The Chess Club – a dining club with a difference
The Chess Club is both a chance for you to engage with the current project at Chris Hammond Gallery and also an opportunity to spend time and share a meal with myself and my family and any other guests that might be passing through. These could include the artists on show or other artists or curators, thinkers or critics or maybe just other interested guests such as yourself.
The Chess Club is my reaction to the change in gallery engagement that I have witnessed occurring throughout my professional career. For years galleries have provided a free platform for an audience to discover new work, but this amazing opportunity has sadly been largely ignored by the wider public. So in thinking about how a more private gallery should function in the future, I decided that this project would not be open to the public in the same way as my previous galleries, instead I would curate special events and meals for which tickets would be available to members of the public to give them a taste of a more unique way in which to experience art. It also means that this becomes a fair monetary exchange and therefore a more transparent and sustainable business model, as let’s face hard facts, most small galleries lose money. It also means a greater level of commitment on all sides.
My own varied career has seen me morph from artist to curator to gallery owner to consultant, but throughout I have had a passion for food, some would say too much as my waist up until not so long ago would bare testament. My gallery travels took me round the world where I was privileged enough to sample some of the finest cuisines and I have always been an avid home cook, when time allowed. Over the last couple of years I have been refining my skills and testing them on friends and family to the point where cooking has become a daily practice and anyone who follows my concepts of every-day-ism will know that I believe that you cannot achieve any form of mastery without a daily practice in any discipline. I don’t claim to be any master, but I consider my efforts good enough to hopefully entertain you and make you feel one of the family for one evening and if the food’s not to your liking, hopefully the art and the company will more than make up for it.
So what can you expect? Well to be honest I haven’t a clue, as this is as new to me as you, but basically you can book online and the ticket price will reflect the cost of the food and drink on offer, plus something to get the programme going and keep the dishwasher happy. I try and source my ingredients locally, they are largely organic and any meat I use comes from the Ginger Pig, which is of the highest quality. I’m dairy free at the moment so my cooking is also. I favour rustic cooking over anything else, so don’t expect fancy plating, the art should be enough to hold your visual attention. I will try and accommodate any dietary requirements where communicated in advance and aim to provide a vegan alternative where possible. I’m not trying to create a new pop-up restaurant just a new experience and an alternative way in which to view and discuss art whilst having a bit of fun at the same time.
If this intrigues you and you are looking for new ways to spend an evening then I look forward to welcoming you to The Chess Club.