One week on from the Attract (Part Two) show going live on both the Cultivate website and over on the Organ pages, the on-line exhibition has had just over 13,000 visitors from all over the world as of this morning. It is rather amazing to see where the viewers are from, at the moment over both the websites around fifty percent of the views are from the UK and the other fifty percent are from the rest of the world – yesterday for instance I can see there were views from Brazil, India, Canada, United States, Australia, Thailand and a number of European countries. Now in no way are we for one moment suggesting that an on-line exhibition is in any kind of replacement for a physical show and nothing can replace the act of physically standing in front of a living breathing paining and experiencing the texture, walking around a sculpture, sensing the space, smelling the art, but an on-line show can be a useful addition. The previous five Cultivate on-line shows are still on line and are still regularly visited by people from all over the planet, I’m still rather pleased when I scroll through the slide shows, especially the Accidental Marks Made While Making Art show, really enjoyed putting together that one, we should do that again, i love exploring artist’s studios. People are already asking when the next on-line show will be – they are hard work though, they do take up a lot of time, they’re far more stressful than the physical shows are in terms of pulling together and “hanging”, they are worthwhile though, and it is exciting exploring the art that comes in as a result of the open call aspects of each on-line show, we’ve got to include artists from all over te globe, people who would never get to join in the physical shows. Someone said we should do them monthly, but no, that would be far too much in terms of so many things including time and anyway, at the moment the on-line shows feel like events, last thing we want is for people to start taking them for granted. One week on from the opening of Attract (Part Two) then, I think we can say it was (and is) a positive thing, I think we can say we’re rather pleased with it all, I expect we will do it again in a bit, not for a bit though. Now on with the physical shows, we’re back to Columbia Road for all of April…
Two Cultivate shows for April then, The Fruit Shop will be a solo show and return to the gallery that was once a much loved local greengrocer’s shop, I love that the old till and some of the shop fittings are still there (I grew up in a shop), I love that the older locals come in and tell us about it, that was one of the best things about last years six week residency at Shipton Street Gallery, the engagement with the people from the local estate, the tales of the locals who took the time to come in, the conversations, that’s the reason for going back rather than just the colour of the Sunday flower Market. A two week solo show but. I’d like to think there will be a couple of guest artists on the walls or plinths, I’ve included guest artists at all of my solo shows over the last ten years, small areas of a solo show to expose the work of other artists that were exciting me at the time, I don’t see why all artists don’t do it? Bands do it all the time, special guests, I’ve discovered some of my favourite bands by just getting there early to see who the special guest is, why don’t artists do it? Special guests at previous solo shows have included, Maria Slovakova, Carne Griffiths, Twinklle Troughton, Skeleton Cardboard, Quiet British Accent, Chantal Powell, Rosso, This One, Elisabeth Osbourne and quite a few more (what ever happened to Elisabeth? she was, and hopefully still is, an excellent painter, I send her a text or an e.mail every few months, no reply and I never see her in other shows, I hope she’s still out there, I hope she’s still painting). I’ve always thought artists should have “special guests” or “support bands” at their solo shows. imagine if it was a regular thing, something all artists did, what if say Tracey Emin had three pieces of art from three artists most people had never heard of hanging on that empty wall down by the toilets in the White Cube? Or what if so and so did it, or thingy? What if some of the artists I’ve invited to do it did? Artists on the whole are not good at supporting each other (besides turning up at opening nights to drink all the free wine that is) , it is something I will always try do, well no, not try, it is something I will always do. Just a small area of a gallery, and it will have to be a small area this time, Shipton Street Gallery is a beautiful little space, it will be an intimate show.
So anyway, back to Columbia Road (London E2) for April, a solo show followed by another Cultivate group show, this time called Over And Over (some of you might want to sing Again and Again after that, some of you might get a Joan Jett song stuck in your head instead, this time Emma and I have different ideas about where the tittle came from). Back to Columbia Road and Shipton Street gallery, well Cultivate is nomadic now, we loved it last time (most of it), we’re about to start pulling the line up together, six or so painters or wall based artists, someone to occupy the plinths, maybe some performance, we’re working on it all today, it would be good to have an open call aspect to Over and Over, just one artists we haven’t hear of or worked with yet, or maybe someone we haven’t worked with for some time
Over and Over will open on Thursday April 18th, it will then run for the last two weekends of April (the gallery owner lives at his gallery, we can’t invade his space too much, generally he only opens on Sundays, he’s been good enough to let us take over his space for the entire weekend once more). The gallery isn’t big, we want the walls and the plinths to be busy, maximalist as it were, white cube meets punk rock, there’s no particular theme, we will want the room to work as one whole, the art has to feel right for the show, we will be our usual picky selves, we spend an age putting these shows together and hanging them in a balanced way, one day soon I hope to be really happy with a hang on the opening night of a show, not achieved that feeling yet. So Over and Over will be mostly invited artists, but we will hold an open call to find at lease one new artist. We’ll post the details on the Open Call page in a moment. . (sw)