ORGAN THING: I Saw It First, I Want It Worse, a whole load of Cultivation, Riot Grrrl paintings, circles, fish, stars and lots more down Columbia Road, East London… Seven Year Bitch? Seven year itch? Seven years on the aircraft carrier…

We make no secret of the fact that Cultivate is brought to you by the same team as Organ, walking it a little as well as talking it, we started the Cultivate gallery in a space in East London’#’s Vyner Street just about seven years ago this month, we’ve been nomadic for the last two or three years, developers, art spaces knocked down to make way for blocks of expensive flats, you know the score, we’re kind of enjoying being nomadic and doing things in different places, it makes for a different dynamic as we explore different spaces and situations. This month we’ve been invited or take over a space called Shipton Street Gallery, well for six weeks rather than a month actually, six weeks and a series of shows in a small art space down by Columbia Road (and all that that involves, especially on Sundays) here in East London. The first show opened last Thursday, a show called Intention, the second, a two week show called I saw It First, I want it Worse opens this Thursday evening. We make no apologies for blowing our own trumpets here, Cultivate is an artist-led thing, we’re artists first, we’re artists doing it ourselves, we like ot think we do it in a more committed artist-friendly kind of way. We’ve put on something like 170 exhibitions, shows, events and such now, we’ve shown the work of way more than 2000 artists, we’ve been landed on like that aircraft carrier Joshua Compston talked of many many times now, there’s always another exciting artist we want to work with, this week and this month and next month we’re mostly focused on the Columbia Road takeover, do read on, here’s some thoughts on the first show and the second show that opens this Thursday (goes without saying that everyone is welcome to come along to the open, none of that get on a list bullpoop). Seven years of Cultivate celebrated by a show named after a line in a Seven year Bitch song, read on….

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The second show of the six week Cultivate residency at Shipton Street Gallery, Columbia Road, over in East London. Sean Worrall and Emma Harvey follow their appearance at this year’s Art Car Boot Fair with a gallery full of Emma’s Riot Grrrl flavours, feminist paintings of punk bands and more – expect images of Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, Sever Year Bitch, Tribe 8, Bratmobile and many more, 43 paintings, 43 studies and a voyage of discovery. Meanwhile more of Sean’s riffs on the Cheap Art Manifesto, notions of a “Better Woolworths” and such, expect the spirit of the Art Car Boot Fair to continue in the gallery, expect lots of affordable art,

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We’ll be joined for the two weeks by an artist called Jessica Scott. We came across Jessica at the Art Car Boot Fair, well see found Emma’s art and we started talking about Bikini Kill and Dream Nails and well the long and short of it all is that we had to invite her to come join in and be part of the show… Expect guest artists throughout the two weeks including Mia Jane Harris, James Bell, Suzie Pindar and…. Expect new new work as the show evolves, expect lots of affordable art, punk rock, paintings on found material and more. Remember now, art is not a business, art is like good bread, art is good for your soul – Opening night Thursday September 27th then open on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday until October 7th Entry is free, bring your own refreshment, bring cash, paintings on sales for as little as a fiver… And yes, the dhoe title does come from a Seven Year Bitch song…

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The Emma Harvey Riot Grrrl paintings are all small canvas pieces, 12cm x 17cm paintings, gloss paint on canvas, they were originally going to be painted for the Art Car Boot Fair, somehow it evolved into something much more, a bigger collection that needed a gallery wall, that needed to be seen together, one big whole that might still be ongoing… paintings of Poisoned Girls, of The Runaways, of Bikini Kill and Bratmobile and Dream Nails and Suzi Quatro and Tribe 8, The Slits and Huggy Bear and… explore more here

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Week one or part one or whatever we decided it was in the end/ What was it? We’re playing it by ear, we’re letting it evolve, part one just happened, part two opens this coming Thursday evening. Part one first, let’s deal with part one, part one, the first show of the Cultivate Columbia Road takeover.  The exhibition opened last Thursday evening, it ran through until Sunday, art was hung, the door was opened, the cat held court, people came, Marnie Scarlet dressed as a fish and invited people to partake in her phishing for fortune.

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Part One then, we’re off with Intention,:Cultivate at Columbia Road, the opening group show at the first show of the six week Cultivate residency at Shipton Street Gallery, Columbia Road, East London, a gallery just off the Hackney Road and right by the flower market and everything that that means on a Sunday and such .The first of a series of shows at the gallery from us over the six weeks of the takeover.

The intention was to kick off the six weeks with a short sharp group show, a statement of intent, of intention. A mixed media show featuring more of the circular paintings of Emma Harvey, a show featuring the intrigue of James Bell (James will be with us for the six weeks, we look forward to seeing how his plinth evolves). A mixed media show featuring the performance and this time the artwork of Marnie Scarlet, featuring the sculpture, the assemblage and the (dark?) heart and soul of Mia-Jane Harris, featuring a leaf or two from me (Sean Worrall), the very painterly photography of artist Sofia Martins (do love the way Sofia uses her camera like a painter would), a show featuring the slightly punky attitude of mixed-media artist Suzie Pindar.

The intention was to fill the small room with artistic energy and some healthy cross-pollination, the intention was for some (reasonably) busy walls in the intimate space as we got to know the room and feel of the place, the intention was for an artist-led art show and a collection of artists we rather wanted to bring together and exhibit with.

And so the show opened, the art was hung, the people came, the opening night was great fun, art should be fun, not always fun, but going to a gallery should be fun however serious the art is (and there was some very serious very personal art). We like doing it this way, not for us a set of shows formally planned and nailed down months and months in advance – we have Jessica Scott taking part in show number two, we only just came across her last week at the Art Car Boot Fair when she came over and started taking about Bikini Kill and Dream Nails and such. Hopefully by week six we’ll have work from an artist or two we haven’t heard of yet up on the gallery walls.  We like it to be spontaneous, to let things happen, to react, to take a risk to two.  We might not always get it right, I like to think we get it right more times than we get it wrong though.

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So Intention happened, people came, the cat was a star, so was the fish, art was enjoyed, people took selfies, people asked questions, art was views, enjoyed, discussed, art was sold, art was photographed, people were photographed, people from the flower market came in, market traders came in, a painting was traded for a tree, part two kicks in on Thursday , stay tuned now, I think part one went okay, we’re starting to get a feel for the space, we’re busy, we’ll proofread later, on with the art, art excites… (SW)

please click on an image to  enlarge  or to run the fractured slide show from the first show and the opening night

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