ORGAN THING: Fragile times at BSMT Space…


Fragile – Cultivate at BSMT Space, Feb 2017 – Rosso, Sean Worrall

Fragile, Cultivate at BSMT Space, Dalston, London N16 – Back to the basement, never mind the snow and the rain, back to BSMT Space for another Cultivate show, another pro-active gathering of artistic energy and sixteen, or was it seventeen? A gathering of sixteen or seventeen pro-active artists, and before we go much further, for those who don’t know, this was our show. That’s right, a group of artists gathered together (herded together by the Organ/Cultivate team, so we really can’t be reviewing our own event can we.  Freezing night on the borders of London where North becomes East, cold cold cold over in Dalston on the edges of Hackney. BSMT Space is just that, a basement space, a rather plush (not too plush) gallery space down below street level on the busy main road, a fancy space (not too fancy) with a healthy reputation as a good place to explore fresh exciting art of a more underground nature.  You know all this already though, the space has a buzz…


Fragile – Cultivate at BSMT Space, Feb 2017 – Modes Of Being

Fragile opened in the February cold of last night, gallery walls alive with a mix of street art flavours, contemporary painters, graphic printers, portrait artists, abstract feelinga and a whole lot more.  More cross-pollination and fracturing of those fragile rules and polite boxes art should be filed in, the notion of artists sharing walls with those they probably don’t get to share walls with that often. You can’t have a landscape like that on the same wall as all those spray painted leaf tags said someone in mild complaint, well quiet strong complaint actually, why not though? Why not? I adore the landscape paintings and the fresh clean green space of Cait Sweeney’s landscapes, her One Tree Hill and her View From Wytham Woods are both as glorious as they are refreshing, I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t share gallery space with Hackney’s own Charlie McFarley of the graphic street style of This One. It all has to be hung right of course, carefully balanced so the conversation between pieces isn’t too shouty. so they’re not fighting each other.  A careful balance is needed between the fetish-flavoured taxidermy of Mia-Jane Harris, the beautifully painted portraiture of Joanna Georgiades or the delicious (ongoing series of) circle paintings of my co-curator Emma Harvey.


Fragile – Cultivate at BSMT Space, Feb 2017 – Marnie Scarlet

Hey look, I can’t review this show, I put it together, I selected the art (alongside the aforementioned Emma), we curated it, I hung it, agonised over it, tried to balance it, I have my own paintings on the walls, I invited the performers, herded the artists and their art, hammered the nails into the wall, swept the floor, cleared up the mess at the end of the opening night, I can’t review this show. It is a damn good show though, the artists excite me, that’s why they were invite, putting shows together is exciting.

Cait Sweeney’s almost uncharacteristic placard from the Anti-Trump women’s march the other week had to be in the show, seems he’s pissing off everyone, really didn;t expect to see Cait with such an angry sign, when we saw the photos we had to ask if she still had it (last time I looked the image of Cait holding it had been shared on social media thousands (and thousands) of times. the pieces is in the gallery, there for people to take photos with, for once we encourage selfies with art…


Fragile – Cultivate at BSMT Space, Feb 2017 – Cait Sweeney

And we do like the things Yorkshire’s own This One is doing on the London streets right now,  his tattoo-art style is standing out out there on the walls of the capital city and beyond. Deborah Griffin always brings are rather unique style, always a pleasure to have her art as part of a Cultivate show, as is the wordery of Cultivate regulars Quiet British Accent (painting on pennies seems to be their things right now),  but hey, I can’t review this show can I?  The art wouldn’t be on the wall if we didn’t seriously rate it and want to share space with it, with the tube train observations of Bruce Lovelock or the obsessiveness of Modes of Being.


Fragile – Cultivate at BSMT Space, Feb 2017 –

Globetrotting Australian street-art pointallist Jimmy C’s Bowie mural went viral last year, we covered it via these pages back at the time, he dropped off one of his prints at Cultivate ahead of the show, and talking of prints, still don’t really know what is going on inside the head of Espira. Rosso brought her style along, Apple Tart struck a very impressive pose, (almost) wrapped in her own art, Marnie Scarlet got very fragile in a strong strong way, an opening night performance piece involving multiple layers of bubblewrap and tape, more on Marnie later, she deserves a piece of her own.   hey look, I can’t review this show, we put it on, I could just carry naming the artists and giving you the reason why, the reason why Vasna Parchet’s bold multi-media prints are smack bang in the middle of this, or why abstract painter Christophe Cachelin is on our walls again, or about the performergram sound landscapes of Elizabeth Sandford Richardson (aka Apple Tart). The image you see in the show is a camera-less photograph, made from sound and light. Created using analogue methodology in a darkroom. Sound is converted into light formations, painted onto light sensitive (photographic paper) then developed. These images are called performergrams, and the piece in the show is part of a series that captures sound landscapes of London Town in a visual form – they look rather beautiful without all the information and explanation..

You see, I really can’t write a review of this show, I can just tell you a little bit about it, post some photos, maybe even tell you about the notion of bringing a painting to a completed conclusion on every day of the year in 2017, but no, I’ll just park a bag load of photos from last night’s opening night and tell you our show runs until 6pm on Sunday evening  (SW)

Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured slideshow…

2 thoughts on “ORGAN THING: Fragile times at BSMT Space…

  1. Pingback: ORGAN THING: Red opens here at 6pm on Monday… | THE ORGAN

  2. Pingback: The 56th painting on the 56th day, the red thing, the notion of viewing art on line… | Sean Worrall

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