Jonathan Ross, director of Gallery 286, in Earl’s Court, London explains the reasoning behind this month’s exhibition “Not Just for Christmas”, a survey show of Cats and Dogs in Art. “Being a cat-lover and having become aware that cats rule the internet, I thought that it was probably time that they took on the Art World as well so I planned to do a Christmas Cat Show. But when I started to talk to artists about it, lots of them said “Oh, but we love dogs too” so I decided it should be an equal opportunity exhibition. Over a couple of months I recruited over 40 artists who were keen to participate and if space had permitted I could have exceeded 50, so popular was the theme.
The exhibition includes regular exhibitors at 286 and stalwarts of Christmas Shows past, alongside new discoveries and artists brought in by the gallery’s consultant curator Sam Walker. Featuring paintings, prints, photography, holograms, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery there is something to attract connoisseurs of all mediums.
As Jonathan Ross points out “Usually buying art for a friend at Christmas is a tricky proposition but we all know someone who is mad about cats or dogs so a themed exhibition makes for an excellent present-buying opportunity.”
Gallery 286 is a private-house gallery, established by Ross and his wife the artist Camilla Shivarg in 1998. Three minutes walk from Earl’s Court tube station, their terraced townhouse has a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and is full of period features. Seeing art on display in a property which is clearly someone’s home as well as a professional art space makes it easier to imagine how a work might look in your own home