly Bush is a lovely old pub with open fires where I take visitors for a traditional pub experience.

IF YOU WERE MAYOR FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Speed up work on the Jubilee, Bakerloo and Northern lines which seem to have closed most weekends. This unfortunately can affect the numbers of visitors we receive at the Arts Centre.

where would you TWIN CAMDEN WITH, AND WHY?

Rotterdam because it has a thriving art scene, but in a way totally contrasting with Camden, which appeals to me. It's really industrial and about work and production whereas Camden has a rich heritage which is much more focused on play.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAMDEN ANECDOTE?

The French artist Sophie Calle visited the Freud Museum with me. The curator brought all of Freud's personal belongings out and Sophie who was so inspired she decided to create her own display for the museum. I love how Camden can influence creative people in this way.


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