RE-UP DAY FIVE/SIX – Tuesday November 5th – The on-going daily Re-Up blog. Bang bang, build a bonfire, fireworks? The art of burning canvas? Nah, enough raging against the art machine and the conservative apathy and lack of do-it-yourself-fueled get-up-and-go of most artists (other than so called street artists who roll in a whole different pro-active kind of way) – large generalisations born of frustration as we juggle it all by ourselves I know, but I’m sure you get the (rather repetitive) train of though by now. We frankly had hoped you would fly at us with exciting artistic submissions for this Re-Up show, submissions that would force me to (happily) take my art of the walls and excitedly put yours up instead. Enough has been said about all this now, please read the blog from Friday and Saturday if you haven’t already, there’s a gallery full of colour (and Julia’s black and white words) waiting for you to come and explore.
We’re looking forward to this coming First Thursday evening, our 27th uninterrupted First Thursday in a row, we’re looking forward to the First Thursday Re-Up and sharing our walls and plinths with you. The walls are full, there’s probably far too many pieces of my own art up there, but look past all those damn leaves, leafhearts and all that unnecessary noisy exclaiming, and explore the diverse exciting art of EMMA HARVEY, GARETH MORGAN. GENEVIEVE HATTON-BROWN, JEAN-LUC ALMOND, JULIA MADDISON, INFINITY BUNCE, MARCIA SCOTT. MERVYN SYNA, RICHARD BATTY, SIXONESIX, STEVEN RAWLINGS, TIM GOFFE, XXXORA and just maybe one or two more if anyone else grabs the chance and excites us enough to re-up some more before Thursday evening explodes on us.
Got in to a conversation about the rather delightfully crude hand made bar sign that is now painted on, re-up’ed and on the wall in the gallery (actually the sign is on the floor leaning against the wall, no room on the packed walls right now). Someone came in and said she really liked it until I told her what it was, then she decided, because of the sign’s history, that maybe it was a little tainted. You see the sign, a piece of wood from some kind of packing case, with the word “bar” stencilled on it, was left behind on a wall by the people who set up the slightly illegal bar (and very loud sound-system) in the street a couple of First Thursdays ago – that’s right, the sign from the pavement bar that brought all the police and council attention as well as a whole load of headache on to us Vyner Street (and Mowlem Street) galleries.
Is the bar sign tainted? Those packed-street evenings were rather alive, the “bar” people did rake the p*** and yes, probably pushed things a little too far, they weren’t really involved in the whole process of showing art or the gallery culture, some might say they just leached off the back of our collective efforts, made the money and then just ran with pockets their full of cash, while the rest of us copped for the fines, the officialdom and the fall out. Not tainted though, re-up’ed, rejuvenated. First Thursday, on the whole, for all the faults, has always been a positive experience, being seeply involved in the monthly event has been an exciting buzz, and yes, those bar guys probably brought a little more to it than some in terms of the event and the atmosphere (I mean, some of those galleries really did need to wake up and contribute a bit more, at least the bar guys brought a touch of something or other). No, that sign isn’t tainted, the bar gang might have been a little naughty, but that sign will always be a celebration of some great nights down a street much maligned by some, much loved by us.
Vyner Street on a First Thursday, in our time down there, has always been good to be part of. I bring this up today because the sign is currently in the Re-Up show, and this Re-Up show is mostly about us working out the attitudes and feelings our fellow artists have to offer in terms of our artist-run space, about working out if our time in the street is finally up. We’ve been asking via this show and this daily Re-Up blog all week, are YOU ARTISTS going to re-up Cultivate, or is it time for us to shut the door and move on now? Is there a point in taking our cultivation any further down Vyner Street or should we vacate the space and let others have a shot at the space and the challenge of taking it on? I think, this week, we got our answer.
And so, with all this in mind, and with the landlord being more than beyond reasonably flexible about late rent payments in recent times, we shall announce that we will extend the current Re-Up group show through the weekend until Sunday afternoon, we will then implement one last month of art in our Vyner Street space. November and the first week of December will be a kind of lead up to Christmas month of affordable art and related events – both in the gallery and in other spaces and (maybe) music venues near by, once again we will invite our fellow artist to come get involved in the final month of our artist-run space (watch this space, details very soon). And then, Cultivate, in terms of Vyner Street and our current gallery adventure, will close for good. We will finally close on the weekend after December First Thursday. We will close our doors for good , and (ceremonially) paint the white stenciled sign off the front on December 8th. We’ve had a blast, it has been a buzz, the good has far outweighed the bad, we’ve learned a lot, we’ll dissect it all later.
This is not the end of Cultivate for Cultivate has always been an idea, an evolving vision. The space we currently occupy is called “Cultivate, Vyner Street” because from day one, the idea was to move Cultivate around and for it to take different forms, shapes and sizes in different places…
I think we did okay. One last month then…. Long live artist run spaces
Sean, Emma, Cultivate.