Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

December 31st, one last bit of exclaiming for a year full of exclamations. Two exclamations painted on found pieces of wood, left under the railway bridge over the canal in Hackney, East London.

Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

Exclaiming, Hackney, December 31st 2013

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So what did happen to me in 2013? Why no art posted on here?

The corner of Cultivate Evolved, December 2013

The corner of Cultivate Evolved, December 2013

So what did happen to me in 2013? Why no art posted on here? Way way (way) too busy actually doing to be shouting about all the doing on websites this year, well on my own website at least. Nearly every hour of every day of 2013 was taken up, as it was in 2012, by the running of Cultivate.  A non-stop operation, two and a quarter years, 80 shows and an East End of London gallery open every single week, with an ever-evolving program of quick-fire shows, down in the middle of the thing that is Vyner Street, Cultivate has been a full time (money-sucking) commitment with never a moment to stop for breath (or to post my own work here on what should be the website of a working artist).  Did somehow manage to produce and sell 499 pieces of art so far this calendar year (come on, one more sale, surely!) and there has also been a lot of art made and left to be found on the street.  Actually it is 502 sold now, started writing this a little earlier, sold two more pieces of recycled painted vinyl and some leaf-growth painted on a discarded piece of hardboard (thrown out by the builders at Limewharf)  down at Cultivate since then. There is a certain pleasure to be found in painting on things thrown away – been a lot of painting on found canvases and such in 2013, that and cardboard and…   

A piece of the third One Hundred Pieced Piece - Cultivate, December 2013

A piece of the third One Hundred Pieced Piece – Cultivate, December 2013

Did get a lot of painting done, but It has all been about Cultivate in 2013. I did view the running of an art gallery space with an open door policy, a space that invited everyone in rather than one of those elitist closed-door-ring-the-bell spaces that seem to almost enjoy alienating and intimidate those who might wish to engage with art in a gallery situation, as an art statement in itself though. I have enjoyed taking and sharing art with passing bus drivers, ex foot models who once knew the Krays, with art collectors, with people who have never considered buying art or indeed coming in to a gallery. The approach has annoyed some, lot of negativity from the art world (the establishment), and it isn’t that I don’t like the white cube closed door world of most  galleries, there just needs to be more than one way – the more ways the better.  

Leaves growing on a found piece of board...

Leaves growing on a found piece of board…

Cultivate was originally going to be a six months experiment, the idea was, as a working artist, to experience the running of a space, to experience the running of a gallery and all the interaction that goes with it, to experience, over a longer period of time, interaction with those who choose to come in and explore. Cultivate ran as a “conventional” artist-run gallery for two and a quarter very busy years. The space has now evolved, indeed it is now called Cultivate Evolved, and we are now using the Vyner Street space in a different way. You’ll find it all documented here in the Cultivate blog – a year or more of thoughts, frustrations, achievements, openings, encounters. 

the painted taxi seat

the painted taxi seat

Things have now evolved and 2014 is about getting back to my own art in a more expansive way rather then spending so much time with the (often thankless) task of enabling others to create and exhibit. Cultivate has (mostly) been a pleasure, time for it all to evolve….  2013 was full of exclaiming, bring on 2014… In 2014 I shall be posting and communicating…

LEAVES (spray paint on recycled canvas - August 7th 2013)

LEAVES (spray paint on recycled canvas – August 7th 2013)