Chelsea art shop used by David Hockney forced to move after ‘horrific’ floods

Anart shop used by David Hockney and Damien Hirst is being forced to relocate from King’s Road after it was repeatedly flooded with sewage.

The owners of Green & Stone, believed to be the oldest business in the Chelsea street, said the flooding was caused by renovation work.

Hester Baldwin, 29, said she and her father Rodney, 63, who co-manages the shop, were “inconsolable”, adding: “We’ve been in that particular building for 84 years and we’ve become a bastion and an institution in the King’s Road.

“It’s like telling your family you’re not going to be there any more … But the support we’ve had from artists and our customers has been amazing.”

Ms Baldwin said the problems began two years ago when landlord Sloane Stanley began renovating flats in part of the building. She claimed the work led to plumbing problems and at one point the shop was flooded five times in two months. “It wasn’t just flood water, it was sewage waste. It was horrific,” she said. “My father gave advice before the renovations and said the building had Victorian drains and couldn’t really take on the load being considered.”

David Hockney

Ms Baldwin said her family was left with no choice but to seek alternative premises. They negotiated a new lease in Fulham Road, but have just five weeks to relocate. A crowdfunding campaign will help towards the move.

The shop’s origins date back to the Chenil Gallery in King’s Road, where it was based from the early 1900s before moving to its current location in 1934. Originally a picture framing business with a small arts materials section, it was expanded into a full art shop after Mr Baldwin took over in 1972.

Damien Hirst (Getty Images)

Richard Everett, chief executive of Sloane Stanley, said: “We have long supported Green & Stone and we are pleased that we have been able to agree a move to new and better premises, giving them the opportunity to both retain and expand their business.”

Ms Baldwin praised Sloane Stanley for being “kind and helpful” during the process and said she now feels “like we’re moving to where our home should be”.
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