WHY I LOVE CULTIVATE-ING
It is and has been fantastic to have the continued opportunity to exhibit my art at Cultivate gallery on Vyner Street over the past three years. As the space has evolved into ‘CULTIVATE EVOLVED’ (since January 2014) with the wall space sliced into ten sections, I now have an entire section of wall to do with whatever I want. It has been packed full of collages and shelves of cakes, with ice creams slammed into the wall and dripped onto the floor, oil paintings and photographs have been hung alongside ribbons, mouths, art tarts… It offers a continuous outlet for my art that would be impossible for me to find elsewhere.
It challenges me to constantly think about what I am doing and why. It makes me consider my work more thoroughly; what I want to be seen (and unseen) on my slice of wall for that month / week / day. To have a permanent wall space in a gallery on Vyner Street in the East of London, which takes in a busy First Thursday event each month and has visitors from all over the world (visiting all the spaces and galleries down the street) and knowing that your art will be seen, is an opportunity to be cherished.
This artist run space is a truly unique experience; we are actually doing it ourselves. And finding ourselves involved with a lot of exciting adventures along the way (for example, being involved with the Art Car Boot Fair which this year has included trips to Liverpool as part of the Biennale in June and to the Folkestone Triennial at the end of August, as well as at the recent Fete Worse Than Death event in Shoreditch). It has also given me opportunities to meet with other like-minded artists, be invited to join other exhibitions and make friends.
I could just make art in my studio, keep it piling up in the corner adding to all my other stuff but instead I am able to continually push myself and my art and exhibit the pieces I want to, when I want. I now make art in the knowledge it will be seen. I don’t need fame and attention, I don’t need my art to be picked up and stored forever in an underground basement but I do need a continual outlet for my art; a chute down which I drop my finished work into and for it to end up on a gallery wall – I need a friendly gallery space where everyone is welcome to come in, and I need to continue making art which will be seen (and occasionally, sold). Cultivate Evolved not only gives me this opportunity but actively encourages me to continue engaging with it.
I find it difficult to use words to sum up complex emotions about how I feel about art however I think Stewart Lee sums it up rather well in saying, when art works well it makes you feel less alone, and perhaps this best sums up why I love cultivating and what an amazing adventure it is to be involved with. (Emma Harvey)
verb (used with object), cul·ti·vat·ed, cul·ti·vat·ing.
- to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
- to use a cultivator on.
- to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.
- to produce by culture: to cultivate a strain of bacteria.
- to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine: to cultivate a singing voice.