…and asked me how I felt things were going at Cultivate

Someone just reminded me of this interview from a few months back, an interview that ran on the FAD magazine website, and while reminding me, that someone commented on how it all still seemed positive and goog and exciting down Vyner Street and asked me how I felt things were going at Cultivate.

CROWDS OUTSIDE CULTIVATE

CROWDS OUTSIDE CULTIVATE

Well yes it does mostly still feel good and exciting ans positive and all those things and from a working artist point of view it is proving to be very interesting. interesting to work on it from the gallery side and to have to deal with the harsh reality of it all, the business side, survival and such, it is also proving very interesting to watch and observe, at close quarter on a day by day basis, how all the other galleries in the street work (or indeed don’t work) in terms of the artists they show or represent It would be very easy to become very cynical about some of the things we see going on in this so called leading East London art street (I do wish a few more of them would actually open their doors and look like they’d at least like to invite the public in to see what they have a little more). We were one of only three galleries of the twenty or so that exist in the street to be open this weekend, some just don’t seem to be that committed, one of those that were open choose to hide behind a locked door and a not very obvious bell you need to ring to get in, I’m forever sending people back down there and saying yes, Wilkinson is there and open, they jsut don’t have any signs that indicate that they are there and open 9I don’t know maybe they do it on purpose?) So of the spaces seem to not bother about anything other than First Thursday, some are only open when artists can afford the rent and hire then, some just never open, just sit there locked with art inside, strange street… Still, we had a great weekend, lots of people, good reaction, debate, conversation and indeed healthy sales (like it or not sales do matter, we artists need to eat and buy new brushes, we galleries need to pay the rent), it was another enjoyable weekend and we’re really enjoying sharing the current show with people and I do get the feeling the street will wake up a little in April…

The open door

The open door

One of my favourite people this weekend was an sweet old guy who comes in most weeks and spends ages quietly looking at each and every piece, he went in to Wilkinson for the first time this Sunday (so many local people say they never go in to any of the other galleries in the street). He came back full of enthusiasm for the work of MAKIKO KUDO and confessed he really didn’t like Japanese people because of what happened to him in the war, but the beauty of the show meant he could finally think good things about the people of Japan.. Don’t know what happened to him but he did seem rather emotional. I was also rather pleased to have the gang of kids who had been watching me paint the daffodil last week, come back to see the show and ask lots of questions and ask me for a note for their art teacher because the teched would not believe they went to an art gallery at the weekend. I enjoy being on that corner talking to everyone (well besides the art snob with the sunglasses on his head who stood outside and declared to his friends, before any of them had been in, that it was never worth going in to the smaller galleries)

Anyway, yes, on the whole the Cultivate experience is still, on the whole a good experience, enjoying sharing other people’s art with people and showing out own art on our own terms without having to deal with some of the crap we see and hear from the other galleries…

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