And so the London galleries, the “proper” ones rather than the print-pimps with their shops full of neatly framed pieces, the print shops that sometimes masquerade as galleries with their tediously conservative limited edition neatly framed print releases, the “proper” galleries are starting to open up, the galleries of Mayfair and the more establishment spaces of East London are sending us press releases to say they are (kind of) opening, they’re telling us those doors are are still kind of closed and that it is now about the commitment of “by appointment only” which adds a whole extra layer to what is so often an unfriendly and often, for so many people, an intimidating experience anyway. We’re getting texts, e.mails and private messages on social media – “we’re open, can you write a news story? Can you come and do a review please?”, “We need your help” they say, not that any of them ever come near “our” shows, not that any of them ever get their shoes dirty checking out the artist-led shows in the converted shops or the back street spaces that still survive, not that an of them can be bothered with making the short walk to “our” shows. – there needs to be a reset. “The Galleries of Mayfair are Reopening” reads the headline, “can you give us some coverage” pleads the e.mail. yeah, sure. we can give you some coverage if the shows look interesting enough, personally I’m itching to get to a gallery and to see some actual art in the actual flesh, but hey, once things start to open again, how about you lot being a little more friendly, how about you lot coming out to a few of the artist-led shows here in the East or over in the South, how about a few of you taking a look at what goes on right under your under noses, there’s some exciting art, there’s some damn good shows, there are still, believe it or not, actual artists living and working right here in London you know/ Yeah, we can give you a bit of coverage, but hey, you know, there’s these whole layers of art and artists and shows that are being ignored by the galleries, the London art media, the establishment who are now asking us for some help… .
So five art things, five more art things happening now or coming up any moment now, five art shows to check out the coming. Hey, I know we said it last time but we will try to do it most weeks now we appear to be coming out of lockdown, and yes this admittedly rather fractured Five Art Things feature was and is intended to be a regular, almost certainly weekly, or something like something near weekly thing – an almost weekly round up of recommended art events. Five shows, exhibitions or things we rather think might be worth checking out. Mostly London things for that is where we currently operate and explore, and like we said last time (and the time before), these five recommendations come, as we already said up there, with no claims that they are “the best five” or the “Top Five”, we’re not one of those annoying art websites that ignore most things whilst claiming to be covering everything and proclaiming this or that to be the “top seven things” or the “best things this weekend”., no, this is simply a regular list of five or so art things coming up soon that we think you might find as interesting as we do, five art things coming in in the next few days in no particular order…
1: Luke Jordan – ‘Spirit Trumpet Séance’ – A live broadcast from Gallery 46, Whitechapel, London, Thursday 9th July – Liminality [Start Dreaming] is an ongoing series of live transmissions, the latest is ‘Spirit Trumpet Séance’ by Luke Jordan, the live broadcast happens from 6pm via the Gallery 46 Instagram feed. ‘Spirit Trumpet Séance’ is described as an Installation / Performance, Noise-Action, Sculpture – “I speculate upon the ontological relationship between the human and non-human, materialist and non-materialist metaphysics and beyond, through the psycho-physical process of creation, immersion, and fatal meetings between objects / entities, approaching ontological destabilisation and disintegration.”
“LIMINALITY with GALLERY 46 present a series of new works dealing with the themes of incubation, self isolation, modes of liminality, meditation, restrictions and freedoms. In a mode of LIMINALITY we are compelled to ask questions, to mediate on how we will transverse and embrace the mystery and power of transition”. – Gallery 46
2: Annka Kultys Gallery is apparently “pleased to present Hell Gette”, a show curated by Jürgen Dehm – “marking the first solo exhibition of the German, Kazakhstan-born artist Hell Gette in London. The show will include six new oil paintings the subjects of which deal playfully with strategies of self-representation on social media and their specific modes of communication.
“Gette belongs to a generation of young painters who create visual worlds that are influenced by digital communication and consumer media, yet consciously engage with the history of painting at the same time. Her oil paintings are structured like computer games; fragments that seem to ‘pop up’ in the background of one work may constitute the whole picture in a following painting. This way of quoting from one’s own works could create the impression that Gette’s pictures tell a story. The artist, however, is not primarily concerned with narration, but rather with the development of a future landscape: the “#landscape 3.0.” Gette deliberately places her paintings in the art-historical tradition of landscape painting, an important traditional art genre especially up until the beginning of the 20th century. With “3.0” she playfully refers to the suffix “2.0” which was once a symbol for something that was seen as “the future”; Gette is therefore not concerned with the future, but rather with the future of the future. However, the fact that her landscapes often seem to be based on templates created with simple graphic software, and that their stylistic precursors can be found in Bad Painting, highlights the artist’s playful, ironic approach to such promising future concepts, such as the Web 2.0 once seemed”
The show is open now, by appointment, you do need to book, I haven’t managed to make that appointment yet, I do like just dropping in, I don’t like the commitment of an appointment, the show is on until July 18th. Annka Kultys Galleryis at 472 Hackney Road, Unit 3, 1st Floor, London E2 9EQ Thursday – Saturday | 12 pm – 6 pm by appointment Red door by the bus stop, a minute or so from Cambridge Heath Station
3: Luke Ratz – It’s so crazy – a solo show over at Cave Pimlico, 9th – 12th July 2020 – Things are apparently evolving over at Cavespace, their first show for some time looks like this – “it’s so crazy… I mean “it’s so crazy” to be so attached to these goals of mine – to extend my freedom and to deepen, to enrich, to develop my imagination… “it’s so crazy” to create, even if you can have this impression that the whole universe wants to prevent it, to stop it, like it would be some unnecessary waste of energy (third law of thermodynamics?) or disease of some sort (obsessive compulsive disorder?)… So I’m seriously into creating more and more complex representations in my mind and into documentation of these states of mind… I’m hunting for these extremely rare, complex and not accidental constructs… These brain events are extremely difficult to attain, to sustain and it’s challenging to capture them adequately… Especially when circumstances are adverse… I’m strongly convinced that everyone can benefit from this kind of private investigations, from these anarchistic research programs, by incorporating these representations – what is the final product of our interaction, of this exchange… So my everyday job is not a magic, it’s something which we’re all doing all the time by trying to communicate. Maybe this process is even more creative, generative and inspiring when there are this inevitable noise and imprecision’s which are deforming our messages… There are no rules to which we have to stick in this play. That’s why there is so much fun with that… It’s so crazy… I could write a lot more about the nature of these representations and the art in general, about some hidden symbolics and synesthetic stories which my brain is telling me about these drawn and painted forms, but it would be definitely too long like for a standard statement and there are better places to do that Anyway… Most of what I’m doing it’s rather something to watch…” Cave is at 81 Tachbrook Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 2QP. Opening times: Thu. 12-8pm, Fri. – Sat. 12-6pm, here’s the Facebook event page for those who feel the need for such things. Links: LukeRatz.com / www.cavepimlico.co.uk
4: Khadija Saye – Breath is Invisible – “An outdoor display of works by a talented artist who lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire” opens today (July 7th) in Notting Hill, West London. Breath is Invisible is a three-month public art project which includes works by Khadija Saye, who died in the blaze in June 2017. Nine large-scale prints of the British-Gambian artist’s most celebrated works are being shown across the outside façade of 236 Westbourne Grove.
“Before her death, Ms Saye said of the works, which exploring the migration of traditional Gambian spiritual practices: “The series was created from a personal need for spiritual grounding after experiencing trauma. The search for what gives meaning to our lives and what we hold onto in times of despair and life changing challenges.” Ms Saye’s work is the first of three exhibitions to run at the space, all of which aim to explore social inequality and injustice.
Founded by Eiesha Bharti Pasricha and curated by Sigrid Kirk, the project was launched today by David Lammy, MP for Tottenham and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, who knew Ms Saye. The project’s community partners include Amplify Studios and the Harrow Club.
Today will also see the launch of The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme. Founded by artist Nicola Green, who is the wife of Lammy, and IntoUniversity, which helps disadvantaged young people get in to higher education, the fund aims to provide opportunities for young people from BAME and disadvantaged communities across the UK. Green, who was a mentor for Saye, said the programme would be a “fitting way” to honour the “extraordinary” talent of the west Londoner (so reports the Evening Standard)
She said: “Khadija was an emerging artist when I met her and she had achieved extraordinary things in her short career. But she struggled to confirm her passion – art – in to a career at the beginning. She was a member of an IntoUniversity group near to her home and she was a passionate campaigner on helping others learn about careers in the arts and get in to the creative arts. This is a fitting tribute to her.” ‘ More coverage here via the Guardian
5: Expectations is reopening at Emalin – Leda Bourgogne, Daiga Grantina, Patrick Staff, Jessica Vaughn, with a poem by Pedro Neves Marques -28 February – 25 July 2020 (extended) – “We are pleased to announce that Emalin will reopen to the public on Wednesday, 8 July, with our current group exhibition Expectations, which closed prematurely after opening at the end of February. Our opening hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm. To protect our staff and visitors in line with government guidelines, we ask that all visitors practice social distancing measures and wear a face mask within the gallery. We will be operating at a limited capacity and the gallery is adapting measures of sanitisation, including accessibility to hand sanitising and hand washing to all visitors. it is good to see the relatively big white uncluttered space that is Emalin opening up again, yes it is frustrating that they are one of those East London galleries that seeming ignore everything East London artist are doing , but it is good to see they’ve survived…
“Expectations brings together a group of artworks that consider ideas of embodiment in fraught spaces where language often fails and where realities of regulation and control structure life.
Leda Bourgogne’s practice manifests as an exploration of surface as skin, dealing with the tension between translucence and opacity both of texture and of language. Her ongoing series of chewing gum poems populate the floor like sticky nuclei – oral units of speech that mediate movement around the gallery and a physical interaction with text. Daiga Grantina’s sculptures mimic the constitutional transformations of materials and environments, freely moving between the granular and the macroscopic. Her works probe our assumptions about the potential of a body to inhabit and demand space as well as the adaptation to and transgression of its demarcations, toying with the inherent slippages of language and the need for alternative modes of communication. Jessica Vaughn’s floor-based cutouts on plexi resurrect the discarded surpluses of textiles manufactured for upholstering the seats in Chicago’s public transit network. These abstracted forms reflect both on ideas of absence and negative space while drawing attention to the urban movement of bodies within civic infrastructures. Patrick Staff explores the movements and tensions of queer bodies as regulated by forms of internal and external discipline. The site-specific intervention The Appetite runs along one wall of the gallery, physically combining the genericness of both familiarity and threatening restriction”.Emalin is a gallery that kind of hides in plain sight right there, right under your nose and right over the street from that horrendous Boxpark travesty and directly over the main road from the turn that takes you to Shoreditch Overground Station. Look for the wall covered in street art and the spew of graff, there’s a door there with very little signage in the middle of all the tags and such. The address is Unit 4 Huntingdon Estate, Bethnal Green Rd., London, E1 6JU – www.emalin.co.uk
The third and final Cultivate on-line show durng this lockdown period is now live and can be viewed over on the Organ website via this link. 39 carefully selected artists, 200 pieces of work, and….
“And with good reason” she said, (And with good) Reason then, a third and final on-line art exhibition brought to you by Cultivate during these strange locked-down virus-fearing times. When we first planned April’s #43Artists show, the first of what has now become a trilogy of on-line exhibitions, we had no idea that this Covid thing was coming and that our gallery doors would have to close with very very little warning – yes, we had planned an on-line show in April anyway, before what would have been more physical shows in May. Lockdown (and the financial fallout that has followed) had of course put a stop to all current physical shows (as well as future plans) and so one on-line exhibition quickly evolved and became three, this is the third.
This time we have 39 artists and two hundred (images of) pieces of art, once again the show is brought to you by Cultivate founders Emma Harvey and myself, Sean Worrall, this time we have selected, invited and including 37 of our fellow artists to show work along side some of our own pieces. Once again we have some names probably familiar to Cultivate regulars, we have some artists who have never been involved Cultivate shows before (this is our 156th show under the Cultivate banner), and we have some artists making their debuts with us, indeed some we’d not heard of less that a month ago (always exciting searching for new artists). And, yes, while looking at art on line can never ever be a serious substitute for exploring it in an actual physical gallery, there are some advantages in that we can give you those vital links and let you go explore beyond our exhibition, we can also feature the work of people from all over the world, rather than just work from those who can realistically get their work to us for a physical show here in London.
This bit is important, those links (and using them) are so vitally important and so this time, rather than actually tell you what you’re looking at in terms of a description, a tittle, a size, an indication of medium and such like we have done with the previous on-line shows, this time we’ve decided we’re deliberately just going to give you the name of the artist and then at the foot of the exhibition we’re going to give you the link to each of the artists in the hope that you will (please) go and find out more, that you will go and explore, maybe communicate, that you will go find out if their paintings are big, if they work in oil or id they paint with a Polaroid camera or make linoprints of Joan Jett or acrylic paints of fruit or if their installations go further than what you see on this page – what is Lidia Lidia’s art about? Who is Jessica Hill? how big or small are those wonderful Liz Griffiths pieces? This time we’ve decided to only give you the visual information and very little else besides that all important link and rather then labelling each piece in the traditional way, this time, with good reason, all you are going to get is the image, the name and the link, all about those links that take you further.
It has been exciting exploring all the art for these three shows, exploring the artist’s websites, exploring the responses to the open call element of these three shows (this time 14 of the 39 artists involved were via an open call), personally I’ve enjoyed that part of the lockdown that has been the hours and days putting together these three, we have no idea what the future holds right now for us as artists or indeed for us as the people who bring you Cultivate but if this is it (and we really hope it isn’t, a tiny bit of that emergency funding that Art Council England have been dishing out too so many others would have been helpful when we really really needed a lifeline), if this is the last Cultivate exhibition then I think these three on-line shows following on from the success of the Nothing is Square Part Two show over by Columbia Road here in East London back in March have been good strong positive notes to end it all on. .Do please explore the art and enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together, do hit some of those links and do watch this space with good reason. Thanks everyone, keep looking, keep creating, contact and switch the other, this thing will not blow over, hopefully there will be more cultivating, art is a force for good, it bring people together in the right way and right now we really need that (sw) .
The third and final Cultivate on-line show durng this lockdown period is now live and can be viewed over on the Organ website via this link.