On the morning of the sixth one, a thought or two about the Three x Three exhibitions both back there and now…

On the morning of the sixth one, a thought or two about the Three x Three exhibitions both back there and now. Back in the early days of Cultivate, back ten or so years ago, we ran a series of shows called “Three x Three” where we gave one of the three gallery walls to an artist, three artists sharing a wall each in the gallery. We did four Three x Three shows, we had some exciting artists on the walls, artists like Ben Fenton, My Dog Sighs, Charlie McFarley, Paula MacArthur, Tom Banks, Merlin Ramos. The fourth show was back in May 2012, no idea why we didn’t do more back there, I thought they went rather well. Ten years later and we thought we’d bring the idea back as part of our Autumn series of Cultivate on-line shows. 

The idea was and hopefully still is simple, three artists who might not obviously fit together but then again three who just might be a rather obvious fit. an exercise in cross pollination. Just three artists that we (we being Cultivate founders Emma Harvey and Sean Worrall) are rather excited about at the moment. Three artists who might have taken part in recent Cultivate group shows or indeed who may never have taken part in anything Cultivate shaped. Three artists sharing a carefully cultivated on line show with a curated selection of work from each of them.

Both Emma and I took a break from Cultivate over the Summer to focus on our own painting, we have been solidly Cultivating for a dozen or so years, I think we earned a short break. We have been curating on line shows alongside our physical Cultivate shows for a number of years now (no it wasn’t a lockdown thing, but the numbers viewing our shows did shoot up dramatically during the days of Covid, the numbers still visiting post-lockdown tell us there is certainly a place for on-line shows). We are intending to be mostly focused on our own work for the rest of the year, however we do plan a season of Cultivate on-line shows for the Autumn, a busy season of group shows, Three x Three shows, solo shows and more

Once again the Autumn season of exhibitions will be hosted on the Organ website. Organ is something that started life back in my (Sean’s) art student days of the last century, over the years Organ has been a handmade zine, a glossy magazine, a rather respected alternative record label, a TV show (well before YouTube and the days when anyone can do it), Organ has been all that and quite a lot more, these days Organ is mostly a very busy website visited by thousands of people from all over the world every week. 

The first four Three x Three shows we’re back during a very very very busy period when we were putting physical shows on every single week and pledging not to close the doors (or even close the actual front door), for a period of time between late 2011 and early 2014 we just didn’t stop for anything. It was bloody-minded, it was relentless, maximalist, deliberately so, show after show after show, hundreds of artists, no stopping for trivial things like Christmas, art above all. We should have done more of the Three x Three shows, we should have done lots of things in a different way but hey, it was a constant fight to just keep it going (we were never popular with the London art establishment down there in the middle of their Vyner Street). Those first four Three x Three shows were, as far as I’m concerned, strong exciting shows, I liked the way contemporary painters like Tom Banks or Paula MacArthur would share the same space that more urban flavoured artists like Charlie McFarley, Lewis Banister or the then new kid on the block My Dog Sighs or indeed photographers liked the much missed Ish Sahotay (R.I.P), Ish really brought some East London attitude to the space, the couple of shows Ish and Charlie were involved were legendary, the one where they parked a Luton van with a big light show in it outside and extended the gallery out onto the street is still talked of (“the wrong type of gallery has moved in” said Gavin Turk speaking for Cell Space and addressing the way things were going in Vyner Street, we haven’t forgotten that Cell Space or Mr Turk).   

That Tom Banks, Paula MacArthur and Ben Fenton show was a particularly strong one, the tree complimented each other so well in the almost triangular building on the corner, kind of lost touch with Tom and Paula now but that’s how it went with Cultivate, some artists would just dip a toe in, some would use us as a stepping stone and others would throw themselves right in a stick around for several years like Ben, Gareth Morgan or Lewis Banister did or like Melike, Sofia Martins Gray and Mark Burrell are doing now. Gareth went on to enjoy a particularly successful solo show at our Vyner Street space. We don’t have a permanent space to put on shows these days, we’re nomadic, and yes Covid hit us hard (thanks for nothing Arts Council) as has East London gentrification, these days we’re having to face the fact that most of what we do happens on-line (for now), indeed we’re embracing that fact and the bubbles that our on-line shows burst, the fact that our shows can feature artists from all over the land, that people from all over the globe can get involved and view the shows. of course we wean a new home but for now, on-line will do for us and these shows are more that stimulating us as curators.                          

The third of the new series of Three x Three shows, “Three x Three Part 7” will open on Tuesday 29th November, we confirmed the first artist today, before that Part Six opens tomorrow night    

THREE X THREE pt.7 with , with T.B.C, Cultivate on line at Organ – 29th November 2022

THREE X THREE pt.6 with MADELEINE STRINDBERG, LIZ GRIFFITHS and LISA DENYER, Cultivate on line at Organ – 25th October 2022

THREE X THREE pt.5 with MELIKE, MARK BURRELL and SOFIA MARTINS GRAY, Cultivate on line at Organ – 0th September 2022

THREE X THREE pt.4 with MYDOG SIGHS, GARETH MORGAN and LEWIS BANNISTER’, Cultivate Vyner Street,  24th – 30th May 2012

‘THREE X THREE pt.3 with CHARLIE McFARLEY, MERLIN RAMOS and ISH SAHOTAY’, Cultivate Vyner Street,  26th April – 2nd May 2012

‘THREE x THREE pt.2 with BEN FENTON, PAULA MacARTHUR & TOM BANKS’, Cultivate Vyner Street,  22nd – 28th March 2012

‘THREE X THREE pt.1 with COS AHMET, EMMA HARVEY & DARREN MacPHERSON, Cultivate Vyner Street, 23rd – 29th February 2012

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