The Chelsea Arts Club

The other day I visited Piers Feetham Gallery to take a look at some paintings by Dan Pearce. I had met Dan before Christmas at The Chelsea Arts Club and it was a real delight to meet him inside this local institution.

Chelsea Arts Club has always had a certain mystique about it and not just for its closed doors. Its romanticism is probably further indulged by the idea of the local artist hiding away. The Garrick has a similar romantic elusiveness especially given its past members, which have included Charles Dickens, JM Barrie and A.A. Milne.

Stepping into the main room of The Chelsea Arts Club in the middle of the afternoon felt like I was certainly walking into a secret hideaway rather than just another exclusive club. As the members played snooker and hung out at the bar, the relaxed atmosphere which is decorated by the works of the club’s artists had a refreshing sense of authenticity to it. The members were simply there to hang out, without a care in the world as to what was happening outside. Eyeballing each other wasn’t a hobby here as it has been at some private members clubs I’ve visited.

Dan Pearce’s paintings are part of the Christmas Exhibition at Piers Feetham that runs until 15th January 2011. What I love about Dan’s work are the bright Mediterranean colours that bring his everyday objects to life. It’s almost as if they imbue the drab winter light outside with a ray of sunshine; how this exhibition has been perfectly timed.

I also enjoyed the Ceramic Shoes by Rupert Belfrage. These delicate ornaments are perfectly formed and styled in such pretty colours and patterns that I found myself wishing they actually had my size.

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