Meet London’s graduate talents in the Soho House art collection
Across our clubs around the globe, works from artists based in the capital offer an exciting insight into the future of the art world
Thursday 13 July 2023 By Anastasiia Fedorova
Spread across 40 clubs worldwide, the Soho House art collection allows members to explore many artistic movements. From delving deep into local creative landscapes (Holloway House or Soho House Austin) to the history of the site (Soho Warehouse), or a particular medium such as portraiture (Cecconi’s Bicester Village), every individual collection transcends eras and contexts. Importantly, we also feature works by recently graduated artists.
With graduate shows from colleges like the Royal College of Art and Camberwell College of Arts happening in London this month, we take a closer look at works by those who have joined the Soho House collection in the last three years.
Hawazin Alotaibi, ‘My Time Is Yours’
Hawazin Alotaibi is a London-based, Saudi-American interdisciplinary artist, curator, DJ and music producer, who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2021. Her work examines the notions of gender, masculinity and self-representation on social media in the ever-changing cultural and political dynamics of the Arab world, and specifically Gulf countries. Working across different media – from painting to sound to video editing – Alotaibi is interested in glitches, blurs and distortions. One of her trademark tools is the use of a vivid pink colour, usually heavily gendered in our perception. Drawing from social media, religious books, cultural artefacts and personal memories, she creates an evocative image questioning the status quo.
Anna Choutova, ‘Boots’
Soho House Stockholm
Working in London, Anna Choutova is a visual artist and curator who graduated from Slade School of Fine Art in 2021. Her practice explores the complex materiality of our day-to-day lives, consumerism and nostalgia. Coming from an Eastern European background, then thrown into a Westernised upbringing in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the artist constructs her own vision of Western pop culture, food, clothes, and all the ways people shop for identities. Choutova’s practice also reflects on the push-pull of East and West that exists within her and most post-Soviet Eastern Europeans. Through her work, she has explored many seemingly quotidian objects, from pickle jars to pencils and cigarette butts to knee-high boots; pieces that have found a home at Soho House Stockholm.
Leon Pozniakow, ‘Jonah and Ganymedes (The Reliquaries of Aquarius)’
Having graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2020, Leon Pozniakow was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries the year after. His works appear meticulous and laborious, be it an incredibly detailed drawing or a handcrafted chain-link sculpture, but they are also poetic in depicting the queer longing, closeness and agency. Pozniakow draws from the cultural language of gay erotica and the intimacy of domestic spaces, while also retaining wit and humour – see the chain-link jockstrap.
Anne Carney Raines, ‘Medicine Bundle’
Soho House Nashville
Born in Nashville, painter Anne Carney Raines is now based in London, receiving her painting MA in 2021 at the Royal College of Art. She has a background in scenic painting and fabrication, which has had a major impact on her work. Raines meticulously studies textures and different unique craft technologies to translate them into painting, but is equally interested in creating fictional and fantasy spaces within her canvases. As well as her art in Soho House Nashville, she’s collaborated with fellow south London artist Richard Burton to create site-specific work.
Corbin Shaw, ‘Are You Winning Son?’
Soho Works Shoreditch
Based in east London, the 2020 Central Saint Martins Fine Art graduate, Corbin Shaw, works with the medium of textiles – most notably, the St George’s flag and cloths in signature Burberry check. Using his upbringing in a south Yorkshire ex-mining town, Shaw investigates masculinity and how that was defined to him growing up. Breaking stigmas and stereotypes through his re-imagination of masculine ‘icons’ and objects, the artist pays homage to the people and places that have shaped his northern identity – the pub, football pitches and boxing gyms. Drawing from meme culture as well as poetry, song lyrics and common sayings, he interrogates the unspoken rules of class and gender that still rule society in the UK.
Koshiro Akiyama, ‘The Girl At The Theatre’
Cecconi’s Bicester Village
Born in Tokyo, Koshiro Akiyama is a graduate of Camberwell College of Arts (MA fine art, painting 2021). His work is informed by Japanese painting methods and techniques, using a mix of mineral pigments and animal glue to make paint. With multiple layers in acrylic, ink and watercolour, the artist creates unique textures for his paintings. Tapping into personal and collective memories, Akiyama’s paintings depict dream-like worlds that evoke intimate spaces, parks and resorts. One of his atmospheric paintings is included in the collection at Cecconi’s Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, dedicated entirely to portraiture.