Chips, Starz, leaves, Organ history on a gallery wall, installation, an old piece of textile art…

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Anyway, never mind the dogs or the squares or that Stefdies swore for the very first time, we’re half way through another of our Month-long Cultivate Columbia Road take overs, the third time we’ve done it at that Shipton Street space now.  This the whole takeover thing kicked off at the start of the month with a short sharp two day weekend show, a kind of installation thing, and yes, you guessed it, more damn blowing of our own damn trumpets –  a show led by Emma Harvey and her on-going questions about Joan Jett, about Joan Jett or chips? About what Joan Jett might do about any of it? Another Harvey and Worrall show, a kind of follow up to that time and that show in that East London Edwardian dressmaker’s shop a couple of years ago, that and this year’s Art Car Boot Fair adventures from Emma – a two day show called Chips, Starz, What Would Joan Jett do? Just a two day show, no opening night, partly out of respect for and consideration of the Atom Gallery Can I get A Slice show that opened the evening of November 1st, no way did we want to distract from that one – a fund raising benefit event for the Hackney Foodbank feature something like fifty invited artists all painting or printing on or in pizza boxes, we didn’t want people coming to our show rather than heading over to North London for that one (and anyway we both had work in the pizza box show), and anyway, why does there always need to be an “opening”? We put up the work on the Friday, we went off for a pizza at Atom Gallery, then we opened on the Saturday morning and we closed it all on the Sunday evening – bang, rocking at least six times, a short sharp two day art show over one weekend down by the Columbia Road flower market.

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A two person show yes, but a show that really was all about Emma Harvey and her big wall of Joans – there wasn’t a print release, none of them were on sale, it was one piece of art, 96 very (very) bright handmade punk rock lino prints alive with dayglo attitude, what would Joan Jett do? No one’s permission was needed, no one’s reputation was cared for.  Sure, there were two artists sharing the space, I was the other one, but it really was all about that head-to-foot wall of glorious Joan Jett riot-grrrl-fuelled dayglo intensity. The wall looked brilliant, it was exciting, people reacted, “Oh I loved Joan Jett”, “who is Joan Jett?”, “we must go home and ask Alexa to play some Joan Jett”, the council Roadsweeper went past singing “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” very loudly, people came down to have their photos taken in front of it all,   I knew it was going to be dayglo-bright, the photos go nowhere near capturing how bright it actually was, 96 Joan Jetts on the wall and a couple of Joan Jett tapestry pieces as well, I loved it, they loved it, I’m pretty surer Joan would love it,  Yes, it started off as a two person show but it really was all about Emma (and Joan) this time/ I kind of knew what she was going to do so I reacted with some old gig posters from my days when I was silly enough to put gigs on as well as run a record label and sit in the back of transit vans touring the land and such,, old dayglo gig posters full of ancient history, that and one last Organ t-shirt left from the end of the last century – there’s been a whole roll of old gig posters up on a shelf in the corner of the studio for years, forgotten about half of those gigs – oh and an old piece of art from way way back, an old textile piece, a resist print from a screen print and a leafy line-drawing (no it wasn’t Batik!)  See, it was always about leaves (check some of those old record sleeves, they’ve all got leaves Growing on them). Anyway, a two day show,  a whole load of old Organ history dusted off for one last time and a whole load of recent paintings on found recycled pieces of wood picked up off the street or out of skips all hung in response to the wall of punk rock on Emma’s side of the gallery. It really was all about that wall of Joans though, that wall looked brilliant and I don’t care what you think about me saying so  (sw)

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Please click on an image or to run the slide show from my half of the gallery. The Joan’s are all Emma’s, as is the cherrybomb and the chips