ORGAN THING OF THE DAY: This coming First Thursday at Cultivate Evolved, an artist-run gallery in Vyner Street, East London



ORGAN THING OF THE DAY: This coming First Thursday at Cultivate Evolved, an artist-run gallery in Vyner Street, East London

Another First Thursday then…. the shape of things is changing rather rapidly in the East End now, the relentless march of the developers, the urbanists and those who preach sustainable community from behind their closed doors and such – really feels like things are changing in terms of the East End now, changing in terms of the once empowering creativity, the DIY spirit, the community, the exciting art and the idea of really interacting with the real east end of London. Things change, of course they do, not really liking the way things are changing this year though, feels more like a takeover, and a little bit of an arrogant one at that – “we’ve moved in now, things change, if there’s no space left for art then tough”.

The planning permission notices are going up, spaces are closing,  once thriving art venues are being bought up, closed and converted, art is on the run in East London – treasure those artist-run spaces while you still have them. starting to feel more like a battle ground than the community it once was, a little bit of an us and them situation, and us? Well “us” need get wise and get doing things, before there’s nowhere left us the likes of us to do it.



April at the artist-run space that is Cultivate Evolved starts with the long-established tradition that is First Thursday. Cultivate has occupied a relentlessly busy corner street-level spot right in the middle of Vyner Street for some two and a half years now – a corner space that has been used as a DIY gallery space by various working artists, under different name, for something like ten years now. The beautifully cobbled ramshackled street itself has a longer history in terms of art though, that whole history of artists and squated spaces, the throbbing gristle of Psychic TV  a DIY tnput in a place no one wanted, a street brought back to life – the Traceys and the Damiens who have passed through, the galleries and spaces come and go (some more exciting than othera), always changing, but always alive, a special place, an exciting creative place, a collective energy rather than about one person or space. .Being on the corner in  the middle of it all makes us very aware of all the history and more importantly the responsibility to the community.  To repeat something said here the other day;



“There’s a certain pleasure in having an open-door (artist-run) gallery type art space, a place smack bang in the middle of an East End street, a room that everyone hopefully feels comfortable coming in to. We have great chats about the art on the walls, about the things going on in the lives of the pensioner who was once a foot model in the 50′s “when it was really different around here and the twins looked after things” or the delivery driver, or the big Rasta who puts his head through the door when he passes and gives us a clench fist salute and yells a deep “Cultivate!” at us, we like it when the passing drivers on the way to the bus station up the road drop in as much as we like those who clutch their art maps and their guide books, or the local kids who say their scared to knock on the doors of the big galleries, I could go on, there really is a pleasure in making art spaces accessible without having to “dumb it down”, a thrill in actually having the people come in and respond in a positive way – a better space for everyone, a better Woolworths maybe? It can be full of meaning, it can be full of challenge, it can be alive with depth, it  doesn’t have to alienate and exclude. something for anyone and everyone…”



First Thursday then. This month at Cultivate, we have the seven in-house artists – the exploring beautiful of EMMA HARVEY, the angles and structures of GARETH MORGAN, the surrealist flavours of painter JESSICA BALLANTYNE, the curious world of JULIA MADDISON and her sculpture, her prints and her mind playing,  the anonymous creativity of MOB, the rhyming slang, stitchery and sporting juxtaposition of QUIET BRITISH ACCENT and the whatever I’m doing today.  At the moment, our two guest  walls are occupied by latex artist MICHELLE MILDENHALL and the textures and marks of ASHLEY FITZGERALD

“Our curated wall this month, following on from last month’s International Women’s Day wall put together by Emma Harvey, will be a Red wall. A wall of red things – red art, red paintings, red prints…” The Red wall will feature the art of BEN FENTON, MARIA TERESA GAVAZZI, VANYA BALOGH, SOPHIE CULLINAN, SEAN WORRALL, SAMIA MALIK, EMMA HARVEY, MADELEINE STRINDBERG, SARAH CARPENTER, GONNY VAN HULST, SAFFRON REICHENBACHER and more tbc (get in t ouch if you’re an artist who’s feeling red and wants to get involved)

There’s a selection of photos of work from the current  Cultivate in-house artists and our two guests, as well as some of the  artists taking part in the Red wall  installation.. This in not necessarily  the work you will see on the walls in April from the in-house artists, indeed we expect new work to go up on the walls from most the artists involved..


CULTIVATE EVOLVED is halfway down Vyner Street, East London, the postal address is 49 Mowlen Street E2 9HE (the address you see on that demolishion notice you see down there)   . You find it right on the corner directly over from the Victory pub.  The space is open from 11.30am until 6pm on Thursday through to Sunday or by appointment on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  The gallery is open from 6pm until 9pm on FIRST THURSDAY APRIL 3rd.

APRIL AT CULTIVATE, A TASTE OF SOME OF THE ARTISTS, but not necessarily  the work you will see on the walls in April…. Click on the images to enlarge and explore a taste of what you might expect…….





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