The Free Shoreditch Art Exhibition Democratising Art: CWDT

On the 18th of April, a group of good mates are coming together to host a free art exhibition at Kamio, Shoreditch. That group is called CWDT, an abbreviation for Can’t Win Don’t Try. This will be CWDT’s third exhibition.

The art show is titled Wholesale Piracy and it will be presented with full confidence due to two successful displays under the belt for the team. CWDT will feature a wide range of artists from the thriving young London art scene, making it a great opportunity for independent artists to showcase their work to an audience.

The young creative’s previously featured, exhibits work including photography, sculpture, painting, 3D printing and resin casting, audio-visual projection, printmaking, and digital art. CWDT isn’t just about visual mediums, they also showcase music and have a great line-up of up and coming DJs and MCs from UK’s unique music subcultures such as Grime, UK Garage and Dubstep. 

I attended their last exhibition back in October 2016, and found the concept rather amazing, as in my eyes I saw it somewhat of championing young upcoming artists to exhibit their work and have the chance to maximise their potential. CWDT are all already gaining a buzz with young people across London and it’s remarkable to think that it’s only one year old. We are seeing a great movement happening in our generation and I think it’s only right that we all support one another and feel influenced by each other.

The founders of the CWDT are Henry Flowerday, Ally and Sophia Joannides, Saadia Mebchour, Matteo Ross and Matt Smithies. But it’s Matt who is recognised as the CWDT leader by one of the team members. 


My fascination led me to delve further into the CWDT movement, and I caught up with the so-called leader of the group, Matt Smithies to understand more on the creation of this art exhibition.

Jason: Why was CWDT formed in the first place?
Matt: We have always been involved in art through school, college, uni etc, but all the exhibitions you’re involved in seem to be very subdued. We all felt that the nature of the art show wasn’t being used to its full potential and there was a way to bring a bit more energy to it. Why can’t art shows actually be a fun place to go out to? You can have a drink, listen to live music, but you’re also surrounded by really fresh, interesting art from some of London’s finest new artists. 

Jason: What’s been the good and bad process of organising the exhibitions? 
Matt: Organising events of this size is always a tight-rope walk. There are so many variables and people to coordinate at any one time that it can all be a bit much especially considering that we all work and study as well. It’s okay because we’ve put together a really great team and so many people are getting behind what we’re doing that it’s making it easier every time we put a show on. 

Jason: What I enjoy about CWDT exhibitions, is that you have made a genre like Grime blend perfectly well with Art. Do you see Grime music as a massive influence on the CWDT movement? 
Matt: We’ve always been Grime fans and those have always been the types of events that we’ve gravitated towards so it only seemed natural that we’d incorporate grime into the music element of the shows. The energy that you get from a grime event is like nothing else and it’s that energy that we want to come across when people come to one of our exhibitions. 

Jason: Are you proud to know that CWDT is championing young artists? 
Matt: Championing young artists has been the goal of CWDT since day one. We’ve all tried to work as artists and creative’s, and it’s so difficult when you’re on your own and no one’s looking out for you. We always try to bring up new artists and give them the opportunity to exhibit their work how they want to in a great venue with a tonne of people who are excited to see it. 

Jason: I hope this is not a tricky question, but what’s in store for CWDT in 2017?
Matt: We just want to do more shows in more places. We’ve got some plans for the summer and some plans for the end of the year but I don’t want to reveal too much. All I will say is that we’re looking to keep people interested, so we’re always cooking up some mayhem!



The Club Tropicana Beach Party (18:00 – 21:00 – UPSTAIRS):

Keyser Soze
Umpah (Hexagon Dubs / Mode FM) B2B Aranha
Zha (White Peach)

1st Birthday Mashup (20:30 - 00:00 – DOWNSTAIRS)

Gundam (Radar Radio / Goon Club All Stars)
Ob-Server (Mode FM) + Friends
Tiatsim (Beat Boss) B2B Scope (Mode FM / Mode Digital) 


CAN’T WIN. DON’T TRY 3. (Wholesale Piracy). runs for one night only at KAMIO, 1 Rivington St, EC2A 3DT on the 18th APRIL 2017 from 18:00 – 00:00 – FREE ENTRY all night.