Overflowing with vibrant energy and radiant positivity, Garfield Hackett, the man behind the living, breathing creative matrix of Cordy House and one of the key driving forces behind the now legendary Mutate Britain has got a new project. And we’re talking some seriously next level evolution both in creative terms and in redefining the underground’s relationship with the wider world. Hardwiring London back into it’s lost consciousness and setting the spark for a dazzling new world of creative possibility, London’s Pleasure Gardens are about to explode into the throbbing heart of the capital. The original Pleasure Gardens were a sublime space where social hierarchy dissolved into the shady walkways of secret serendipity - where rampant hedonism rode free flow expression and Hogarthian downtown flooded through the blue blooded veins of polite society...
Just to take you back a bit – how did Cordy House originally come about
Well in a nutshell, a friend of mine told me about this space, and having spoken to a few people about the potential it had, we took it over and ended up being there for about 5 years. The initial idea was to just do a little show in the building and things just mushroomed from there. We basically created a home for people to do stuff rather than formulating this cunning long term master plan - we had no idea how things would evolve – whether it would be major or not, but there we were with the opportunity to do something and on that basis – it was simple – let’s give it a go. It really was a case of things connecting up organically and riding their own momentum, and if you want the honest truth, it was a perfect creative hotbed because through no overt planning or specific goal beyond creating this free creative space and seeing how it developed, we got some great people together into one zone. And suddenly you had this flood of collaboration – often between people who never would have collaborated otherwise, and that idea of putting extraordinary people together and seeing what happens is exactly what I love doing.
Did that dynamic of a living, breathing 24 / 7 space create a channel of energy that no conventional gallery or exhibition could ever dream of generating
Oh yeah...completely. This was people’s lives. People were there day and night, day in, day out and rather than being limited to a show here or a show there, it was a constant, living, breathing show. There was never any sense of a 6 week exhibition that would run its course before we started to pull the next one together in that traditional linear format – from the moment we started to the moment we ended, it was this relentless, shape shifting burst of creative expression. And I say ended, but we’re planning on getting back in there at the end of the year to start doing some more stuff.
So how did you then connect up with Joe Rush and the Mutoids to the point of total collaboration with Mutate Britain
I’d known of them for years and we’ve totally been in the same circles both directly and indirectly for a long, long time. Don’t forget, I’m an old geezer and from the same generation as Joe so I remember them from the early 80’s and their original projects and parties in West London. But over and above that, I think it was the timing. You know when things just HAPPEN. When things just cross paths at the perfect time and they fuse and roll from there. Well that’s exactly what this was and it totally clicked. I have to thank Spencer Style who was the person that introduced us to Cordy and the person that re-introduced us to Joe, and once we started talking, we just knew that we were completely on the same page, and it all synched beautifully. Our family have the same philosophy as Joe and the Mutoids and you always know when something really special is happening when there’s that sense of having been together for years after 5 minutes. It seemed so – it WAS so natural, and nothing we did from that point onwards felt like work in any way – borderline freaky in one sense but pure connection on every level. I think it was a great way for them to get back into London because after they had done Burning Man, they were looking for a project to do back in the UK, and Cordy House was the perfect marriage for them – the perfect place – the perfect fit.
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