Casa Chromatic - House of Charismatic Colours
The most art colourful art exhibition in London 2021/2022 edition
Back in 2019 I wrote a piece called 'Could this be the most colourful art exhibition London has ever seen? It referred to the wonderfully titled ‘The Gently Explosive Art of Yarnbombing and Other Acts of Stitchery’ curated by Sue Kreitzmanand Peter Herbert from The Arts Project.
Well the design-loving duo are back and this year their winter group art show which opened 8 November 2021 is perfectly timed to banish away any winter blues in the air and replace them rainbow rays, for it’s another exhibition that’s filled wall-to-wall with vibrant joyfulness that will lift your spirits from the moment you enter. Casa Chromatic The House of Charismatic Colours features the work of 33 established and new artists who work in a range of mediums including painting, textiles, assemblage, fashion and installations. Together, they invite you inside a multi-layered home filled with rooms, shapes and possibilities showcasing colour in all its exuberant glory, teaming creativity and vision with emotions, memories, and passions.
Our house, in the middle of a hospital!
As art galleries go, having one inside a hospital is as accessible as they come. The Casa is located inside a Victorian healthcare building at St Pancras Hospital, part of The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust in London, making it one of the most interesting public art spaces in the capital. And what’s more, 20% of the sales of all artworks sold at the exhibition is donated to the trust, so it would be rude not to buy anything! So what’s instore?
Upon entering, the first room you’ll experience is The Kitschen by Sue Kreitzman, a space that couldn’t be more apt for the Artist in question for before Sue dedicated her days to doodling mermaids and paying homage to goddesses, she was a cookery book writer and TV chef and to witness her love for food and art combine is quite something. Did I mention mermaids? There’s one in the sink! And several in the bathroom too, which comprises a giant bathtub filled with rubber ducks and merpeople featuring hand-made creations by Jamie Freestone and Maria Fernanda Latif.
There’s a grand fireplace too filled with family portraits, both photographs and sketches, a fun-filled children’s playroom with an antique feel, and an exquisite conservatory styled by Kathy Keefe which brings to life the Parisian boudoirs of 1920s idol Josephine Baker and provides a dreamy backdrop for your Instagram snaps.
More colour please!
Speaking of social media, Ann-Sophie Cochevelou’s giant doll’s house dress made from a second-hand Barbie doll mansion she bought for £5, is the exhibition’s talking point. The dress is on display on a mannequin but there are some incredible photos shot by Anthony Lycett and behind-the-scenes videos of how it was made on her Instagram which are well-worth checking out. The dress is Anne-Sophie’s response to the capital's housing crisis and shortage of affordable housing; as she puts it: "the only space we can afford might be the size of a dress."
And that’s not the only piece that get you thinking. There’s so much to see and explore, one walk around won’t suffice, you need to see it several times in order to take it all in. And when you get to the end of the exhibition there’s a moment of calm away from the colours, a space filled with white which is memorial to nine of the Arts Project artists and supporters who have died during the last few years, inspired by the burial traditions of Native Americans, creating structures facing up to the sky for the dead.
The one other space I'll mention is the Fantasy Craft Room installation…created by me! It’s inspired by my love for colour and crafts and is where I have ‘come out’ as a Craftist, neither an Artist or Crafter, but bridging the gap that has been created between these two creative worlds. It features an upcycled table, mini sewing machine, giant scissors suspended from the ceiling, lot and lots of pompoms and vintage sewing patterns dangling in the windows. It’s chaotic and colourful which is very much the same as my life!
There’s plenty of opportunity to see the exhibition and lots more to explore than what I've mentioned above as I didn't want to give it all away. As it’s open for nearly five months you've got plenty of opportunities to visit it so you’re in and around London before March 25th 2022, be sure to visit.
Casa Chromatic House of Charismatic Colours art exhibition
Venue: St Pancras Hospital Conference Centre, NW1 OPE
Dates: Open 8 November 2021 to 25 March 2022. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (excluding public holidays)
Contact: For more information Peter Herbert via 020 79138416 or firstname.lastname@example.org