and up on the wall this year’s daffodil went…

FOOL'S GOLD SHOW, OPENING NIGHT...

FOOL'S GOLD SHOW, OPENING NIGHT...

And on to the gallery wall went this year’s daffodil painting, all opened up and ready for the first night of Fool’s Gold – the 2012 flower has emerged. Last night someone told me it made her feel very emotional, that it reminded her, for some strange reason, of her childhood, I asked her if she had been brought up in Wales, and indeed she had. Growing a daffodil every year wss a big thing for a kid growing up in Wales, everyone had to do it, everyone wanted to, everyone in the class had a bulb to plant and a flower pot with their name tag on, all kept in the dark until the first hint of spring, sneaking a look to see if your one had broken through in search of light, every year a new infant school daffodil…

Last night’s opening was a friendly relaxed enjoyable event, lots of good people, good conversation and a busy busy set of walls – lots to explore, that’s the way we like it at Cultivate. Lots of photos on the gallery website or indeed on the Facebook pages if you prefer (this is my own art website/blog thing, so please forgive me for not posting photos of the other work from other people, we have done on other websites, gallery pages and such. And it is as enjoyable showing other people’s work as it is showing mine, well probably more so, showing your own work isn’t really enjoyable, introducing new artists to new people is – cross pollinating, mixing things up, street artist over there in the corner with his painted cans, contemporary colour thrower up on that wall… We had something like 24 artists sharing the room last night (and for the next two weeks should you feel like coming down the street and having a look), the challenge is to pull it together as one united whole in one space, some don’t like it so busy, some want it more formal, ours is not a formal space, it is a space for daffodils to break through next to the painted cans and the planks of wood and the big canvas colours. I wouldn’t treat every gallery space like this, but this messy little room demands this kind of energy, this is not a polite formal art space… it is the right place for this year’s daffodil

Daffodil opening, Fool's Gold...

Daffodil opening, Fool's Gold...

Infants school daffodil growing was always one of the things I most enjoyed from these early days of education, rather pleased the girl from Wales found something of that in the painting, a daffodil must be painted early in spring every year…

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…a drip or two has run down the heel

FOUND SILVER ON THE PLINTH

FOUND SILVER ON THE PLINTH

Silver stilettos found on the street (a few years ago now), they’ve been here on the shelf in the studio (with all the other found things, just waiting for the moment), and now a touch of gold has been added to the silver, and a drip or two has run down the heel, and on the plinth they sit… well they were, now they’re on the gallery floor as part of the Fool’s Gold show until someone comes in and takes them away…

“that’s not bad mate, it might be worth a bit when you’re dead…”

A day spent in the March sun outside Cultivate adding layers of growth to a canvas down an East End street while lorry drivers shouted – “that’s not bad mate, it might be worth a bit when you’re dead, you artists only ever make money when you’re dead don’t yer”, – and fashion shoots went on, street art photographers came by to see what we have coming in for tomorrow’s show and ask where the new Pez wall is (at the top of Vyner Street, on Cambridge Heath Road…)

FOOL'S GOLD DAFFODIL

FOOL'S GOLD DAFFODIL

THE LAST DAFFODIL OF THIS SPRING?

Spent most of the afternoon painting in the bunker, a blast or two of Aids Wolf, a touch of Black Flag and an onslaught of Blitz, kept the kids away from the spray paint “Sean, why do you listen to such horrible music while you paint pretty things?”

FOOL'S GOLD FLYER

FOOL'S GOLD FLYER

Giant daffodil shapes in progress here in the bunker ahead of Thursday’s Fool’s Gold opening down at Cultivate. Another day of painting this piece tomorrow, outside the gallery on the street, and it should be ready. I shall be painting outside on our corner, while I wait for the other artists to deliver their work and get ready to lock myself in with just the art ready to do a Wednesday evening/Thursday morning hang. Rather looking forward to the art arriving for this show, not sure how much longer I want to go on with Cultivate and Vyner Street, it was only ever going to be a six month project and there is only so much time I can spend down that street, I am rather excited about this next two week group show and the art coming in though, still enjoying the cultivation and the cross pollination… Wish the other galleries in the street would put a little more energy in to it all but then I’m told some o them would rather we put a little less energy in to our corner.

So, another daffodil in progress, the last one of this spring, lots to be done with it yet before it can hang in Thursday’s show, will it make it? Watch this space, certainly not ready yet..

Golden Daffodil canvas in progress, March 2012

Golden Daffodil canvas in progress, March 2012

VINYL @ CULTIVATE, WANT TO BE INVOLVED?

Sticky Italian Red Shoe (2011)

VINYL @ CultivateVyner Street

To tie in with Record Store day and in celebration of all things vinyl record shaped, we shall be holding a long weekend of vinyl flavoured art and activity at Cultivate.  Opening on the evening of Thursday April 19th and running through the Friday and over weekend until Sunday April 22nd, including Saturday 21st Record Store Day.

VINYL @ CULTIVATE April 2012

VINYL @ CULTIVATE April 2012

We shall have decks in the gallery, playing classic 7” singles and such all day on Saturday, we’ll have bands and such in the street, zine and record stall and more.  We’re talking proper records, proper pop/rock music culture, we’re talking punk, Motown, Northern Soul, indie goodness, 70’s glam, 90’s D.I.Y, prog rock, we’re talking glorious gatefold covers, hand made picture sleeves, “if it ain’t stiff it ain’t worth a…”  Stax, Neat, Sub Pop, Vertigo, Charisma, Skin Graft…

We want our gallery walls full of vinyl that’s been painted on, customized, reborn – once dead vinyl now recycled and alive once more. We want album covers reworked and painted on, we want those screen printed gig posters you make, we want hand-made zines, original album artwork, we’re open to all record/music related creativity both old and new…

Mostly what we want is you artists painting on old bits of vinyl, on actual records and on classic record sleeves, turning them in to unique pieces of art.

Artists who want to get involved should get in touch, we invite you to submit a j.peg or two of your painted vinyl and such along with a website link, and if we like what we see then we’ll invite you to come and get involved. We’re open to all ideas, suggestions….

Want to be part of it? Contact info@cultivatevynerstreet.com for more details….

 

 

Over Your Cities Crass Will Grow…

“Over your cities crass will grow, this is what most of my art is about….”  – well, not Crass, or even “crass”, well maybe crass? That opening sentence was a social media typo this morning, I meant to say “over your cities GRASS will grow, this is what most of my art is about….”   It is still relatively early Monday morning and I am on my first coffee (with no sugar, don’t just hate it when you run out of sugar first thing in the morning) and I’m only just on my first batch of e.mails and today’s demands in terms of Cultivate.  I was making a Facebook comment and posting a link to a rather interesting looking film from an always inspiring film-maker   

I do see it as being rather greener… eventually… the notions of trillian and layers growing over what has been left of our cities, first our own layers painted on crumbling streets and unwanted no longer needed buildings, and that nature’s own beautiful marks, her own graffiti, her own art poking through the cracks and growing down the walls. She might battle with the darkness we’ve made for a while, but over our cities green leaf shapes will grow once more, it won’t be destroyed, just fresh new layers over our old tired marks, our unwanted canvases, our once freshly painted walls, the cities that are already ruins

The notions of Crass growing over out cities in 2012, is indeed a little crass to say the least, Crass are long gone aren’t they?  And maybe the notions of Crass are long gone too, some of them have evolved, some of them on one more sell-out revival tour, the last ever *until the next one). Crass were beautiful, they still sound beautiful, they still annoy those who need to be annoyed, they were beautifully angry, beautifully simplistic, innocent, wrong, right, raw, roar, gloriously obvious…

"CRASS?" 2012 Acrylic on deep-edge canvas. 35cmx50cm Jan 2012

…..and they still inspire those just finding them as well as those of us who found them (and argued with them/about them) years ago – not perfect by any means and big holes can be picked but this morning’s accidental typo notions of over your cities Crass will grow were not that far from the truth as it all fall apart and those of us not in it together scramble to cling on and the streets get buffed clean for those who can still afford to be in it together in this city we’ll all have to leave soon.

We’ve done with undercover, this will not blow over…

Meanwhile on with what they tell me is nothing more that decorative art and today’s new layer on last year’s big gold and yellow canvas. That new (125cm square) canvas was left at Cultivate, still in the cellophane and untouched, with a note attached that just read “For Sean”, no idea who it was from, well I do have an idea now actually (thanks again). Spent a week on and off painting in out on the pavement of Vyner Street in the Indian summer that should have been Autumn last year. before it spent a week on the gallery wall last November, and then a winter hibernating behind several other big canvases until it awoke yesterday and demanded new layers and a spring flower shape and a maybe a space in the Fool’s Gold show next week… Here’s what it looked like back in November’s show, none of my painting are ever finished until someone takes them away and out of my reach… over my canvas grass will grow… nothing gets destroyed, just new layers…

Yellow and Gold, Autumn 2011 (125x125cm acrylic on canvas)

Yellow and Gold, Autumn 2011 (125x125cm acrylic on canvas)