Reveal….. the show opened last Thursday evening in an East London railway arch, deliberately timed to happen as early in the year as possible, hopefully the first London art show of 2016, actually for once there was quite few things worth exploring on the first Thursday of the new year. Reveal happened at a space called Fount London, a white-walled railway arch right by London Fields over in Hackney, East London, A show put together by the team from Cultivate, (and as you probably know, Cultivate and Organ are closely related, extremely so). Where once Cultivate was permanently housed on a busy corner of the now sadly missed thing that was Vyner Street, Cultivate is now a nomadic thing – events in condemned East London Warehouses, as a part of things on seaside promenades, dog shows, and for the first moves of 2016, a rather formal and plush looking very white-walled railway arch complex.
Reveal was about revealing, about statements of artistic intent for the new year, John Lee Bird and the intent of his ongoing Before Encore series of portraits, This One and his painting on furniture, Emma Harvey’s new developments and her very painterly new piece of work, the preciseness of Patrick Morrissey of Hanz Hancock, the questions thrown out (or in) by Megan Pickering, her words on the wall, her zines on the table.
The full list of artists taking part in Reveal reads Amy Elizabeth Kingsmill, Caroline Reed, Cecily Baker, Deborah Griffin, Diane Goldie, Emma Harvey, John Lee Bird, Marnie Scarlet, Megan Pickering, Patrick Morrissey/Hans Hancock, Samuel Brzeski, Sarah Sparkes, Sean Worrall, Skeleton Cardboard and ThisOne – a cross-pollination of so-called Street Artists sharing walls and space with contemporary painters, performers standing (very still) next to textile artists, paintings on reclaimed table tops or computer monitors next to the clean pop art lines of blue canvas… Actually Hebdon Bridge artist Caroline Reed understandably couldn’t make it, her studio got caught up in the boxing day floods up in Yorkshire, a lot of the artists of that fine town lost studios, art, equipment and a whole lot more to the devastating floods, Caroline was represented by a small print of one of her pieces and some words about the flood and the ongoing situation the art community of Hebdon Bridge now faces, we wish them well, there’s some fund raising going on at the moment, more details via Caroline’s social media
So Reveal opened last Thursday evening, a busy night, the weather wasn’t too bad, a big crowd packed in to the railway arch. Marnie Scarlet brought along her red and white persona, her Splat shoes and well what was that big red latex piece in the middle of the floor? And what was popping out of it? Performance artist Amy Elizabeth Kingsmill stood still, how does she stand so still? To quote respected American performance artist Ron Athey, “she infuses the space with exuberance” once more, And so street art followers rubbed shoulders with performers and contemporary art appreciators (“I like doing these Cultivate shows” said Skeleton Cardboard, “I get to meet different people”). And thus Cecily Baker met Diane Goldie at last, Jump leads? Coloured pegs? Paint? Books? Just who is Cecily Baker?
Hackney’s fine Five Point Brewery supplied the beer, always good to have a local independent brewery involved. John Lee Bird has been painting his bold flat (multi-dimensional, far from flat) portraits for some ten years now, there’s already been five rather big Before Encore shows, he’s revealing that the sixth happens sometime this year tonight. Samuel Brzeski’s art take several forms, sometimes very personal and revealing, his room at last year’s Pop Up, F**k Off show over at Tooting Broadway for instance, this time he’s very black and white, almost restrained, no, he’s almost always restrained, understated, until you really look, tonight he reveals some relatively simple, rather intricate black and white pieces that contrast with Diane Goldie’s almost psychedelic textiles (and embroidered canvas) hanging opposite. The Gallery is almost divided in to two rooms, two very white cubes, not often Cultivate can be found in something this white and cube shaped, it feels a little alien. Sarah Sparkes really impressed at last year’s English Magic show at the New Art Projects gallery space (English Magic is soon to re-appear at this month’s London Art Fair), tonight she reveals more of her Material Mediums series an intriguing mix of digital collage and print on classic 70’s vintage wallpaper, images taken from archive photograghs of famous female Mediums from the hey-day of Spirtualism from 1890’s to 1940s apparently..
Emma Harvey is revealing a serious understanding of paint now, a particularly painterly style of her own, tonal values, contrast, and most importantly an identity, it isn’t about technique though and certainly not anything as tedious as some notion of photo-realism, this new circular piece revealed tonight is apparently the first of a new series of works, more very personal work that hasn’t been fully revealed with this first piece, we await developments. Deborah Griffin, takes us in to dark corners, (strange depths?), a slight departure from her gothic boldness, where is she going? What is this? What is she revealing? The gallery is constantly busy, a small railway arch in the corner of the Fount Complex, a constant flow, someone left their passport in This One’s house, he draws and paints on anything and everything.
Megan Pickering’s piece has people reacting in all kinds of way, really like Megan’s exploring of her culture, her working class heritage, her sexuality, feminism, over the length of exhibition she provokes a whole rage of reaction, as do her zines (and you really do have to listen to the sound of her film). Skeleton Cardboard is an artists in full flow, he use of the seemingly harmless phrases of modern life take on an almost sinister big-brother-like quality, his colour range is refined, his work has developed an edge of its own now, no rubbish dumped here…. best before end…
So Reveal revealed, lots of people came, (and lots more over the weekend), we put the show on, we can’t be blowing our own trumpets too much, the artists and the balance, carefully curated you might say, cross-pollinated, I think we can say we kicked off our art year in a decent enough way, felt good from where we were stood anyway…. Now what next? on with it all…. (sw)
click on am image to enlarge or run the slide show….