Good morning, for it is morning right now, a rushed morning Cultivate blog beast before I make a Friday morning rush to open the door on the final weekend of what I think is a rather good Primaries show…. And it is a rush, always a rush, fifteen months of rushing, never stopping, a fifteen month battle to keep the doors open and the art flowing on something that’s somewhere near our terms.
I’ve got something to say about it all this morning, something rushed, but it needs saying before I rush off to open the doors and freeze again/ We put out a call last month to you artists, all you people with your painted money, your crushed cans and your big pieces of green canvas, you portrait painters and shoe makers, you contemporary paint throwers, you make your own damn artists, where the hell are you? We’ve been helping get your art out there, where are you when we ask for a little in return?
Of course there’s been compromise, this version of Cultivate always had to be, hands tied by financial constraint and never having the funds or indeed support to really do what we want with the space. Not that we ever asked for financial support, well not a hand out anyway (not like that gallery over te road that’s funded up to the eyeballs and has only managed to open for about four weeks in 2012).
We, Emma and I, for there has only ever been two of us doing all this (some of you seem to think there’s big team, no, just two bloody-minded, skint committed, (foolish?) people trying to do something a little more on artists terms, we had hoped that more of our fellow artists would want to get involved with making it happen, with joining in, with putting on shows, we started this with some sort of notion of a full working collective of people wanting to make their own damn art shows, wanting to make their own damn space, have to say we’re a little bit disappointed that most of you artists wanted little more than to occasionally hang a painting when you have the time and then leave us to get on with it – “I love the ethos of the gallery”, “We love what you’re doing”, thanks for all that, but it really was about doing something a little more than just running another gallery…
So last month we threw out a question about what you wanted from an artist-run space, we didn’t get much of a response, which I guess was an answer in itself really… We guess you’d rather be ripped off by the people who run these over priced art fairs and the rest of these things you seem stupid enough to throw money at? I guess you’d rather pay a monthly fee to be “represented” by some soulless gallery-come-webshop that has another four hundred and thirty seven suckers also paying a monthly fee to be “represented”, I guess you don’t really want to make your own damn art in your own damn spaces?
And so for the last year and a bit we’ve been asking these questions, pushing, trying to create an alternative, we’ve been sneered at by those who don’t like what we’re saying or indeed don’t like the fact that we’re saying it from right in the middle of their street, we’ve had the establishment galleries telling us we don’t know how to do it, how were the wrong sort of people to be running galleries and how artists should stick to just making the art and how they, the gallery people, should control it all and decide on who or what should be shown. Most of you seem happy with that status quo, most of you seem happy to go along with it all, why is that? Do you really want any of what we’re saying or doing ? Do you really want gallery spaces of your own? Do you want collective efforts and doing it on our own terms rather than just accepting the rules they make and the doors they keep closed?
Emma and I have done this for 15 long hard tough exciting rewarding frustrating annoying (sometimes brilliant) months now, we didn’t expect or plan for it to last this long and we certainly didn’t expect to be doing it all ourselves. And if you want us to carry on then you need to get involved in things like this Art id for life fundraiser when we ask you to
Last month we put out a call for artists to come get involved, we kind of expected quite a few of you who have shown work at our space during the last year, especially those who have sold work, who’ve enjoyed the space, we kind of expected you to come running, we said December would be about fund-raising and attempting to keep Cultivate open in 2013, we said we needed your help if you wanted this to carry on….
We’re rather proud of what we’ve managed to achieve on our corner, that roll of photos on the website makes us smile,,, This can’t go on though, time to evolve the Cultivate idea
So I ask you again, do you want an artist-run space in the middle of it all in 2013? And if you artists do, then where are you? The Art is For Life show is about us fundraising, it is also about you showing you art to people over what should be a busy three weeks, maybe selling a piece or two…
Where are you, the plan was not to do this all ourselves, it was supposed to be a collective effort… Art is for life.. make your own damn….
IF YOU WANT THIS SPACE TO STAY OPEN THEN COME PUT YOUR ART IN THE ART IS FOR LIFE SHOW, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM AN ARTIST RUN SPACE IN 2013 ANYWAY? WE’VE DONE OUR BIT, UP TO YOU NOW….
the GALLERY PHOTO ROLL
Now come get involved in our Art Is For Life show, we hang it on Wednesday and kicks off for three weeks this coming First Thursday evening,,,,