We have another (very) busy week coming up at Cultivate, yes I know, every week is busy with Cultivate, but this week is looking even more busy that usual  Cultivate is a maximalist gallery and this week we follow the rather well received Back in Black show with a thing called TEN and another FREE ART FRIDAY when you’ll find lots of free art from all over the world waiting for you to take it home   And then we go on to celebrate the ethos of Riot Grrl (in a forward-looking way rather than just a celebration of things past) with a two week show called YEASTIE GIRLS and then the evoking of SPRING for the start of March, jumping ahead of ourselves there though,  this week we’re all about TEN and FREE ART FRIDAY….

TEN – Opening night: Thursday 14th February, 6pm until 9pm and then from: Friday 15th  until 20th February.  (usual opening hours)

So on 15th February we host a much anticipated International Free Art Friday event on the street and the outside walls of Cultivate. Meanwhile inside the gallery, what are we going to put on the walls for that week?

TEN exciting artists… TEN artists, inTENsity, everything up to TEN…..




TEN – We’re going to divide our walls in to TEN areas (with black tape) and invite TEN artists to take one area each Each wall section will be 1 metre wide and 2.9 metres high (there will be blank space each side of the one metre so artists can use all their space) Artists can do what they want with space, fill it with one big canvas or piece, fill it will lots of small affordable pieces of work, install something, take it in a minimal direction and make a bold statement with one piece in the space…  We’ve invited the artists, we’re looking forward to seeing how they use their space…

DEBORAH GRIFFIN, one of the Ten artists….

So did you enjoy First Thursday this month? Thanks for braving the weather, it seemed busier than ever to us on our corner, or were more of you in the galleries trying to stay warm rather than taking it all in and then socializing on the street? There’s a lot of things wrong with First Thursday, but we do rather enjoy the positive buzz and the genuine people who come along to see what we have on our walls, come and look at it, talk about it, sometimes argue about it (mostly in a positive constructive way), and yes, sometime buy it  (pleased to say people are still buying art down our street).

Yes, we enjoy the busy buzz, the big crowds on First Thursday and our open door position right in the middle of it all.  Last week was our eighteenth First Thursday in a row at Cultivate – we hardly ever get a mention or an inch of support from the official First Thursday/Time Out/Whitechapel people, still not listed on their maps or lists or anything, but hey, we almost feel like First Thursday veterans now. I think we can reasonably claim that if we weren’t there on our corner with our door wide open, our lights on and our walls full, then Vyner Street would maybe not be quite so alive on a First Thursday evening (or any other day),.

CULTIVATE, last (first) Thursday evening

CULTIVATE, last (first) Thursday evening

Now, even though anger is an energy, I am trying not to rant and rave here. It was though, rather hideous to see Matt Roberts pull up outside our front door last week leading the official First Thursday coach tour and then to hear the man standing outside said open front door pontificating about what was happening on the street and what the galleries are about and…  The coach was parked over the road from the gallery space that his operation has been occupying since last summer, his space was closed again of course, but then the man who claims to be leading an “Artist-Led Society” that’s all about supporting and helping artists do it themselves (an that he seemed to charge said artists an arm and a leg to join in on) never does actually open. The man never ever seems to have that nice big gallery space he’s cluttering up open, even when he had an actually show on his space never appears to actually be open that much. Why was his much publicised Salon show that so many people paid to submit work to closed and hidden, people’s art offensively locked behind doors during the First Thursday that his much heralded Summer Salon coincided with? For sixteen months we’ve watched this man who claims to be all about supporting artists and artist-led initiatives operate and to see and hear him under the video camera spotlight shooting his shit really was the last straw.  As the only artist-led space on the street (until the recent opening of the rather fine House of Vostrovska space next to is in our building on the corner), we’ve watched him walk past, we tried many times to get a conversation or at least a reaction out of the man, we went to his occasional show when they were actually open. Not once in sixteen months of Cultivate has the “artist-supporting” man stepped though our front door, even when artists who have paid good money to take part in his artist-led residencies have been, at the same time, exhibiting at Cultivate. Not once has he stepped in, had a look or bothered to talk to us and find out what we’re about or who’s art we have on the walls this week.  So rather hideous to see the dubious man from the corner standing outside our building, pontificating about the state of things (and no doubt being paid to do so), when he’s never once stepped inside or communicated with any of us (save for the time he wanted to generate a bit more cash for his summer salon show and sent us an e.mail asking us to please do a mailout for him).

The always open door….

Gawd it was tempting to go confront the man in front of his official First Thursday film cameras.  Enough of the likes of him and our on-going frustration with the official First Thursday people, people like Mr Roberts, the London art system he represents, and their seemingly cynical contempt for us actual working artists is one of the reasons we decided to go for it, do it ourselves and set up Cultivate as a an ever evolving (and actually open) gallery space…  Enough, so easy to let anger take over and it really should not be about anger when we have so much art to share with you, really enjoying bringing you the art of Zoe Crosse, Madeleine Strindberg, Timothy Gatenby, Tim Goffe, Charlie Mcfarley to name but a few so far in 2013 ….  I don’t think Back in Black was our best show, pleased with most of the art, but I think it would be fair to say it wasn’t our best, I’m never really totally satisfied…

So this week we have the week-long TEN show and the FREE ART FRIDAY event, another busy week this week at Cultivate, walking it rather than just (getting paid to) talk about it…come join in

Clotilde Lataille’s wall installation for our Back In Black show at Cultivate, Feb 2013

The Exclamations viewed through EMMA BUGGY’s (vagina) heels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s