My first and most pertinent question was why did she begin The Gold Club? from 2009 to 2011, this bright, warm-hearted and striking woman spent two productive years in Paris, learning french and working on a historical documentary about Mysterious Paris. The sheer immersion in all things artistic and the buzz of café society, where people not only meet but share creative endeavours, gave Yvette an idea. When she returned, her head was racing with plans for the kind of club that facilitated con- nections amongst not only creatives, but with people keen to become involved in the creative world, in whatever capacity.
Want to meet an artist, be inspired, mentored or to invest in a sculptor, perhaps at the begin- ning of their career? This sparkly and sparky lady will invariably have the magic to facilitate it. She describes The Gold Club as a ‘platform for individuals to connect to art, perhaps in parts of the world they do not necessarily know.’ It will, she says, develop as a ‘blending pot for artists and ambitious, enthusiastic artistic ad- venturers, who might not have any creative skills themselves, but are keen to be involved in some capacity.’ The key word as ever is ‘adven- ture’ but also ‘entrepreneurship.’ A strong sup- port system is never far behind, encouraging business to be conducted in a mutually support- ive environment.
Yvette’s Gold Club is unique in many ways and appropriately named – not necessarily to simplistically represent shine and glitz but more to convey a sense of alchemy – that once magical belief that everyday objects can be transformed into precious metal. This is about ridding ourselves of narrow expectations and negative thought and in their place, relation- ships instead will be forged between fascinating people and those who can make things happen.
Yvette’s plan is to smoothly connect the talented – artists, set designers, scenic art- ists, fashionistas, musical talent and play- wrights – to produce many symbiotic rela- tionships. This is adamantly not another card-swapping club – it will be a whirlpool of talent and project-based adventure. It is predominantly a ‘linkage of different disci- plines – whether that be art, music, sculp- ture, film or photography.’ She is keen too to get away from sheer artifice and make the whole experience of belonging to The Gold Club a holistic, nurturing one, to de- velop a new sense of communication and open dialogue. Yvette is blunt – in a world where we have ‘lost the ability to engage in real communication. I want something more grounded.’ Everyone with some- thing to say can be accommodated, whether their product is American Abstract or exquisite African dolls being crafted from plants in Uganda. She is interested in statement and depth, individuals with something important to say.
Yvette is a determined woman and one with a vision for The Gold Club’s ultimate destination and ambition. She is keen to stress that as her unique club curls its ad- venturous tendrils into the international artistic world, there should be no bound- aries of what it can achieve. Its reach al- ready stretches to france, Africa, Russia, New York and China. The more people who enjoy the benefits of membership, the more possibilities there may be, including future franchises. But Yvette is also keen to stress the educational and charitable side that she wishes to develop. There are already plans for a dance school to benefit families with lesser funds, a scholarship scheme that will be set up to allow a type of performing arts school –a free school in concept. She already has a dance teacher, Rhian Skye, who is advising and assisting her on the project. Art and philanthropic enterprise will go hand in hand and any- one who joins The Gold Club will see these projects as they unfold.
I was curious though – why did she choose the Art World as a platform for growth? It became clearer when she eluci- dated about her family background. Her father was figurative artist Bogdan Melech (John Wheeler.) She described fetching him paints, watching him work and even accompanying him on people-watching ex- peditions, where he would chose incidents and faces to inspire him. So art and the type of sensitive, empathetic space it occu- pies, has made it a comfortable fit for Yvette. Art is constantly stretching itself and challenging the norms of society. There could therefore be nothing more appropri- ate in terms of growth.
The Gold Club already has some inter- esting artists under its wing and intends to progress their careers in many ways. It is collaborating currently with songwriter Gary Michaels, young South African artist Justin Norcott and even a comedian, Howard fox. Justin Norcott’s work has been described as containing ‘open brush- work, sweeping colour, bold use of texture and great technical precision.’ Clearly an artist to watch.
Yvette is an experienced event planner, so exhibitions and negotiating informal gallery space, such as within restaurants, is her forte. In various talks, it is clear that theatres and restaurants are keen to collab- orate with new and innovative projects that involve artists and the sales of their work.
It cannot be underestimated how good Yvette is with people. Smart, energetic but also very down to earth, she is all too aware of the mercurial and precarious nature of the art industry. She considers that empa- thy and a place of safety is as important as commercial interests, particularly to nur- ture a budding talent. In practical terms, she already has a gallery space in a charm- ing Georgian building in Russell Square, London – which is filling so fast that is cur- rently looking for other suitable venues. She is less keen on referring to ‘managing’ artists than ‘guiding’ them, a respect she learnt from being involved so closely with her own artist father’s artistic life. She would even like eventually to establish an artist’s retreat but for now, her intelligent grasp of PR and her powerfully positive vibe will be the main elements in pushing her artists forward.
In terms of facilities and publicity that she can offer any artist, apart from her current gallery space which she refers to as her ‘little castle,’ there are plans to have more space. Yvette’s ethos when it comes to business is innovative – a blend of a sophisticated in- ternationalism and a ‘can do’ approach, sprinkled with her love of all things British that are gentle and genteel. Plans include tea parties and theatrical events, where the ec- centric and wondrous will come to life to entrance and charm prospective buyers of artwork. Think statement catwalk – confi- dence, the ‘wow’ factor.
Yvette is never static and she likes to embrace a wide sense of what an artist can be. She is now championing an American play, Scratched fenders, which was writ- ten by William John Decherd in 1928 but was never performed. The playwright’s son is at the head of the project and The Huffington Post describes the play as ‘A comedy of manners that pitted classes and politics, East Coast-educated children of the affluent, British royals with Soviet sympathies, against Midwestern religious and business leaders.’ Essentially a draw- ing room comedy, this is a stylish fiction- alised account of English writer Lytton Strachey’s detainment in America and the diplomatic crises that ensued.
What attracted Yvette to the play was not simply the wit and the modernity of it, de- spite it being written in the late twenties. It was the era – the sense of style, elegance, and feministic chic. Yvette hopes, when the play is performed in the Uk, to make links with fashion and interior design, to even develop a process where clothes and set designs can be exclusively purchased from the actual pro- duction, after the run has finished.
There is clearly going to be multiple ben- efits to other businesses outside the artistic sphere with The Gold Club. While people enjoy the intellectual stimulation of art, they also need to feed their more basic needs – such as food and drink. Develop- ing good partnerships with coffee dealers, even bakers, is a vital part of Yvette’s vision for the future. She is currently in talks with organo Gold, an international ‘healthy al- ternative to coffee’ brand keen to become involved as distributors for the club.
It is abundantly clearly that this ambi- tious club is setting a new trend and tip- ping the traditional idea of a networking club on its head. for members, there are clearly no cultural or societal barriers when it comes to talent and enterprise.
So what is possible as The International Gold Club develops? Anything, really. In artistic terms, risks will be taken if the statement presented from the artist is strong enough. This is all about talent ris- ing to the top, regardless of background. Limits are for people without vision and Yvette, with a glint in her eye, wants to ask ‘What would you like to do?’ If you have an answer to that question, then The Inter- national Gold Club should be your desti- nation. There is magic in it.