Leaf growing towards the new year, book-ending the old, the end of the building and a book about it…

Well my new year was entered with paintbrush in hand and fresh layers growing on a big canvas that I’ve been contemplating, always like to start the year doing something positive and creative. Happy new year to one and all…. I suspect this is going to be a tough year, the idiots on the right both in government and even further over, the Tory attacks on the working classes, the gentrification, the property developers, this is going to be a battle. At times like this creativity and a united community is more important than ever, at times like this art is far more important than it is in the good times. This needs to be a year of creativity, of community, of unity and people coming together to make positive things happen… this is going to be an important year, a year where we need to come together, to unite, happy new year, be creative, build communities… .

detail of the layers being painted at midnight on new years eve...
detail of the layers being painted at midnight on new years eve…

Spent the final days of 2014 clearing out the last of thing down Vyner Street. The building apparently comes down in January, there’s a blog posting on the Cultivate page dealing with the gallery, the end of vyner street and the rest, as well as lots about the book about it. CULTIVATE: Book-ending the year, writing the book, down comes the building, happy new year! 

Shoes in the gallery

The book then….

Right now it rather looks like a plush full-colour visual documentation of the three years we spent in, on and around Vyner Street. At the moment it looks like a nice big 25cm square affair, something big enough in terms of page size to really document it with big bold photographs, a bold visual documentation of the art, the people, the shoes, the walls, the dogs, cats, crows and marks left on the pavement outside. A book just a little smaller then a square vinyl record sleeve, a page we can do something with without crowding it all too much. Right now it looks like it will be around 112 pages thick, all properly printed on nice heavy paper, top quality printing from a trusted (East London) printing collective who know what they’re doing and know what we’re about – if we’re going to do this then we’re going to do it properly, no cheap and cheerful send it to the printers and cross our fingers operation, this has to be done properly. We’ve brought in some trusted printers, we like their work and they like ours.

Shoes in the gallery

We plan an A to Z, well the book is far more than just a plan now, we’re well past the plans, already almost written and we’re well in to the process of layout and selecting the photos from the thousands and thousands we took. An A to Z of the artists, the art, the people, the shows, the shoes, the fights, the feasts, of the art inside, the art outside, the other galleries, the glue bucket incident, the artists who took part, the art that really excited us, the painters, sculptors, the artists who really got it, we had so many good artists join in over the three years, we need to document as many of them as we possibly can – an A to Z documentation of the naked red men, the yeastie girls, the cans, the Fleshed show, the prisms, what Julia Made, the rust, the leaves, the vinyl, the bodies, the trips to the seaside, to Folkestone, Liverpool, the Apple Cart, the art car boot fairs, the Fate Worse Than Death, the Free Art Fridays, the art on the street, the street art, the contemporary art, the projections, te man with his cans, the colours, the triumphs, the failures, the frustrations, the battles, the red show, the pink show, the black show, the spring show, the people who came in, the Cockney foot Model, Tony Two Vans, the performances, the projections, the discoveries, the mistakes, the whole damn lot….. A proper full stop at the end of what was a thrilling three year long chapter.

Shoes in the gallery

I expect we’ll feature about two hundred or so of the artists who took part, some will be featured in depth, some with maybe just one or two photos, some in the shots of the shows, lots of crowds shots, photos from the openings, we’ll start leaking out a page or two on line over the next few weeks. We hope to have it out by the end of March, all very much on schedule right now. The key of course is the funding (you knew that bit was coming didn’t you)

shoesinthegallery5So, the funding then…, Question is, do you want a book? We want a book, do you want a book? If we did the crowd funding thing would you get involved? Would you commit £20 and buy a book in advance? Would you pay a bit more for say a printing plate or a proof of a page to frame along with the book or if it came with an original piece of art from one of the artists involved. Or would you maybe donate a couple of pound to just help make it happen? The way fundraising works is we set a target, you commit to buy a copy of the book, but you don’t make the payment until we have the full amount needed to print it is actually committed and the project is one hundred percent guaranteed to be happening. We can’t really do it without you, bit like Cultivate has always been and always will be really… are you with us? Do you want the book to happen? Be good to know what you think.

shoesinthegallery35Enough about the book already, what about 2015? Well, we’re working on things right now. Besides the book, we’re working on new Cultivate events and one off shows, we’ve been offered one or two new spaces but it has to be the right space in the right place at the right time (and for the right price). We’re plotting away, we have irons in fires, don’t want to have too many irons in the fire, We’ll be back in about five minutes, watch this space, almost time for the next chapter, we expect there will be quite a few new chapters and a few more books before all this is over, well hopefully, all being well, we’d like to think there will be…

Thanks for all the interest and support in 2014, have a creative new year, and a productive proactive 2015, all about getting involved really. And do let us know about the book….