ART CAR BOOT FAIR PART 3, The Folkestone artist line up; Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Sir Peter Blake, Matt Collishaw, us…

aaa_cultevolved_folkestRight then, the artist list for the Folkestone leg of this year’s excellent Art Car Boot Fair adventure has just been published on the official ACB website -

Here’s their list “Tracey Emin · Gavin Turk · Sir Peter Blake · Matt Collishaw · Vic Reeves & Michael Hogben · Chris Barnes · James Unsworth · Nina Saunders · Nina Fowler · Carolyn Gowdy · Jennifer and Christine Binnie · Wilma ‘Surfmama’ Johnson · David J Batchelor · Jake Clark · Scrawl Collective · Swifty · Cultivate Gallery: Sean Worrall, Emma Harvey, Zoe Crosse, Julia Maddison, Mathew Tudor, Quiet British Accent · The Juncture · Camille Phoenix · Ian Dawson and the COPY SHOP · Herrick Gallery featuring Disastronaut · Matt Rowe & Club Shepway · Diane Dever ·Deborah Crofts ·Sadie Hennessy ·Julia Riddiough ·Heidi Plant ·Nick Morley ·Kyp & Simon Hollington ·Sally Penfold as ‘Bayle Window’ ·Kate Knight · Hannah Muck and more to be announced!”

The Folkestone leg of the Art Car Boot Fair happens on Saturday August 30th, 11am until somewhere around 6pm, all part of the Folkestone Triennial….  See you by the seaside for Art Car Boot Fair part three….

art_car_flyerHere’s some visual flavours from Art Car Boot Fair 2014 part one and two in Liverpool and London

August in photos: Art Does Not Go On Holiday, August First Thursday and…

aaa_cultevolved_holidayWhere were we? Not on holiday, that’s for sure, art does not go on holiday.   Art Does Not Go On Holiday is our current show at Cultivate Evolved, it is in part a tongue in cheek dig at those more formal galleries that seem to delight in closing down and heading off on vacation right when people are over here on holiday and want to spend some time exploring art….  .or maybe it wasn’t so tongue in cheek? Nothing is ever tongue in cheek around here and I’m not sure how many times I’ve apologised to frustrated guide-book-clutching people on behalf of the other galleries in the street over the last few weeks. had a really disappointed couple from Japan in Cultivate this Sunday,  had a women from somewhere in the suburbs (I assume) raging at me about it earlier in the day, pretty much blaming us for the folly of others…. Art Does Not Take a Holiday opened last Thursday evening, and will occupy one wall of Cultivate until the 27th August.     ..We’re outside in the street with our deck chairs and sticks of rock, artists not on holiday have been invited to come get involved, we’ve selected the art from the pieces submitted and we’ve invite artists who are off on holiday to send us their post cards….    Here’s how things are looking at the art chute that is Cultivate Evolved right now, do come spend some of your holiday time exploring it….


And while we’re here and you’re flicking through the holidays slides, here’s a taste of August First Thursday, featuring EMMA HARVEY, QUIET BRITISH ACCENT,  JULIA MADDISON, M.O.B, SEAN WORRALL, ZOE CROSSE, MATHEW TUDOR  plus special guests PETER D’ALESSANDRI , BEX MASSEY and TESS WILLIAMS.





WE ARE THREE….. September First Thursday at Cultivate, three years on from the naked red men and…..

aaa_cultevolved_isthreeWE ARE THREE…. And indeed we are! Three years of defiantly doing this thing we do.

Cultivate first burst in to life on a dramatic First Thursday back in September 2011. We took on the space on the Wednesday, put an artist call out that night, got the keys at 3pm on the Thursday afternoon, cleared the space out (old beds and all kinds of clutter) and somehow opened five minutes late at 6.05pm on First Thursday evening back in September 2011- it was a brilliant night, an exciting night, artists coming together and making something happen. Three years later, against all the odds, we’re still here and preparing for out 37th in a run of unbroken First Thursday evenings. That’s right, we’ve been there, smack bang in the middle of Vyner Street with our door wide open, our lights full on and our signs outside for every single First Thursday since that manic September three years ago. Of course it isn’t all about First Thursday evening, far from it, but it does bookend things neatly in terms of us being there and being three and magic numbers and as regular visitors know, we are all about book-ended neatness and the order of things like printed artists statements here on our always formal and shipshape perfectly curated corner.



On September First Thursday in 2014 you will (hopefully) find a messy gallery space as alive with exciting art and diy attitude as it always is – a place alive with a combination of colours, shapes, textures and contradictions from our current in-house artists and a selection of invited guest artists.

More artist details in a moment, watch this space.

Three years then, we really didn’t intend to stick around for three years, we took the space on for six months and we really didn’t expect to last that half a year. We (Emma Harvey and myself Sean Worrall) took on the space for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being that we didn’t like the way artists were being treated in London – we didn’t like the outrageous hire fees being charged for spaces, we didn’t (and still don’t) like the fees and retainers, the gallery commissions and the ways galleries seem to be more about exploiting and living off the fees they can charge artists rather than working with them. We opened Cultivate because we didn’t like the closed doors and elitist attitudes, the you’re not welcome here feeling that most London galleries seem to delight in giving off. We wanted a space that was run by artists for artists and for those who want to come explore art without the intimidation of a closed door and having to knock, a friendly space, a welcoming inviting space, an art chute, an alternative.

Julia Maddison

Julia Maddison

We’ve experienced a lot in our three years down Vyner Street, we’ve seen a lot of comings and goings, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve shared a lot, we’ve had a lot of exciting art on our walls, I’d like to think we’ve helped a lot of artists, made a lot of friends, interacted with people who tell us they like to come in and explore the art and chat to us.

We know we’ve got some of it wrong, I’d like to think we’ve got a lot of it right. We have no idea how many shows we’ve put on, how many artists have featured on our walls and plinths. We’ve got to know the passing bus drivers, the people who pick up their kids from school along the road in the afternoons, the art collectors who make their regular trips to the street, the traffic wardens, the photographers, the now aging onetime foot-model who knew the Twins and remembers when blood would run down the street (an abattoir, rather than anything involving Jack The Hat or anything like that so she says). We’ve got to know passing dogs (and their owners), we’re on first name terms with returning visitors from overseas. We’ve experienced the egos of street artists, the insecurity of performers, the anger of abstract painters, the demands of print makers, we’ve had run ins with the council, we’ve been (very) frustrated with the apathy of the so-called art media and we still haven’t managed to get a smile or a “good afternoon” from the white cubists of the great big Wilkinson Gallery just down the road (maybe they’ll drop by with a big far birthday cake? Probably not, we have overheard the “that is not the way to run a gallery” conversation on more than one occasion). We’ve seen galleries around us come and go, we’ve seen hope flow and then fade, we’ve hung on for almost three years now (often by the tips of our fractured paint encrusted fingernails and an understanding landlord), we don’t expect to be here much longer, the threat of the urbanists and property developers has been hanging over us for some time, and they really are closing in now. We probably should have packed it in a long time ago, we certainly didn’t intend Cultivate’s stay in Vyner Street to be anything like three years. Who knows what happens next? We didn’t come in with any great plan and we have no great plan now. If we’re honest then we’d say we’re a little disappointed that the idea of Cultivate hasn’t been embraced by a few more of you artists, always been a battle to get people involved – yes I know we’re picky about the work we show and some artists understandably don’t take kindly to a no, but we are a little surprised that more of the artists we have featured haven’t wanted to get more involved – as we keep on saying, it is about getting involved..

Emma Harvey - Fleshed

Emma Harvey – Fleshed

Three years then, we got some of it wrong, we’d like to think we got some of it almost right. We’ve had a (mostly) great time, we’ve (mostly) enjoyed doing it (mostly) on our terms, it has been hard (mostly rewarding) work, there’s been no days off, we can’t afford days off, days off are not a serious option, it really is that hand-to-mouth, this is not some rich kid trust fund operation and frankly we’re broke (donations are more than welcome!). Damn, this has turned in to another stream of organic ranting and raving when all we wanted to do was invite you to come and celebrate three years of Cultivate.

So, we are three, please do come celebrate with us, three years of non-stop cultivation, art and maximalist doing it, we think that’s worth celebrating, don’t you?

Treasure your artist-run spaces while you still can, you’ll miss them when they’re all gone. Thanks everyone, we’ve (mostly) loved doing it….


the reluctant galleriest on the gallery wall

Three ALO pieces arriving for the Can show....

Two years ago...

Three years ago…

FREE ART THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17th 2011... CULTIVATE VYNER STREET... two more happy people





August First Thursday

August First Thursday

At the end of last year we evolved the space (and indeed the name) and Cultivate became Cultivate Evolved.  We changed it, well tweaked it,  just over two years in to what was only ever going to be six months in Vyner Street – For two years we ran a non-stop parade of group shows, solo shows, events and more, it was mostly brilliant but it had to evolve. The gallery has been known as Cultivate Evolved for around eight months now, the idea of a gallery split in to ten, ten wall spaces permanently used by eight in-house artists and two guests.   Of course it hasn’t quite worked like that…. hang on, lost the thread, started this latest blog outburst last week, been busy, always too busy. Hackney WickED, Little Summer Benefits, searching out the next guest artists, looking after the space, started this blog update last week, painted another hundred pieces and let most of them loose since then. Art does not take a holiday….. Hang on, where are we? No time to blog and such, to blog or to paint? Still as full on and non-stop as ever at Cultivate, the evolution was really supposed to be about us all doing it together, not really worked like that though…

August First Thursday

August First Thursday

Start again…..

August First Thursday

August First Thursday

So we made it through our 36th First Thursday in a row, a rather pleasing night, busy busy, one of the busier First Thursdays of recent times. Still always busy on a First Thursday of course but it is all relative and it was a shame to see one or two of the bigger galleries choosing to close and head off on holiday instead of being part of something that I always saw as being about a collective whole rather than individual galleries and art spaces. See the thing that’s hopefully still special about Vyner Street, something that is worth fight for, is the thing as a whole, the whole street and the collection of galleries, art spaces, artists studios and more that are all together in one unique and spacial street, yeah yeah yeah, you might sneer at Vyner street and yes there may be a lot to sneer at, but you really are going to miss it when it has finally all gone.  I always thought it was about a collection and community of people that make the street unique, always disappointing when some lucky enough to be involved in this special street don’t see it light that (especially with the onslaught of urbanist property developers who claim to be about community looking to kill it all off and pocket the profit as they pollute the once unique street with their developments, impose their…. nah, enough of that, you know what I mean)

August First Thursday

August First Thursday

Art Does not take a holiday, get your spaces open and treasure your street while you still have it to treasure!  You need to put in the time and effort, not just live off the back of it. August First Thursday was a good one, always a little stressful for me, it was good though, I love the interaction, the art talk, the relaxed atmosphere, the open door and everything that goes with it, the breaking down of barriers,  love it all – well besides the person who stole my beer and one of my paintings, don’t love that – I’d been attempting to not drink all day, a day that started at 11am and ended up being a twelve hour non-stop no-break shift for me (yes I know, I though t we’d evolved it in to some kind of collective of artists working together, not sure where everyone else was again?). So yes, to the person who stole one of my paintings, hope you enjoy it, if you wanted it that much, I really hope you get something out of it (and if you see fit go donate something to Saint Josephs Hospice just up the road from Vyner Street), to the person who stole my one bottle of specially saved beer, a bottle of beer that I had been looking forward to all evening, what a low down snake of thing to do! What a despicable thing to do, way way way out of order! Probably one of you beard growing hipsters wasn’t it, have a good look at yourself in the mirror, and not to admire your frankly silly looking beard, you dirty low-down beer thief!

aaa_cultevolved_holidayFirst Thursday was a (beer-free) stressful twelve hour buzz, thirty six in a row without a break, the next one (if we make it to September First Thursday) will be our third birthday event, three whole years of First Thursdays, fighting of developers, beer-thieves, urbanists, beard growers, artist egos, three years of the unfriendly WIlkinson stare (they still can’t bring themselves to smile or say hello after almost three years, they just stare). Will we make it to September First Thursday? Never mind that, right now we have holiday breaks on our minds, where shall we go? Feet up by the pool?

ART DOES NOT GO ON HOLIDAY. a two week show brought to you in the spirit of lastminute dot com… .     .    COME JOIN IN! Real artists don’t go on holiday!


The Next Two Weeks – 14th August to 27th August  – Our guest wall for the next two weeks will feature art that excites us enough to make us want to hang it during this holiday month. Art Does Not Go On Holiday, we wil lnot be stopping and Cultivate will be open (and especially open for all those people who come to London and Vyner Street during their holidays)

HOLIDAY POSTCARD CALL – We invite artists (and anyone else) to send us postcards from their holidays – send postcards, sticks of rock and whatever you want to CULTIVATE, 49 Mowlem Street, London E2 3HE. We shall not be on holiday, we shall be here working, painting, curating, doing things, getting on with art…

“Holidays are for wimps” (Louis Van Gaal)

ARTIST CALL – We invite artists not on holiday to come join us and submit work for the guest wall – details via info@cultivatevyner – this will be an open call, open in terms of everything, no subject, no rules other than the rule that it has to excite us enough to make us want it on our walls for the next two weeks. E.mail us for more information –

August First THursday

August First THursday





It is and has been fantastic to have the continued opportunity to exhibit my art at Cultivate gallery on Vyner Street over the past three years. As the space has evolved into ‘CULTIVATE EVOLVED’ (since January 2014) with the wall space sliced into ten sections, I now have an entire section of wall to do with whatever I want. It has been packed full of collages and shelves of cakes, with ice creams slammed into the wall and dripped onto the floor, oil paintings and photographs have been hung alongside ribbons, mouths, art tarts… It offers a continuous outlet for my art that would be impossible for me to find elsewhere.

EMMA HARVEY - Suck (Feb 2014, Cultivate Evolved)

EMMA HARVEY – Suck (Feb 2014, Cultivate Evolved)

It challenges me to constantly think about what I am doing and why. It makes me consider my work more thoroughly; what I want to be seen (and unseen) on my slice of wall for that month / week / day. To have a permanent wall space in a gallery on Vyner Street in the East of London, which takes in a busy First Thursday event each month and has visitors from all over the world (visiting all the spaces and galleries down the street) and knowing that your art will be seen, is an opportunity to be cherished.

This artist run space is a truly unique experience; we are actually doing it ourselves. And finding ourselves involved with a lot of exciting adventures along the way (for example, being involved with the Art Car Boot Fair which this year has included trips to Liverpool as part of the Biennale in June and to the Folkestone Triennial at the end of August, as well as at the recent Fete Worse Than Death event in Shoreditch). It has also given me opportunities to meet with other like-minded artists, be invited to join other exhibitions and make friends.

EMMA HARVEY - Fleashed (Cultivate 2013)

EMMA HARVEY – Fleashed (Cultivate 2013)

I could just make art in my studio, keep it piling up in the corner adding to all my other stuff but instead I am able to continually push myself and my art and exhibit the pieces I want to, when I want. I now make art in the knowledge it will be seen. I don’t need fame and attention, I don’t need my art to be picked up and stored forever in an underground basement but I do need a continual outlet for my art; a chute down which I drop my finished work into and for it to end up on a gallery wall – I need a friendly gallery space where everyone is welcome to come in, and I need to continue making art which will be seen (and occasionally, sold). Cultivate Evolved not only gives me this opportunity but actively encourages me to continue engaging with it.



I find it difficult to use words to sum up complex emotions about how I feel about art however I think Stewart Lee sums it up rather well in saying, when art works well it makes you feel less alone, and perhaps this best sums up why I love cultivating and what an amazing adventure it is to be involved with. (Emma Harvey)




verb (used with object), cul·ti·vat·ed, cul·ti·vat·ing.

  1. to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
  2. to use a cultivator on.
  3. to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.
  4. to produce by culture: to cultivate a strain of bacteria.
  5. to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine: to cultivate a singing voice.

A Fete was Saturday, glorious day in Shoreditch, Cultivate is branching out

Ah, the benefits of summer and fetes worse than death and the notions of a better Woolworths and thanks to everyone who braved both the oppressive heat and the inconsiderate rainstorms and came along to both the opening of Little Summer Benefits last Thursday as well as A Fete Worse Than Death last Saturday.   Saturday was good, it was emotional for some, there’s a giant bag of photos from the day over on the Organ pages here and a whole load of exclaiming at A Fete Worse Than Death, A better Woolworths, celebrating the life and legacy of Joshua Compston, East London and the act of doing, as well as some thoughts and far too many words here – “Saturday did feel gloriously good, a celebration of a legacy, a glorious day alive with creativity, with the glorious art of doing things, of engaging, a brilliant day shared with good people and a sense of things still just about being possible (Darren Coffield, Alice Herrick, Sam Walker and their teams deserve a big thanks, they put in lots of work to make it all happen, these things don’t just happen)”, go surf on all those links up there if you want more

A FETE... - 2014

A Fete was Saturday, glorious day in Shoreditch, Cultivate is branching out, so far this year we’ve been to Brick Lane, Liverpool and Shoreditch, we’re off to Folkstone, feels like it is time to bust out – not quite ready to cut completely loose yet, the last throws of Vyner Street are not far off, the lieks of us are not welcome there now……

Right now, this week, down on our corner of Vyner Street we’re halfway through the Little Summer Benefit thing, lots of  smaller pieces of art from a variety of artists, all pieces priced at no more than £200, some for sale at no more than £1



an evolving LITTLE SUMMER BENEFITS wall of small pieces of art priced between £1 and £200.. Paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and more until July 29th…. Artists featured on the wall and in the rack during Little Summer Benefits include ANNA ARBITER, BEN NAZ, CARNE GRIFFITHS, D7606, EMMA HARVEY, GARETH MORGAN, GILES SKERRY, HELEN GRANT, JULIA MADDISON, MARCELINA AMELIA, MARTIAL DUROU, MATHEW TUDOR, MICHELLE MILDENHALL, NADINE TALALLA, PETER SULO, QUIET BRITISH ACCENT, SEAN WORRALL, 616. ZOE CROSSE and more t.b.c as the wall continues to evolve.  Artists who still wish to get involved during the final week should contact us via


More of this kind of thing later….


CULTIVATE at the Liverpool Biennial Art Car Boot Fair, the day in 123 photos

aaa_cultevolved_liverpoolSecond leg of this year’s Art Car Boot Fair happened last week (or was it the week before, things are busy around here, time is flying, art is cooking) as part of the Liverpool Biennial. it happened in a rather atmospheric car park (beautiful walls to hang art on) in Wolstenholm Square, next door to the Cream (under the shadow of Cuban sculptor Jorge Pardo’s Penelope, a large piece in the middle of the square).  Early train our of Euston, bags of art and off to Lime Street and a day in (very) sunny Liverpool, Cultivate goes to Liverpool.

Here come some photos (click on an image to enlarge or run the random slice show) …Photos of what we were doing as well as everyone else….  We had a great day…. .