2025 Festival Dates: 5 & 6 July

Hetain Patel: Come As You Really Are

Come As You Really Are is a major new commission by Artangel and award-winning artist Hetain Patel. The exhibition features thousands of objects created or collected by hobbyists across the UK shown alongside a new artist film. Each hobby represents a decision to commit valuable time to living life on our own terms in a society dominated by consumerism.

The National Festival of Making is excited to be a part of a network of 13 partner organisations across the UK, collaborating to assemble a nationwide celebration of creativity and self-expression.

Often rooted in personal experience and those of his immigrant family, Hetain Patel’s work invites us to see identity as multi-dimensional and complex, linked as much to what we choose to do, as that which is assigned by birth, heritage, social norms, and conventions.

The project began with a nationwide call out inviting members of the public to share the activity to which they dedicate their spare time. Hobbies of all kinds are gathered to celebrate their variation, freedom of expression and ingenuity, and in doing so Patel challenges our perception of who gets to be called creative and where the impulse to create stems from. At the heart of this project is a nationwide community of people whose labours of love are a lens through which the artist presents an alternative portrait of the UK.

The inaugural exhibition launches in London on 18 July 2024 at Grants, a former department store in Croydon. The nationwide project continues with presentations across the UK from February 2025 onwards.

Book your visit here.

“There is a vulnerability in sharing something so personal, which often happens in private spaces around the responsibilities of daily life. But there is also a tremendous power in sharing collectively, which is at the heart of this project. I hope people join us in this celebration of the unstoppable nature of self-expression that is demonstrated by our hobbies.”

– Hetain Patel

Commissioned and produced by Artangel.

In partnership with Factory International, Manchester; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea;?Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Museum of Making, Derby Museums Trust;?National Festival of Making with Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Barnsley Civic; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; CCA Derry~Londonderry; Hospitalfield, Arbroath; Tate St Ives.

Supported by Artangel’s Guardian Angels. With thanks to Creative Lives and Croydon Council. Digital Partner Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, and The Company of Angels.



2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Back to top