Soho House’s new home in Brighton, Brighton Beach House, is opening with a David Shrigley banana swimming pool, a selection of work from local artists, and the largest permanent display of queer art in the UK.
The Beach House is Soho House’s latest addition to its English empire. It will open in full later this month and its curation has seen the members club emphasising their commitment to arts in the surrounding area.
After spending the bulk of his career living and working in Glasgow, Shrigley moved to Brighton in 2015. He became a patron of Phoenix Art Gallery, an charity housing 100 affordable artist studios in the centre of Brighton.
Kate Bryan, Soho House’s global head of art collections, found several of the artists set to feature in the Brighton Beach House through the Phoenix Art Gallery and their charitable work. One of them was Miranda Forrester, who has been entrusted with designing the fabrics used throughout the club and on the terrace parasols of the club’s Cecconi’s restaurant. Other local artists featured in the collection include Rachel Whiteread, Dexter Dalwood, Somaya Critchlow, Dee Ferris, Harold Offeh, Magali Reus, Aimee Parrot and Tania Kovats. Parrot created a mural on the ceiling of the lobby. Meanwhile Kovats has collected water from the Brighton sea and bottled it in various sizes at the entrance to the club.
On top of Shrigley’s work and the local artists included, 50 LGBTQIA+ artists appear in the 110-pieces on display at Brighton Beach House. These 50 artists are part of the Beacon Collection, which has been acquired for Soho’s new house.
The Beacon Collection has been curated Gemma Rolls-Bentley and is the largest collection of queer art to be permanently on display in the UK. Speaking to The Art Newspaper, Rolls-Bentley said, “The reason I called it the Brighton Beacon Collection was because of this idea of Brighton being somewhere that people from the LGBTQIA+ community are drawn to. It’s a real safe haven,” Rolls-Bentley says.
Shrigley described creating the banana design as “a no-brainer”, after being asked for a semi-circular work to fit the swimming pool at Brighton Beach House. In one of the most profound artistic quotes in recent times, Shrigley added, “It’s an arc, so what’s it going to be? A banana. It can’t really be a cucumber as they are not bendy enough.”