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22.07.15 — Article

Could the luxury gym be the new art gallery?

Art galleries, whilst one of the main sites of exposure to art, especially in terms of sales, are no longer the only place where one might encounter one’s new favourite painting or artist. Many businesses are decorating their establishments with art in a way to both enhance their interior and also to draw a new type of customer, and, ultimately, make money.
One of the most prolific is the restaurant world – establishments such as Sketch on Conduit Street here in London and The Four Seasons in New York are veterans in displaying beautiful pieces to feast the eyes of their diners whilst satisfying their stomachs. The restaurant makes a perfect location to display art; it provides a cultured and thought out aesthetic, a unique destination and even a talking point for its customers. It draws parallels between the art of cuisine, fine dining and the art world itself, all of which have their own avant-garde and followings. By combination, it creates an interesting and highly cultural visual and culinary experience.
Such is the nature of our time to make an artwork out of our everyday that we refuse to stop at fine dining. So, we make an artwork of our mealtimes, our surroundings, and even, recently, our workouts. The cult of the luxury gym has never been more exciting or more current. Across London, wealthy cosmopolitans have never before been so spoilt for choice in the latest conceptions of workouts, or indeed, the choice of a gym to join. With celebrities and the media advocating the most up to date trends in fitness, the luxury gym has never had more coverage in magazines, adverts and blogs. And of course, along with a workout, gyms include highly competitive perks to make a gruelling workout pass faster and seem less painful. So, with all of their customers searching for a distraction for the intense, often daily, ordeal they put their bodies through in order to remain fit and healthy, why not decorate a gym with artwork? And, why not work in coordination with a gallery to serve two purposes – to decorate the workout space and provide a cultural destination a little different from what is now the ‘standard’ luxury gym, but also to sell art.
That is exactly what Core Collective in Kensington has begun to do. Working in conjunction with The Dot Project, the walls are hung with paintings from the artists that are shown in current exhibitions. This is an innovative idea from India Whalley, the founder of The Dot Project, and it is just one of many reasons why she is a gallerist to keep your eye on. By showing the works in the gym, they serve to promote the gallery and encourage business, whilst providing a culturally interesting and unique ambience for Core Collective. Who ever would have thought it possible to discover one’s new favourite artist whilst sweating it out with a trainer? This unique venture makes it possible to soak up some culture whilst burning some calories – it’s a win-win situation.
Currently, The Dot Project is showing Selma Parlour, Jane Bustin, Katrina Blannin and Tim Ellis, all of whom’s work will be on show at Core Collective off High Street Kensington, as well as at The Dot Project at 94, Fulham Road. So, sign up for an inspired workout to experience the latest in the fitness aesthetic that is a hop, skip and a jump ahead of the luxury gym experience.

By Holland Drury