A New Private Arts Club Has Arrived in London’s East End, Recreating the ‘Curiosity of an Avid Art Collector’s Home’

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With arts clubs in London’s ritzy Chelsea and Mayfair districts established long ago, it seems high time for a rival offering in trendier parts of town, where an emerging gallery scene and cheaper studio spaces have already attracted young creatives in droves. Spotting this gap in the market, Shoreditch Arts Club arrives March 7 to serve a vibrant local community.

Housed in the landmark TEA building on Redchurch Street, the new private members club has positioned itself just a stone’s throw from Shoreditch House, the East London outpost of Soho House. Unlike its flashy, international neighbor, however, the new 500-square-foot former warehouse lends itself to smaller, more concentrated gatherings of creative crowds, including artists, art professionals, and collectors.

Joey Holder, aequator (2022). Photo: © Beth Davis.

The promised intimacy, a rare find in London’s anonymous sprawl, is the space’s , according to co-founders Joel Williams, whose expertise lies in hospitality, and Ché Zara Blomfield, who brings a decade of curating experience. Their intention, they said, was to create a space that evokes “the curiosity of an avid art collector’s home.”

“We’re trying to capture that sense of a home that changes throughout the day but feels like it belongs to somebody, in contrast to our experience of traditional galleries,” Williams told Artnet News.

Hannah Perry, Gas Lighting (6) and Oliver Laric, Sun Tzu Janus. Photo: © Beth Davis.

In terms of art tastes at Shoreditch Arts Club, there appears to be an appetite for experimental contemporary practices, including ambitious multimedia art. Though the majority of pieces are on loan and will periodically switch around, early members of the club can catch a 2012 multicolored bust of the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu by Oliver Laric and a pair of aluminum wall hangings by Hannah Perry, and , both 2015.

Two permanent works by British artist Joey Holder were commissioned for the space and feature prominently: , a complex installation containing otherworldly terrariums filled with silicone sculptures that sits behind the bar and an equally surreal wallpaper, , which features two bright light boxes composed of A.I.-generated imagery.

Joey Holder, Khthon (2023). Photo: © Beth Davis.

Bored between meetings? Three projection walls will play a running stream of works from the club’s constantly revolving moving-image program. The inaugural installation is by the Nigerian artist Peter Spanjer, who has also planned a special evening event next month to pair his images with music.

The large screens are also used to divide the otherwise airy, open-plan restaurant space into nooks, creating a more inviting setting for private meetings.

The cinema at Shoreditch Arts Club. Photo: © Beth Davis.

Other features include a cozy cafe and workspace tucked beside the entrance, two large meeting rooms, a DJ booth, and a cinema complete with plush seating. A film program developed in collaboration with Girls in Film production company is currently screening.

“There were a lot of great places for people to hang out and collaborate in Shoreditch fifteen years ago,” said Blomfield. “They’re not there anymore. They’ve turned into fast-paced environments where you grab your coffee and go and it’s not conducive to just seeing what could happen. We’ll be a space where people can slow down and be.”

 

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