– A First Thursday two week contemporary art show at Cultivate, Vyner Street, East London
Opening August 1st
Here at Cultivate, we’ve been growing increasingly uncomfortable the rather alarming changes that are currently being threatened along the London South Bank and especially to the vitally important and culturally iconic undercroft space. We’ve also, as artists, been growing rather uncomfortable with the tactics being used by those who wish to impose these changes on us.
The headline here is that the South Bank Centre Artistic director Jude Kelly and her board’s latest tactic, in their response to objections bring voiced to their plans to replace the existing skate park space with yet more coffee shops and retail opportunities, appears to be to try and portray the Save South Bank campaign as a simple case of selfish skateboarders versus art.
The South Bank Centre spokespeople seem to want to tell anyone who will listen, that the skateboarders are the only people who use, value and celebrate the beautifully brutal organic Undercroft art space, they insist that the boarders should move along and make way for the rest of us in the name of art.
The plan seems to be to close the ever-evolving, organic, historic, creatively-alive, skate-space and the art-covered walls, to arrogantly shut down some thirty or more years of artistically important creativity and acknowledged history, to shove it all out of the way and replace it with more glass-fronted coffee shops and “retail opportunities”, replace it with yet another soulless hopping mall frontage and maybe have some art hidden behind it somewhere out of sight.
We at Cultivate, as working contemporary artists (who, on the whole don’t know one end of a skateboard from another), feel strongly enough about the misleading tactics and cultural destruction being forced on us all by those who run the South Bank Centre, to cancel our planned August First Thursday exhibition and instead put in a completely new (last minute) show called WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS.
WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS will be a group show of work from contemporary artists, an open show – we’ve invited painters, small scale sculptors, art-makers of all shapes and sizes, to join us and make it clear that we ALL want the place to stay as it is and that we don’t want it destroyed. moved, hidden away in favour of yet more over-priced coffee shops, retail opportunities and sanitised programmed versions of what we already have.
The Undercroft has been the heart and soul of the Southbank for longer than most of us can remember. This issue is not just about skateboarders losing their space, this is about us ALL losing something of massive artistic, historical and cultural importance, about a space we all enjoy, this is about us ALL wanted the art space and not wanting more coffee shops…
WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS is NOT a show about skateboarding, skateboards, street art or the art of the South Bank undercroft,WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS is simply a diverse eclectic show of work from contemporary artists who wish to voice their objection to the planned cultural destruction. By simply being in the show the artists involved are making a statement about not wanting an important cultural space destroyed for the sake of another coffee shop and a profit margin. and that if the South Bank Centre artistic director and her board want to make it about skateboarders versus art then we. as artists, choose to stand with the skateboarders
WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS will be a selected curated show put together by Cultivate founder Sean Worrall
“WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS – ARTISTS AGAINST THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SOUTH BANK UNDERCROFT” – A First Thursday two week contemporary art show at Cultivate, Vyner Street, East London
Opening night. First Thursday. August 1st, 6pm – 9pm and then 2nd until 13th August, usual gallery opening times