Holidays? Nah, art doesn’t stop. New shows, Self, ReCultivate, on we go, let’s create…

Well we kind of knew that opening a last minute show came with risks, that we might not get to closing day without having to close early again. We knew it was perfectly safe to open, that the fresh air would flow and we could police the open door, that people who behave in a respectful way, but we knew well, with the way this hopeless self-serving disaster of a government were running things that there was a good chance they’d dump on us again. Yes, sure, it is right that we lock down again if they’ve lost control and their “world-beating” track and trace doesn’t work (except of course working in terms of the money they and their mates are pocketing out of it, working perfectly in those terms isn’t it). We knew we might not make it through two weekends of a last minute pop-in of a show, we kind of expected we might have to close early.  We needed it though, we needed the sanity of hanging some art on a white wall, and inviting people in (in a carefully policed way of course), after a very bleak year we desperately needed to share some art, to engage, to Cultivate, to let people know we were still alive . It was good to see some familiar faces, good to engage with regular visitors who have become friends, and yes, after what have been a very tough and difficult year it was good to sell some art. Most f all it was just good to be open for a brief moment and to engage with the public and the local community just a little bit  

We really should send a Christmas card to the damn Arts Council, we did laugh when we saw the e.mail from that heavily Arts Council funded gallery down the road, the one that has no signs, the one that hides, the one that never ever actually opens, we did laugh when we saw their e.mail telling us they were going to have to close again due to the latest covid restrictions, what bulpoop!  Yes, we really should send the Arts Council a nice big hand-painted  Christmas Card and thank them for their failure to walk it like they talk it and for their total lack of support in this or any other year. They talk about engagement, they really don’t walk it though, they really are in their own little bubble, isolated and cut off, as aloof as ever, they’re never engaged, their bubbles are safe.                

So yes, thanks to everyone who came along to the last minute thing that was X Marks The Spot, it was good to see you. We don’t know what we’ll be back with more physical shows, we do have plans, 2021 is our tenth year, we have things we want to do, things we hope to do, things we are determined to do. For now all we can tell you is we carry on in the new year with more on-line shows. It isn’t perfect and they are really a substitute for the real thing but one big positive of 2020 has been the way large numbers of people have engaged with the on-line shows, all five shows this year have enjoyed large numbers of visitors, lots of positive feedback, lots of new artists from beyond our home turf of London working with us and showing art with us. 

Coming next and opening on-line at 8pm on Tuesday January 5th, a group show ReCultivate (we intend starting the year as soon as possible). We’re busy inviting artists as well as going through the submissions made to the open call right now

Self will open in late February, we’ve just started working on Self, Self will be strictly by invitation group show, no open call with that one, we’re drawing up the list of artists we want to invite right now, a carefully curated show of self portraits, watch this space, we’re rather excited about it, the idea of self portraits from artists who you’d maybe think were not that comfortable with the idea along with some who maybe are. Watch this space.

We intend carrying on with the on-line shows and to do lots more of them irrespective of the Covid situation, the engagement that has resulted from the shows in 2020 has be heartening, exciting. Art should be about engagement, about reaching out, about reaching out beyond the often aloof bubbles and the closed doors of the sometimes very unfriendly art world. On we go with it all.  Here’s a Sofia Martin’s Gray self protrait whiel we think about the Self show….

51: SOFIA MARTINS GRAY – Polaroid (no digital manipulation)

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