Start of August, glorious sunshine, where are we? What is going on? Some start of the month thoughts on the what, where, when and the why not do it all again? People are calling us and asking about new physical shows, when will we back? Will we ever be back? “Come on, the virus is just a hoax” said one pnone-caller demanding we open a new show yesterday – yeah right, tell that to those who have lost loved ones! The answer to the question of what is going on with Cultivate is that we simply don’t have any concrete answers, we simply don’t know. We’re kind of itching to put on physical shows and engage with people (beyond a computer screen) again, both as artists and curators we really are missing it all (well most of it), we are still kind of glass half full about the whole act of putting on art shows and Cultivating exhibitions and engagement and the flow of art and artists and good people and the breaking down of barriers and the unfriendly uninviting mysteries and aloof art world attitudes, but but but, we don’t honestly know how we can realistically do it again right now? We simply don’t know who would come if we did go commit to renting a space to put on a show? The reality is, unlike those often aloof Arts Council funded spaces, or those overtly commercial galleries who operate like very conservative art shops, we have to at least be self-sufficient, we have to at-least stand on our own four feet and cover our costs, or at least be able to subsidise the shows via our own sales at group shows as we have so often done in the past. We certainly know we can’t hold opening nights anytime soon, and you know we’re not keen on closed doors and appointment only shows, right now if we were to go rent some space, we’re honestly not sure if we would even get near covering our costs – and yes we were were hit badly by the March lockdown (and yes we’re still perplexed by the attitudes of the Arts Council and their emergency funding, no we didn’t get any and yes we do continue to question why? We do still question why and we still don’t understand why artists seemingly not that affected were given emergency funding or those people who run that un-engaging space or why that extremely aloof shut-door never-open signless art space down the road were deemed worthy of emergency support while we weren’t considered worth bothering with? Let’s not go there again, we’ve covered it enough already in recent blogs, it is still raw, probably time to move on in the best way we can, we don’t ever expect support from anyone. Let’s just get on with it, except for the fact that right now, we really can’t see where the path is and how we can realistically put on our kind of engaging physical art shows that do actually reach out beyond the aloof art bubble. While we’re figuring it all out and while we’re learning lots about artists, some who have got lots and lots out of us over the nine years Cultivate has been around, some who only see support as a one way thing, and Cultivate as just another Joshua Compston style aircraft carrier to land on and then use to take off from without a thought about the notion of artists sticking together and helping each other. Joshua was right about (most) artists, while we’re figuring it all out and trying to find a way back to physical gallery shows, we’ll get on with the on-line thing
So Why Not Do It Again? will open on-line at 8pm on Tuesday August 18th via the Organ magazine website – of course once the show is open it stays open, why should an on-line show ever close?
So Why Not Do It Again? will be the 10th on-line show from Cultivate and we think the 157th Cultivate show since that Netll Market takeover back in the summer of 2011 (something like 157 anyway, we might have missed on or two). We have curated three on-line shows during lock down while the galleries have all be closed and the fairs and event are on hold. We had thought three was enough but hey, the viewer numbers were brilliant, each of the shows now viewed over 40,000 times, so why not do it again while we’re waiting to get back to proper physical galleries and actual physical things like art car boot fairs and street parties and such, we really enjoyed curating the previous three, we loved all the engagement and the genuine feedback from all over the globe, so why not? Today we’re going through the hundreds of submissions from the Open call, the door on that call closes at end of play tomorrow night (tomorrow is Tuesday August 4th), there have been some good things to come out of this lockdown situation, there has been a lot more art to explore on line, we don’t see it as a substitute, just another way of doing things alongside all the other things we’ve done and will do with Cultivate. We are plotting lots right now, it will ten years next year, we are making plans… (sw)
Do go have a look at the previous on-line show while we get ready t ohang the next one