Wandering along Leonard Street in Shoreditch, with galleries such as Jealousy and Pure Evil nearby, I spotted through the windows the bold colourful graphics of Kelly Anna’s exhibition, curated by Liat Chen, “She Stole The Show’, in The Book Club.
A Book Club that is a bar/restaurant and an art gallery? Ah, this is Shoreditch, and this Book Club appears deceptively calm during the day – a relatively quiet east-end bar with exposed brick walls and art on the walls; while in the evenings it runs “Thinking and Drinking” events and at weekends it becomes a seething frenzy of music and dance. So, while old fashioned pubs are closing down, The Book Club is one of the new generation of multi-cultural venues, linking into the local culture and in particular to young and artistic groups.
The Mothership Group behind The Book Club has two other venues in Shoreditch and one in Brighton, and runs a residency programme, ‘Superculture’, to support new artistic talent in Shoreditch and counteract the move away from the area as rents become unaffordable for the very artists that gave the area its identity.
Through a focus on classical sports and athletics, and a with a collaboration with the Art of Ping Pong, Kelly Anna explores the inner champion that enables us, and in particular women, to cope with the pressures and stressed that modern life, social media and technology throws out 24 hours a day.
The one thing The Book Club doesn’t seem to have are book events, though it does do embarrassing ‘Diary Days’….