For nine years, Gallery Fumi has been presenting contemporary design exhibitions in its Shoreditch home: a glorious light-filled space in a former Victorian school overlooking Hoxton Square. But this year marks a change. After a long search for a more convenient London spot, founders Valerio Capo and Sam Pratt have announced the gallery is moving to Mayfair.
The move to 2 Hay Hill sees Gallery Fumi join an enviable enclave of the city’s top art and design galleries. Galerie Kreo is just a few doors down at 14A, with Phillips, David Gill and Carpenters Workshop Gallery all moments away. Although joining this exclusive neighbourhood might be seen as a coming of age, Capo says the move is more about widening exposure and making life easier for Fumi’s clients. ‘It’s really about convenience rather than proving something, we are quite happy with what we have done so far,’ he says.
The gallery at Hay Hill is more conventional, although Capo says its wooden floors retain the ‘earthy’ feel of the original location. Spread across two floors, the new space could lend itself to site-specific works in future. First up is 'Praeteritum, Praesens et Futurum', a solo exhibition by Rowan Mersh.
The London-based artist has been part of Gallery Fumi’s journey from the start, and Capo says that ‘giving him the space for the first solo show is very much a well-deserved thing’. The collection of mostly new works are all made from seashells, completed over the last five years. Hanging together into great webs that act as wall sculptures, Mersh’s ethereal works promise to be a spectacular way to announce Gallery Fumi’s arrival on the Mayfair stage.
Those who loved the Shoreditch space for its quirky character will be glad to hear that Capo and Pratt still plan to use it for the odd design event. For now though, they’re mostly excited about turning it back into their home. ‘It’s been a fabulous space. It’s unusual and we’ve always liked that element for showing contemporary design,’ Capo says. ‘We’ve lent it to the gallery for some time but it’s exciting to have it back too. We can finally get our sofa out of storage!’