A matter of “Getting to the heart of the matter” and the subterranean Esprit de Corps

A “Getting to the heart of the matter” quote of mine picked out and reposted on social media by Isolde Nash, “Subterranean Esprit de Corps: the relevance of what’s been happening underground in CavendishSq during



“art does like attention, we artists don’t put our art on walls to be ignored, and while this show is a continuation of something that has been going on all year in London, as far as the mainstream art world goes, it really doesn’t exist. And that, as an artist involved in it all, is the exciting thing right now – this whole other London art world that is coming together – artists are coming together, the “esprit de corps “ as Martin Sexton puts it – artists are curating, making things happen rather than just waiting around. It isn’t like the YBA thing of the 90’s, that was exciting at the time, it hinted at the possibilities but that was way back then, a million miles away, another time, another world, and that was very much part of the establishment from the off, that door has long since been shut and the desire to open it again on the part of the artists has long since faded – the let’s-get-on-with-doing-it-ourselves option is far more inviting and rewarding right now, the alternative channels of communication that enable these comings together, on-line networks and communities empowering the word-of-mouth gatherings, and yes people like Geoffrey Leong in this case enabling the curators like Vanya Balogh, Alice Herrick and Cedric Christie to make events like this happen again and again all over the city.”. 

The full piece is over on the Organ pages (I threw my writing hat away sometime ago, but there’s so much going on that’s not really being covered at the moment)

We Could not Agree goes on until Sunday 19th October at QPark car Park, Cavendish Square, London W1. Open midday until 8pm

There’s an Organ interview with Vanya Balogh here and there’s a film, made by Marina, here at Organ, photographed and animated on opening night.  There’s 164 photos from the opening night here and some more from a second visit here.



A video from last night’s opening of the We Could not Agree show,

An animated video piece from last night’s opening of the We Could not Agree show, an art show in a circular underground car park in central London featuring over one hundred artists. The show runs daily from Tuesday 14th Oct until Sunday 19th October, midday until 8pm at QPark Car park, Level -3, Cavendish Square, London W1.


we couldnot_narrowWhole loads of photos from the opening night of the event and the art over on the Organ pages, meanwhile, here’s a flavour from parking bay number 43 and “Emma Street, E2”

“EMMA STREET, E2” installed…

“EMMA STREET, E2” installed down underground on level -3, QPark Underground car park, Cavendish Square, London W1 for the WE COULD NOT AGREE that opens this coming Monday October 13th (for Frieze week).

Why is the piece called Emma Street E2? Because the original hinged together wooden screen was found last month on a pile of thrown out rubbish thrown against a wall in Emma Street, Hackney, London, E2. Piece of leaf growth have been appearing on the beautifully weathered pieces of wood over the last month, some intense growing and cultivating of leaves on the piece that is now standing on a packing case and installed in the car park in central London. The evolution of the piece is documented further down this blog, I expect it will continue to evolve after this show, a piece is never finished until someone takes it away.

The opening night of the We Could not Agree Car Park show is 6pm to 9pm on Monday 13th october and then the show runs daily from Tuesday 14th Oct until Sunday 19th October at QPark Cr park, Level -3, Cavandish Square, London W1.

This coming week, I think we’re agreed on We Could Not Agree…..

whatprice19Cultivate, in terms of Vyner Street at least, closed last Sunday afternoon, a mostly positive three and a bit year experience, time for it to end though. Vyner Street was tire of me and me of it, I wrote a goodbye letter and left on the Cultivate blog page, well I couldn’t just leave without saying something – Dear Vyner Street, we’ve had a great time, it really isn’t you, it’s me, it really is, I’ll be back in five minutes…… and, for the avoidance of doubt, some more words here, The final Vyner Street weekend and an album of First Thursday images I did enjoy it, I really did, I think we’ll miss some of it, I really hope the next people don’t mess that space up, takes a lot of time and effort, three and a bit years really was enough. Enough or herding artists and shouting at the lazy arts media for a bit, enough of the frustration of Vyner Street. I did have a final say on a Facebook page called Vyner Street Art News that I ran (until this week) in an attempt to bring a bit of unity to the street

Cultivate, Vyner Street

Cultivate, Vyner Street

“This page was run by Cultivate, Vyner Street in the (foolish?) belief that Vyner Street was/is about a community of galleries, studios and art spaces and that people came (come?) to the street to experience the whole rather than just one part of it. The fact that it was about community and people coming for the whole thing wasn’t something the rest of the spaces appeared to understand or care about, happy to hide behind closed (often locked) unwelcoming sign-less doors that would miraculously open in a bout of self-congratulation on a First Thursday before closing again. There are still some great art spaces and galleries in and around the street, we wish them well, and hope they keep the special street that we’ve been pleased to be part of as a gallery for the last three years (and much longer as artists) going. just a shame that the other galleries didn’t appreciate what they had (have) a little more, didn’t engage a little more, open their doors a little more…. We leave you now, big thanks to everyone who came down the street while we were there. We shall leave this page here, we won’t have news of the street for you anymore, we’re not in the street anymore, not there directing people and passing out information from our corner (yes, that one is open, yes that big black door with no information is a gallery and yes it is open if you ring the bell)… We loved it, we’re pleased we did it, we were pleased to be part of something special and we’re pleased to be moving on to new things. We wish everyone in the street well, especially the new occupants of the corner space that was Cultivate from September 2011 until October 2014.. We hope this page has been useful. Thanks everyone, we (mostly) had a great time. Art should engage, not hide behind locked doors”.

Enough of Vyner Street for now, the street was good to us, I’ve no wish to kick the place Nettie Horn style (whatever did become of Nettie anyway? Went to Fitzrovia in a blaze of street-kicking glory fueled by a pet journalist who had no clue and rather went broke you say). We mostly had a great time, wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Really didn’t intend to come here for a Vyner Street post-mortem, it was only one chapter in theon-going Cultivate adventure that we’re currently on.  Today car parks are the things occupying minds around here for we are only days away from We Could Not Agree. What’s that? There’s an Organ interview-peppered preview feature here –

ORGAN THING: “We are a challenge to Frieze because in many ways we don’t exist…” Vanya Balogh on next week’s We Could Not Agree art show in a car park

we couldnot_narrow –  and yes, I am one of the exhibiting artists, this piece is still being worked on, a piece called Emma Street, involving some beautifully worn hinged wood rescued from a pile of discarded on Emma Street, East London that currently has a growth developing on it…

EMMA STREET - work in progress

EMMA STREET – work in progress



Sunday, Vyner Street, Emma Street, street corners, hinges, found wood…

It was the last day of the final What Price Art show at Cultivate today, and the last but one show I shall put on in Cultivate’s current East London Vyner Street location. It has been a privilege to be part of the rather special street and to be out on that corner painting on things for the last three years.   I shall write about the What Price Art experience in a bit, sorry to those who found it a little stressful…..

Here’s some more work in progress on the Emma Street piece on found hinged wood, coming to a car park in central London soon for the We Could Not Agree show….

emmastreet13 emmastreet7Painted this piece of leaf growth today at Cultivate, it sold almost before it was dry as part of the What Price Art show…. sold before I could take a decent photo of it. Autumn Equinox flavours

sundaytoday1really do love painting on the street outside the front of Cultivate and engaging with all the passing people… I like my studio floor…