Galleries are wonderful places, special places, I love those big white cubes…

Busy not missing Vyner Street last Saturday

Busy not missing Vyner Street last Saturday

So where were we before I was so rudely interrupted? Are the five minutes over yet? “Are you missing it yet?” she asked. Well for the first post-Vyner Street weekend I was busy down underground in that car park in Cavendish Square, busy installing work… well not that busy, it didn’t take too long, I was only installing mine, for once I didn’t need to worry about everyone else, about people being late because their dog had eaten their painting or the bus was the wrong colour or any of the other reasons people regularly come up with for nor being able to make it on installation day . My first weekend off in over three years, did I miss Vyner Street? Hell no! Didn’t miss it one little bit, we loved it, time was up though, like we already said, we were tired of Vyner Street and Vyner Street tired of us.  I spent a glorious Saturday in a deck chair not missing a thing…. The car park was an exciting week, it was, as Martin Sexton put it, “a genuine feeling of esprit de corps or morale amongst us”. I wrote about the car park and We Could Not Agree over on the Organ pages (I write far more over on the Organ pages than I do here on this Cultivate page). We Could Not Agree was exciting, would have been good to have been able to get a few of the Cultivate family of artists in there, felt a little bad about others not being there, like I had abandoned them or something. The car park was exciting, it kept me well away from any kind of notion of missing anything, here’s the video Marina made when we got home after the opening night…


Grace Aza-Selinger

Grace Aza-Selinger  – catch her on the corner down Vyner Street…

I haven’t missed Vyner Street one bit, I haven’t been there since we vacated the corner, I wish the new occupants well, they’re doing things a slightly different way, we wish them every success as the skate around their freshly painted floor, looks like they have some interesting paintings on those ragged walls. All looks a little formal and not sure about the name they’ve chosen but hey, what’s a name got to do with anything  Have a brilliant time showing your art on that special corner.  Vyner Street has problems right now, too many people lining up to kick at it, Vyner Street is special, it needs saving, it needs celebrating, it needs rescuing from the properly developers and those who masquerade as friends of the street while they plot destructive developments and close spaces down. Enough of that, go treasure the street and the corner while you can, go explore Street Corner Gallery (as the space is now called), they’re open now, they have a first late night on November First Thursday, they’re a collective of artists doing themselves, we’re pleased to see them doing it. Grace Aza Selinger is one of the artists involved in the street corner collective, that’s one of her acrylic on canvas pieces up there, go find out more down Vyner Street..

Have we missed it? Starting to get that itch, not missing the street, starting to miss the buzz of organising a show, selecting artists, preparing my own work, throwing ideas at Emma and watching her duck before she throws one back at me.  Started work on one or two things that we’ll keep to ourselves for now, started investigating spaces we like, been out of the loop in terms of finding places for shows for the last three years. Gawd, you people who own or control the art spaces have grown even more greedy in terms of the ridiculously outrageous sums you are demanding in terms of rent. Outrageous demands in terms of rent was one of the factors that drove us to take on our own space in the first place, the monthly rent bill on our space was less than what the gallery over the street was asking for just one week. We had (stupidly) expected a bit of reality might have hit home since we last checked things out three years ago, I mean these East London galleries that only ever open when someone shells out the money to hire them aren’t open now as much as they once were are they? So started checking out spaces, rather like the Hoxton Arch, saw them posting away on social media, the amount of posting they were doing suggested an almost desperate need to have someone hire their space, dropped them an e.mail, outrageous reply, three thousand for five days, VAT on top of that, ridiculous reply! Annoyed me so much, I took to social media myself. Provoked an interesting response that demanded a  defending of galleries. The exchange is down there, I expect it is still going on on Social media…

So anyway, are we missing it? Starting to.  Watch this space…..  (SW)


Galleries -wonderful places….


Meanwhile on social media…..

It has to be said that some of these hire prices for gallery space that London spaces ask are just unrealistically ridiculous and short-sighted in their greed, no wonder your spaces are always closed! Three grand (plus Vat) for five days, your space ain’t that good…
  • Julia Maddison FOR FUCK’S SAKE!
  • Sean Worrall three bags of sand (plus 20% to the taxman) for a moldy railway arch in an East London back street and they wonder why no one wants to hire it!
  • Julia Maddison I think I will find my own railway arch, and do without the frills (such as a door, arrogant front of house staff and bad wine)
  • Sean Worrall oh, we have to bring the bad wine ourselves
  • Julia Maddison That really is adding insult to injury
  • Julia Maddison The inside of my dwelling is somewhat akin to a damp railway arch; perhaps I shall have my solo show here. No need to get out of bed. The toilet facilities are rather rum though.
  • Sean Worrall stay in bed for your show, excellent…..
  • Julia Maddison Probably safer all round
    20 hrs · Like · 1
  • Sean Worrall so where are the decent gallery spaces and such that aren’t going to take the piss, I’m out of the loop, we went to hire a gallery space in Vyner Street three years ago for a one off event, got so annoyed by the prices that we ended up renting a space full time and paying a monthly rent that was far less that the weekly hire the space we went to look at was asking… seems in those three years space hire has become even more outrageously greedy.
    20 hrs · Edited · Like · 3
  • Sean Worrall Your spaces aren’t being hired any more, there might just be a good reason why!
  • Jacqui Russell ahhh but….. If they ask such inflated hire prices some fool will pay it and keep them in penthouse flats etc…….
  • Sean Worrall not these days, they could find the fools, or the people that didn’t know any better two years ago, but these spaces are closed more often than they’re open now
  • Jacqui Russell yep but they work on the if we charge huge sums we get more revenue… not thinking that a lower rent would result in more usage of the space…. greed works in strange ways
    19 hrs · Like · 1
  • Poulomi Usurp Desai It is bad, however, artists also only want to show in central, hackney, peckham etc.. We run this – the only artist space in Harrow and don’t charge crazy prices – in fact we are used to working with artists to make things happen (tough right now for usso having to charge but we are surviving). Check it and let me know if you want to visit.
  • Sean Worrall well true, yes, we artists like to show in the places where people go to see art or where there’s a cluster of spaces and places for people to explore, that was the beauty of Vyner Street or doing something within a stone throw of other galleries. When I go out to look at galleries, I like to go to more than one… then again always good to go to new places .I’m busy sorting out a show in a village in north Wales right now.. thanks for the info Poulomi
    19 hrs · Like · 1
  • Pam Garratt Try the Alaska Building in Bermondsey….I use to have offices there…great space…might be worth a shot…
  • Pam Garratt How many SQM do you need ?
  • Sean Worrall open minded about that Pam, we plan a number of Cultivate and solos/small group events in different spaces and places, when we find the right space we’ll fit in the show rather than looking for a space to fit in an idea if you see what I mean. Could be a giant white cube, could be a telephone box…
    18 hrs · Like · 3
  • Pam Garratt How long will you need it for ?
  • Sean Worrall same answer Pam, could be a day, could be a month….
    18 hrs · Like · 1
  • Pam Garratt There are so many empty shops right now…loads down The Kings
  • Pam Garratt Road…its criminal that they can give it at a peppercorn rent…or even free !!
  • Sean Worrall business rates are usually the killer in London on empty shops….
    17 hrs · Like · 2
  • Pam Garratt And offices…normally higher then the actual rent….criminal governments …makes me sick..
    17 hrs · Like · 1
  • SigerGallery London There is a space in the building of rooftop cinema . In peckham. Nears franks bar .. Not sure how much it is though ..
    17 hrs · Like · 2
  • SigerGallery London There is also Chelsea library .. But that’s really only .. Wire system ..
  • Sean Worrall there’s spaces everywhere…. reasonable spaces that don’t charge an arm and a leg and leave you feeling exploited is a different matter though….
    17 hrs · Like · 1
  • Vanya Balogh is that all? there are spaces going at 3000£ a day…for example ex White Cube on Hoxton Square costs that much
  • Sean Worrall oh yes, there are places asking for far more, bigger spaces with bigger reputations and maybe better locations, they’re all over priced and greedy and it is rather looking like conventional art galleries are not a serious option in terms of art events…. car parks and old laundries and anywhere besides a gallery….
    43 mins · Edited · Like · 2
  • Teri Tyndall use the city……..dont comply with the art world bollox……isnt that walls are for………mek it more imteresting…….who needs a gallery……imagination is the place x
  • Sean Worrall not all art is for the streets Teri, some of is, some of it should always be, a lot of mine is, but sometimes it has to be on gallery walls, and no, that isn’t art world bollox and it isn’t complying… its cultivating…. who needs a gallery? Well most of the so called street artists seem to need one these days!
    13 hrs · Like · 1
  • Teri Tyndall: no disrespect sean……..but galleries make it a sellout…..not everyone who enjoys art…….can pay those prices or be subjected to feeling like they dont belong there…….the streets are non discriminatory ……..fact anyone can look , enjoy n take a picture n share the artists creativity….galleries are very different……fact… matter… open u try to make them…….they still only attract certain types of people….no im not ignorant ……i have been to viewings n shows but sadly i never felt welcome……n im sure i just dont speak for myself !!!!!
  • Sean Worrall Frankly that’s bulshit and yes it is disrespectful, clearly you missed out on the last three years of Cultivate, or couldn’t be bothered or whatever. As for art on the street, most of the wall spaces are controlled curated and all about who you know, closed off to most of us. Actually your statement that “Galleries make it a sellout” makes any other argument you put forward here not worth bothering with or responding to.
    12 hrs · Like · 3
  • Teri Tyndall WHATEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU GOT YOUR VIEW N I GOT MINE!!!!!!!!
  • Sean Worrall And frankly you don’t appear to know much about you’re what you’re talking about, who we are or what we’re about. And I must say most of what so called Street art has to offer seems pretty conformist and rather boring these days, well street art in London anyway ….
    11 hrs · Edited · Like · 2
  • Sean Worrall So where were we before I was so rudely interrupted? Galleries are wonderful places, special places, I love those big white cubes, paintings lit properly so they can be explored peacefully, spaces where people can gather to do nothing else other than (hopefully) enjoy art, explore art that people have poured their heart, soul and so much more in to, places where ANYONE can escape in to and experience beauty, turmoil and everything else that comes with the excitement of art. Of course there’s the streets as well, of course there are walls to paint on, places to leave paintings, but a good art gallery is something special, something to be treasured, celebrated, fought for. Galleries should come in all shapes and sizes, some should be like Cultivate was during the Vyner Street period, some should be like the peaceful reverential big white cubes, some should be in caravans or phone boxes or church crypts, some should be purpose built celebrations of paint and colour – they should ALL make you feel welcome (so many don’t), they should all be there for everyone, they shouldn’t make so many of us feel so awkwardly unwelcome. I love art galleries, I love going to art galleries, I love showing my art in art galleries, I love showing other people’s work in galleries, sharing and showing other people’s work excites me. Running Cultivate, Vyner Street for three years was (mostly) brilliant, yes it was time for that to end but I can’t wait to get going again, to hang a show, to share some art… galleries are wonderful places, galleries should be celebrated, art should be celebrated, art galleries are wonderful places.
    Art galleries, wonderful places...

    Art galleries, wonderful places…

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