"Chelsea Space" Top 5 Page for this destination London Off The Beaten Path Tip by toonsarah

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  Inside the Chelsea Space
by toonsarah
  • Inside the Chelsea Space - London
      Inside the Chelsea Space
    by toonsarah
  • Outside the Chelsea Space - London
      Outside the Chelsea Space
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  • The former Royal Army Medical College - London
      The former Royal Army Medical College
    by toonsarah

We are always happy to discover a new and interesting gallery, and were lured here recently by an intriguing-sounding exhibition, ?The Rock and Roll Public Library?. This showcased the private archive of Mick Jones, formally of the Clash, and was a wonderful melange of artefacts ? posters and gold discs, mementoes of his travels with the band (flight tickets, hotel receipts, memos scrawled on napkins), an eclectic selection of old books and records, childhood toys, his collection of World War 2 ephemera ? the accumulated possessions of a compulsive hoarded now driven to share his archive with the rest of us.

The Gallery also proved worth a visit in its own right and I?m sure we?ll become regulars here. It?s a small but interesting space. As its own website explains:
?CHELSEA space is a public exhibiting space where invited art and design professionals are encouraged to work on experimental curatorial projects that may not otherwise be realised. The programme is international and interdisciplinary covering art, design and popular culture. The emphasis is on curatorial experimentation, the exposure of process and ideas, and re-readings of artworks and archives and their re-presentation for contemporary audiences. CHELSEA space is a platform for discussion and questions rather than definitive answers. CHELSEA space's most dominant architectural feature is its large plate glass window. For this reason the exhibiting space will never be a "white cube" but instead operates more as a vitrine or an animated screen. Even the installation of a show becomes a viewed event and visitors to exhibitions, seen from outside, become part of the show. The ethos at CHELSEA space is welcoming - a meeting place where informal social networks can develop.?

This impression of being in an open meeting place is exactly what we experienced, as the huge glass window along one side, with bench seating in front, gives you the feeling of being partly in the exhibition and partly in the square outside. The plentiful reading material scattered around (mainly press cuttings about the current exhibition) added to our feeling of being encouraged to linger, although conversely the relatively small space means that you may feel you want to move on fairly quickly. When you do, you?ll find yourself in a large square, part of the former Royal Army Medical College that is now home to Chelsea College of Art and Design. There are benches here if you want to sit and enjoy the view, and a small café if you?re looking for a snack or drink.

16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU (Nearest tube stations are Pimlico and Vauxhall (both Victoria line). There?s a map on the website )

Phone: %s3 %cb 07841 783129
Website: http://www.chelseaspace.org/about.html

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 7, 2009
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