What Price Art? The weekly one pence piece of work…

Time to bring back the weekly one pence piece of art as part of the ongoing question, What Price Art? A question that’s been asked many times over the last three years both at Cultivate and on-line with a series of shows where the buyers set the prices of art and such.

Don't Know Who He Was?  -Acrylic, marker pen on found deep edge canvas 30cm x 30cm (Feb 2014)

Don’t Know Who He Was? -Acrylic, marker pen on found deep edge canvas 30cm x 30cm (Feb 2014)

For the foreseeable future, a piece of art a week will be put up on line on Ebay with an opening price of 1p on it, plus postage of course, although if you want to bid and avoid the postage cost there is always the option of picking up the piece up from Cultivate should you “win”.   The piece will also be on view at the gallery for the duration of the auction.

Now you’re probably thinking it will just be the cardboard pieces – well no, some weeks it might be a piece painted on a slice of recycled cardboard. Wanted to start this week with a piece I feel particularly strongly about. A piece called Don’t Know Who He Was? (Acrylic, marker pen, varnish on found deep edge canvas 30cm x 30cm)

Part of an ongoing series of paintings on top of marks made by others. The face at the back is the work of an unknown artist, the green “leafheart” shapes and the fresh layers over the top and around the edge of the deep edge canvas are my work

“Found this canvas in a skip, start of a painting on it, painting of  a man’s face, a head, a clown maybe… Left the canvas around the studio for a bit and and now it has fresh growth all over it… I don’t know who’s painting it was, I got the feeling an old painter had died and his home was being cleared (kept some other pieces as they were, none of them were signed…. it was a he, judging by the other possessions in the skip at the end of his life”

The ebay listing can be viewed here The auction goes on until April 22nd


THE EYE…. More growth….

THE EYE (April 2014) – A deep edged canvas thing (50cm x 75cm) that’s been evolving over the last couple of weeks as new layers grew on it.  The canvas was originally found in the bin outside the Salvation Army charity shop, Mare Street, Hackney, a half-finished face painted in the middle of a white canvas…  The eye in the centre is all that can still be seen of the original 9artist unknown) after all the growth….




MILD MILD WHERE? What’s Tracie doing? Where’s mild anyway? Today’s blank canvas and a touch of fundraising

TRACIE and The Second One Hundred Pieced Piece - made for the Pink show at Cultivate - July 2013

TRACIE and The Second One Hundred Pieced Piece – made for the Pink show at Cultivate – July 2013

TRACIE ANGIOLINI, one of our regular visitors at Cultivate, is fundraising for St Joseph’s Hospice. I have a massive respect  for St Joseph’s, the place is a vital part of the Hackney community, the real community and the real Hackney that is, not the here-today-gone-later-today coffee drinking Hackney, St Joseph’s is a rather vital part of the real East End of London, the real community (so East London that I met Barbara Windsor there once). Community is important, art needs to be about community, galleries need to be, we like to think Cultivate is…

Over to Tracie…

“I have been volunteering at St Joseph’s Hospice for the past two years and have been blown away by the services they provide. These services are provided to all members of the community regardless of race, faith or creed. Everybody, those nearing the end of life and those with life-limiting illnesses is treated with care, dignity and respect.

So despite my advancing years and creaky bones I have decided to drag myself across a blisteringly hot desert to raise much-needed funds to enable the hospice to continue its good work. After the trek we will be completing a community project (painting a school/hospital)   watch this space…….”

Now you could just go cut to the chase and donate via  Tracie’s Sahara desert trek and community project page but then, we thought we’d like to do a little more to support our  near neighbours just along Mare Street  . Part of Tracie’s plans involve a fundraising art auction and raffle, that should be coming along in May, more about that is in a couple of weeks, I shall be donating some pieces and indeed exhibiting some of the work at Cultivate, hopefully a few of my fellow East London artists will join in.   I pass the hospice every day on my  way to Cultivate, and I think most people who have lived around here for any length of time have been touched by the place in some way, indeed we lost a good friend of the gallery late last year and I know St Joseph’s was a great comfort to him and his friends, so we’d also like to do this something in remembrance of Ian Mackenzie Smith

This week I have put a piece of work up on ebay, a recent painting of mine. All funds from this sale will go to Tracie and St. Josephs. This is partly about fundraising and partly about publicising and supporting what Tracie is doing. I shall be creating and donating another piece of work later on.

The piece for-sale on Ebay right now is a piece called TOURIST TRAP – MILD MILD WHERE? The piece measures 50cm x 50cm and is on deep-edged canvas, the piece is part of my “blank canvas” series of works – pieces painted on found objects, canvas pieces that others have worked on and such. This particular canvas was bought at a jumble sale at St. Jospeh’s a couple of weeks ago. One of those dreadful generic pre-printed canvas pieces, a slice of tat that demanded someone paint on it. The original print is a mix of Banksy images and London tourist images, including Banksy’s Mild Mild West (now remind me, where in London did he paint that? Ah yes, Bristol… he must laugh his head off when he sees all this cheap tat that cashes in on his art)

The auction ends on April 23rd, here’s the link





Sunless in Bermondsey, sunny in Hackney Wick, busy down Vyner Street…



Busy week, busy is good,  been a busy year so far. This week we have another First Thursday evening down Vyner Street at Cultivate and all that that involves both in terms of my own work and the hanging, curating and the general running of the still time-consuming beast that is Cultivate (even in the evolved state you know find it in)  I say “this week we have”, it should read “had” – no time for blogs and websites when there’s things to paint and art spaces to fight for and shows to put  – Friday now, this blog entry started life before First Thursday has been and gone again (thanks to everyone who came along, thanks to those who bought pieces, I can eat today, thank you).  Well I say “Friday now”, that was last week, this blog has not been attended to in a couple of weeks.  Cultivate has eaten up far too much time for something like two and a half years now  Actually no, the adventure of the space has been worth almost every minute of both trying to build a community of artists and interacting with the local community and the people of Hackney and Bethnal Green. I’m not a native of these parts, I have been living in various parts of East and West London for the last twenty years or more now, I don’t consider myself a local but I do feel that if I choose to live here then I should at least attempt to contribute to the community I have chosen to be part of for the last twenty or more years, rather than just coming in and taking over,  which seems to be the way in East London now.



There’s a certain pleasure in having an open-door (artist-run) gallery type art space, a place smack bang in the middle of an East End street, a room that everyone hopefully feels comfortable coming in to. We have great chats about the art on the walls, about the things going on in the lives of the pensioner who was once a foot model in the 50′s “when it was really different around here and the twins looked after things” or the delivery driver, or the big Rasta who puts his head through the door when he passes and gives us a clench fist salute and yells a deep “Cultivate!” at us, we like it when the passing drivers on the way to the bus station up the road drop in as much as we like those who clutch their art maps and their guide books, or the local kids who say their scared to knock on the doors of the big galleries, I could go on, there really is a pleasure in making art spaces accessible without having to “dumb it down”, a thrill in actually having the people come in and respond in a positive way – a better space for everyone, a better Woolworths maybe? It can be full of meaning, it can be full of challenge, it can be alive with depth, it  doesn’t have to alienate and exclude. something for anyone and everyone… . .



What has been going on this last couple of weeks then?

Well the Stop The War show is still on, that one was documented in the last blog entry, Stop The War goes in until the end of the month, there’s a set of photos and a review from the opening on the Organ pages for you to explore, the show continues until the end of the month at the INDRA AND SAMIA GALLERY, London E1

Last Saturday was spent at the HACKNEY WICK TAKE BACK over at Swan Wharf, Fish Island – an all day DIY art show that was mostly about artists coming together and making something good happen. “A nearly spontaneous one day all day DIY art event at SWAN WHARF, – Saturday April 5th”   Here’s some of the information that went up on the Organ pages ahead of the event. I had four pieces up on the wall, the photos from the day are here.

Sunless is on right now, Sunless is a group show over in South London, happening right now in the big Bermondsey Project Space



SUNLESS is the name of a forthcoming exhibition at the Bermondsey Project Space curated by London-based artist Mathew Tudor. Mathew promises an exhibition of art works inspired by the essay film San Soeil (1983) and the experimental short La Jetee (1962), two works by Chris Marker.  The exhibition will be a mixture of painting, sculpture, instillation and film loosely inspired by the theme of identity, time and the concept of the collective consciousness.  The show opened on April 11th and run until April 16th (open daily from Midday until 6pm) at Bermondsey Project Space, 46 Willow Walk, London, SE1 5SF. (entry is free). .And once again, the Organ coverage of the opening night is to be found here via this link

Been far too busy to keep this page up-to-date (as I say every time I post something new here on these neglected pages.  Mainly the last two weeks have been about shows, there has been time for some new growth on old canvas though…

Here’s a selection of photos from the last couple of busy weeks…. click on the thumbnails to enlarge… I got to go paint…..




Canals, Hackney, Whitechapel, Bethnal Green…

There really isn’t enough time to blog and paint and everything else (cultivating and such).  Yesterday, the Stop The War show opened down in Whitechapel, East London, there’s a set og photos and a review from the opening on the Organ pages for you to explore. meanwhile, a couple of pieces on art were left out on the the East London canal banks yesterday, as well as some pieces in Whitechapel last night, and right now, I got to go open Cultivate and let Saturday flow down Vyner Street and sunny Bethnal Green while the place is still standing…..


Today was mostly spent cultivating fresh layers…

Today was mostly spent battling property developers, fuming about so called urbanists and in the middle of it all, hosting a day at the gallery, hanging some rhyming slang, and attempting to paint, or at least add a layer or two to some pieces demanding a new layer or two. It is about the layers and a piece is never finished until someone takes it away.   Some of these pieces have been added to with next week’s Stop The War show in mind..

STOP THE WAR – An art show at INDRA AND SAMIA GALLERY, London E1. – A group show called Stop The War, opening on Friday 28th March and running until late April 2014..





March 2014 - Blank canvas - after

March 2014 – Blank canvas – after

A week of confrontations, of confrontations with developers, urbanists, tired old art-school lecturers talking tedium in the street outside Cultivate. Galleries getting closed down by self-congratulating urbanists, galleries getting pulled down by developers and the onslaught of gentrification (we got the paper work this week, we have until March 24th to object, of course if we do, then the landlord kicks us out anyway, you’ll have to object, we have no opinion) and worst still, galleries locked closed ’cause the art establishment, or the middle-class salesmen and woman who appear to have hijacked it, are too busy selling art like used cars or tacky fashion accessories via the internet or at cattle market art-fairs to bother unlocking their doors and actually exhibiting art to people who want to explore it…  I said something about it over on the Cultivate blog, don’t want to clutter things up here as well – Do we actually need galleries? What are we doing this month? Walking it or just talking it? Does it matter? – Well didn’t say anything about tired old art school lecturer woman and her clueless walking tour of the East End, good help art schools if she’s the standard…  Enough of this, for this website is about the doing and the making rather than the business of painting…..

chanelfour_chinese5.Haven’t exclaimed since December 31st last year, but they do keep on turning up, this week on a TV documentary on Channel 4…

This week, a leg found thrown out of a shop was brought in by someone who thought I’d probably like to paint on it, a piece of packing case was found on an East London street, an an old poster from a band that mattered, was painted on, as were some pieces of cardboard that once made up a box that contained stylish bottles of some kind of beer

here’s a selection of thumbnail photos from the first sixteen days of March, click on an image to enlarge it….