Camden Close Up: Henry Ward

Love Camden loves its local talent. We aim to celebrate everything cultural in the borough, from Hampstead to Kilburn, from the British Library to that little café around the corner - we are always out to show what Camden has to offer. As part of this we launched our Camden Close-Up series: interviews with artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and downright interesting figures that live, work or are inspired by the borough.

This month we interviewed Henry Ward, Creative Director of Freelands Foundation and curator of Repeat Repeat, the new exhibition at the Freelands Foundation Gallery on Regent’s Park Road


Interview Questions

  1. What would you would do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?

My current job is so varied and involves such a range of different things that this is a difficult question to answer. Alongside my role with the Foundation I also have my own practice as an artist so I feel like I have parallel lives as it is! When I was younger there were, like everyone I expect, lots of things I thought I might do when I grew up and sometimes I do wonder what my life would look like if I had made different decisions. But I suppose that, if I wasn’t working with the Foundation I would either still be an art teacher (I was a teacher for over 15 years), or have some other role in education.


  1. What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?

I think that all of these are important in being successful, whatever that means. Hard-graft is vital…without putting in the hours and pushing yourself I think it’s pretty difficult to achieve anything of real worth, but being in the right place at the right time, having a chance conversation with a particular person, turning one way instead of the other…all end up being important too. It’s always interesting to look back and, with hindsight, see what moments ended up being significant.


  1. What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?

Without a doubt meeting Liz, the Chair of the Foundation, and Melanie, now my colleague and the Managing Director. I was in the process of leaving Southbank Centre (where I had been the Head of Education), to spend more time on my own practice and go freelance. We had a fantastic conversation about the idea for the Foundation, that was in the process of being established, and everything changed!


  1. What are you most proud of and what are you least proud of……and why?

So hard to pick one thing. Instead I’d like to pick three…my daughters. I’m most proud of them and the things they are doing. They’re all carving out their own territories and finding their way and I’m continually excited and impressed by them. I’m really not sure what I am least proud of, probably (at the moment) being British! What a mess!


  1. Tell us a secret

I love playing board games and I have far too many (though it’s not really a secret!)


Artist bio :

Henry Ward is the Creative Director of Freelands Foundation, a charity that supports art and art education. Prior to undertaking this role he was Head of Education at Southbank Centre, London, having spent over fifteen years as a teacher, including deputy head teacher of a large secondary school. Henry is also a practising artist. He has a PhD from Middlesex University, has written widely on art education and lectures internationally.


Websites and social media :