Gallery 286 is a private art gallery situated in a Victorian townhouse in Earl's Court, London SW5. Having found the house in 1996 and realised its potential as a home/studio/gallery, my wife, the painter/sculptor Camilla Shivarg, and I spent a year and a half converting what was a charming but rundown property with lots of bedrooms into somewhere we could live and work and hold exhibitions. Initially the plan was to show Camilla's work and the holographic artists with whom I have been involved for many years but we have now broadened our remit to include work by other friends and artists we admire.
The gallery occupies two principal spaces; the first, on the ground floor with a high ceiling and Victorian mouldings has a rather grand, traditional art gallery feel to it, but we have found that its red-painted walls bring out the colours in vivid abstract paintings as well as setting off more formal works such as bronze sculptures. You can see the brightly-lit red room from the street, inviting you to come in and check out the show. During some exhibitions I have hung a hologram in the window as an added attraction to Earl's Court street life and to entertain the drivers stuck in a traffic jam outside. Visitors to the gallery are invited into the red room when they arrive. It has always been the dining room for the house and we still hold dinner parties there, surrounded by the current exhibition. The other exhibition space, in the basement, has a more contemporary gallery look, with white walls and floor which work for almost any kind of art. Both galleries have versatile track lighting.
Behind the house is a surprisingly large garden for Central London. Redesigned by Camilla when we moved here it has already won several prizes in local horticultural competitions. On summer evenings it provides the perfect overspill to a crowded private view and another space to show sculpture in.
Most exhibitions are by invitation only, with two or three private views per show. At other times the gallery and garden can be visited by appointment.
To date we have shown a mixture of painting, sculpture, photography and holography, but there is no fixed policy other than to show interesting work in attractive surroundings.
Visit our PRESS area to see some of the publications which have featured Gallery 286 and its garden.