Before I die, a striking new installation in Camden Town | Camden New Journal | 29 August 2013

From the Camden New Journal, 29 August 2013

VISITORS to Camden Lock can now tell the world their lifetime ambitions via an interactive art installation due to be unveiled today (Thursday).

The artwork takes the form of a huge blackboard with “Before I die I want to…” written across it dozens of times. Visitors are encouraged to finish the sentence using chalk provided.

“Before I Die” is one of more than 300 similar pieces to have appeared in more than 50 countries. Passers-by have typically been struck by the messages – some of them funny, others moving.

The first wall was created in New Orleans in 2011 by American artist Candy Chang after she lost someone close to her.

Replica walls quickly sprang up across the world.

Camden Town artist Tessa Crockett suggested the idea to Camden Lock market. “I have absolutely no idea why it hasn’t been done here before,” she said. “It’s such a brilliant concept. It moves people and makes them laugh.

Camden Market have been really helpful the whole way through.”

Ms Crockett, who has lived in St Pancras Way for 30 years, added: “I’ve been ill for 12 years with ME [chronic fatigue syndrome], which stops me doing an awful lot, and I wanted to contribute somehow to the place I live in.”

There have been 17 walls in Britain, but Camden Lock’s will be the first in London, and the only permanent one in the UK. Ms Crockett said: “Whenever it needs cleaning, I’ve got my bucket and my squeegee on the end of a long stick, and we have a lot of chalk.”

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