During the winter of 1983, London artists Jamelie Hassan and Ron Benner met frequently with a jazz musician Eric Stach to discuss their dissatisfaction with the cultural life of the city. Benner and Hassan had recently visited Europe and enjoyed experiencing the Kunsthaueser where art exhibitions, music concerts and other cultural events were held in restaurants and coffee houses. With that vision in mind the the Embassy Cultural House was launched.

With the support of new owners, Helen and Egon Haller, renovations were made to the hotel’s former restaurant; walls were painted, track lighting added, and professional exhibitions began in May 1983. From its inception the Embassy Cultural House featured works by artists who were at the forefront of contemporary art as well as seasoned professionals who still questioned their own practice. Interspersed with solo exhibitions there were large group exhibitions of work related to current political and social issues. In its time, a program of films, music, performances, readings and lectures and a tabloid that featured reviews, interviews, essays and political commentary together enriched the cultural activities of London.

With featured artworks and archival documentation, this retrospective exhibition endeavours to recapture some of the energy, enthusiasm and optimism the Embassy Cultural House.