Well it is just the start of another day really, but hey, new year, clean sheets, bookends, resolutions and all that. No more exclaiming! Is that the resolution?! 2014 was entered with a pot of white acrylic paint, a paint brush, a bottle of beer (from London Fields Brewery, Black Frost Stout, delicious!). So 2014, all being well, it will be a year of leaving a piece of art a day out on the street (or in a library or on a bus to in a pub or a shop). So the year was entered painting leaf layers on the big canvas that was found lying face down in Vyner Street back in November. Here’s the Facebook entry that relates to the mystery of the canvas (another new year resolution is to actually use this website to communicate rather than just the beast that is Facebook)
“es, will know there’s nothing I like more than finding an abandoned piece of unresolved art in a skip and recycling at least the canvas, if not the marks, so my first though was jackpot. Hang on though, what is this doing in the middle of the street? This hasn’t been thrown away has it? There’s no indication that it might be some kind of Free Art Friday (on a Saturday) gesture, and wait a minute, this is still (very) wet! So no sign of life anywhere in the street, no lights on in any of the work spaces or galleries, no obvious sign of where the recently painted canvas might have escaped from. So, took said wet canvas back to Cultivate, locked it in, wrote a big note and stuck it on the wall explaining where it was should anyone be looking, and went off home. Asked around the spaces and studios that were open on Sunday, no one laid claim to it, no one shed any light on the now not so wet painting. So right now said piece of work is in Cultivate, if it stays around for too long then chances are a layer of leaf shapes are going to grow on the colourful textures – looks like an interesting set of colours and textures to paint on actually, but I do rather suspect this is something that hasn’t been deliberately abandoned though? Anyone working in the Vyner Street area on Saturday lost a freshly painted canvas about one metre square?”
So anyway, I put the word around, asked in all the studios and the galleries in the street, and six weeks later the rather radiantly coloured canvas remains a mystery – all glowing iridescent paint, golds, reds and metallic blues and last night, as 2013 came to an end and we slid in to a rather wet 2014, as fireworks went off everywhere (it seemed extra loud last night) a layer of fresh leaves started to grow on the (90cm x 120cm) canvas and new layers started to evolve. Really do like to enter the year painting if I can.
Someone asked me about all the exclaiming and the leafhearts and the repeating of images… Well the repeating and evolving of a recognisable thing such as a leaf (or a heart if you wish) or an exclamation mark (or a cat or a red Italian shoe or an AC/DC letter A or a number 43 or…) that thing is important, but it is mostly about the layers, the textures, the colours, the relationship of those elements on the canvas (or piece of found wood or recycled vinyl or piece of cardboard). The leaf or the exclamation mark is something to focus on, to hold on to, but it is mostly about the layers and the textures and the relationship of shape, texture, layer and colour…
Today, the first day or 2014, besides leaving out the first bit of free art of the year, I shall mostly be re-hanging my section of wall at Cultivate Evolved, ready for January First Thursday and our first late night opening of the year (we’re open from 6pm until 9pm tomorrow night down Vyner Street). Yes, we know that Whitechapel gallery and Time Out don’t officially have a First Thursday in January, but that hasn’t stopped anyone for the last two years and First
Thursday in East London has long since ceased to be something one organisation can officially control, First Thursday is an organic thing that just happens if enough people want it to.
Cultivate Evolved will be open tomorrow night for January First Thursday for the viewing of the art the eight artists in residence and our first guest artist Julie Caves, along with the consumption of cheap wine and such (unless not drinking another of my new year resolutions along with the no more exclaiming? Haven’t decided yet). Right then, 2014, new year day? Just another day really, who knows why it should be about fresh starts, bookends and resolutions? Happy New Year, time to paint, come get involved, the evolution starts here, what will Julia make? Can’t wait to see… Looking forward to this year, come join in, you’ll find us creating things and showing things at Cultivate…