One year on from the opening of the Red experiment and the notion of on-line exhibition events, has it worked?


78: Artist: ELLA BRAME, Title: Sitting door (2017), Medium: Rubber, Brass, Chair. Size: dimensions variable. 3’2ft x 2ft

One year on from the Cultivate experiments and the notions of formal on-line website-based art exhibitions, there’s been five of them so far, culminating in the rather successful Intent (Part One) show that opened in January 2018 One year on, did they work? The first of the five shows, Red, went live one year ago this week (6pm on February 27th, 2017), the on-line shows were never intended to replace the physical exhibitions, of course they weren’t, they were always intended to run alongside the physical Cultivate shows, alongside all the other things we do, the formal gallery shows, the impromptu shows under railway bridges or in condemned East London warehouses, they were always intended to run alongside the other things, never to replace them..

By calling the on-line events exhibitions, presenting them as exhibitions and focusing people on opening views and specific times, we hoped for lots of engagement and the feeling that a crowd of people were sitting at home and attending an opening at the same time, that people were viewing the shows and then interacting, telling others, spreading the word, sharing the links and inviting others to view, engaging, talking about the shows, posting links of their own social media feeds, spreading the word as it were. And yes the shows have felt like events, they did feel like they had formal openings with a mad rush of viewers on the opening evening and then a busy “footfall” for the first few days, it did feel like people were anticipating the opening, waiting for the clock to tick around and for the shows to go live, We had thousands of viewers from all over the globe, watching the stats was exciting, almost addictive, seeing where the viewers were in terms of countries, viewers from Brazil or Noway or Japan, people from everywhere. The numbers in the first week were amazing, tens of thousands of people viewing the shows, feeding back, discovering artists they hadn’t come across before. By week two things would settle down as on-line attention spans took people elsewhere, as we did more shows we could see the pattern forming and repeating, mad rush for the opening and then, rather like a traditional physical gallery show, things would settle down and relax a little. The first week of each show would feel really busy then, after that initial excitement things would settle down, hundreds of people a day rather than thousands. People would still be visiting, people from all over the globe, and of course when new shows went live people would visit or re-visit the previous shows again. All five shows are still on-line and all five shows are still being viewed everyday, viewers are connecting with us, people are using the links and exploring the websites of the participating artists, all five shows have felt like real events, exciting shows, rewarding this to curate, all vie shows have felt just a valid as any of the many formal gallery shows we’ve put on as Cultivate. Did it work? On the whole yes, I think we can say the experiments really have worked/, the year of on-line shows has been exciting.


Of course you can’t replace the act of standing in front of a piece of art, having the texture, the colour, the movement and the energy right there in front of you, the intimate act of personally engaging, just you and a painting, of course you can’t replace that, the computer screen takes away so so much, of course you can’t replace the act of going to a gallery, of walking around an installation, the very private act of standing in front of a big canvas and just drinking it all in, but that doesn’t mean carefully curated considered on-line exhibitions can’t work, of course they can I think both the participating artists, the ones that have really engaged rather than just let it happen without really getting involved, and the viewers who have explored and made use of the links or indeed the viewers who have don’t nothing more than spent twenty minutes running the slideshow have got something positive out of the five shows that have happened so far. I think we can say the year long experiment and, on the whole, the five on-line shows have worked, the experiment has been and continues to be successful, the fact that we have been able to involve artists from all over the globe rather than just from where we’re based, that we’ve found new artists to include in physical gallery shows, . The conclusion? Yes, the experiment has mostly worked, we should probably curate some more…

Scroll down for details of all the on-line art exhibitions from Cultivate…

INTENT (part one): A show curated for Cultivate, January 2018 – A fifth cultivated on-line art show, 30 artists, 143 pieces, art gathered with good intent, art from all over the world, view the show and run the slide show here


THE (ACCIDENTAL) MARKS MADE WHILE MAKING ART: A show curated for Cultivate, November 2017 – A fourth cultivated on-line art show, following on from the Red, Black and Blue on-line shows/experiments. The (Accidental) Marks show can be viewed in full here via this link.

aa_marks_online1 copy

SOMETHING BLUE: An experimental Art Exhibition, in conjunction with Cultivate, is now live and can be viewed via this link. The third in a trilogy of on-line art shows, Blue follows on from the Something Black and Red shows…


SOMETHING BLACK: An Art Exhibition, in conjunction with Cultivate, is now live and can be viewed here via this link



RED : An Art Exhibition on line…. Red is now live via this link… CULTIVATE PRESENTS RED: An art exhibition on line…

Cultivate presents (in association with Organ) RED, an art exhibition on line.   The notion is simple, an on-line art exhibition, curated and presented on line. Twenty four artists selected via an on-line open call or by invitation, alongside images from previous Cultivate shows, along with other observations (and that red feeling while waiting for the…explore here




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