Art does sometimes need to engage, it never needs to dumb down, but it does need to engage a little more…

 

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A #365ArtDrop18 piece on Brick Lane, East London, November 2018

Some times it is good to get out beyond an art gallery, some of those galleries can be very unfriendly places, not all of them, but so many of them are rather unfriendly unwelcoming places, one of the things the #365ArtDrop18 piece is about is the people who choose to take the pieces that have been left hanging on the street, it is part of the point of the piece that people take them and enjoy being part of it all, it is about engagement, about the enjoyment both for me as an artist and hopefully for the people who choose to take the paintings. The hashtag on the back of the 365 pieces that will eventually make up the year-long #365ArtDrop18 is very important, as are the photos and the tales that other people post on their social media feeds and such. The paintings are all on material found on the street, things that people have thrown away, unwanted pieces of wood, old frames and canvases, things that were heading for landfill or were just going to be left there to rot (and when something is thrown out them leaves will grow, although others choose to see other things painted, I mostly paint leaves).

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A #365ArtDrop18 piece found, Brick Lane, East London, November 2018

Yesterday, 36 pieces, mostly painted on wood from a smashed up piece of wooded furniture pulled from a Hackney skip, were left hanging around the streets of East London (it isn’t about one piece a day, more about 365 over the whole year). of those 36 paintings left out yesterday we’ve heard of pieces being taken by people from Baltimore, from Rome, London, Manchester, from Jordan and France, we don’t hear about the fate of all the pieces of course, I guess some of them might end up in landfill anyway, we do get some great stories and some excellent photos from people though, a big part of this, the second year-long 365 art drop piece, is the engagement and the people.

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The latest #365ArtDrop18 paintings, November 2018

I love art galleries, they can be wonderful places, but they can also so often be aloof unfriendly, elitist attitudes, unwelcoming places, sometimes almost arrogantly so, art does sometimes need to engage, it never needs to dumb down, but it does need to engage a little more

 

 

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Columbia Road, A Cross For A Red Queen, three poppies, more art drops…

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The six week Cultivate Columbia Road takeover was, on the whole rather successful,  lots of engagement in the gallery, lots of interesting people, lots of good artists, four shows curated, lots of positive engagement, good conversation, sales (a piece of art sold is always a welcome thing, once a piece is finished it really is good to get it out of here, make space for the next ones). Columbia Road was good, the gallery, an old greengrocer’s shop that still had the old till and some of the fittings was good, the engagement with the locals was good, we thought it would all be about te flower market crowds on the Sundays but really it was about the locals who avoided Sundays,the real East End people, the Somalia family who lived around the corner and had never been in an art gallery before, the people who engaged with Emma Harvey’s Riot Grrrl paintings, the people who reacted to the stars in the window. Every space and place we take Cultivate to is different, different people, different feels, different crowds, really enjoyed the six week of the Columbia Road takeover, I like it when a show reaches beyond the art crowd, really must write in more depth about the takeover on the Cultivate website, thanks everyone.

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A #365ArtDrop18 piece left hanging in Hackney and now in Germany…

meanwhile the #365ArtDrop18 piece goes on, a year-long on-going piece of work in 365 parts, 365 paintings on found recycled material picked up off the street. Material found, cleaned up, painted on and them left hanging back out on the street for people to take should they wish to. It isn’t about a piece a day, the piece is about 365 paintings left out on the streets over the whole year. I see a piece left hanging under a railway bridge in Hackney last week ended up in Germany.

Yesterday at the studio, work in progress, yesterday being Sunday September 11th 2018, a larger canvas still being worked on… it seemed to be a fitting thing to be doing this on this of all weeks, indulging in something I love doing and being able to do so…

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Next stop, the first ever Christmas version the Art Car Boot Fair, it happens on December 9th down by new Port Street and the gallery district of Vauxhall, here in London, more details here

Meanwhile a bit of gardening and some leaf growth around a cross, a piece painted a couple of weeks back, a piece that for a reason I shall keep to myself is called “A Cross For A Red Queen”, a piece on canvas, 70cm x 50cm, acrylic, brickwork, spray paint, gloss varnish. a slight revisit to the crosses of the summer and that Kensal Green Cemetery show that happen quite some time ago now….

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“A Cross For A Red Queen” – canvas, 70cm x 50cm, acrylic, brickwork, spray paint, gloss varnish