Welcome to the ‘Always Up To Date: London Art Fair Guide‘. We will keep this guide updated throughout the year with new events and changes.Read more
You may have seen the advertising posters for the Affordable Art Fair Battersea Autumn 2014 whilst on the underground, in a magazine or even on a bill-board around London over the last month or so – and if you have you’ll already be familiar with the work of Maria Rivans.
Whether you know her, or not, the brilliant Maria has been going from strength to strength over the last few years… and the momentum is growing. The advertising campaign for AAF Battersea, for those of you who did not see it, featured one of Maria’s portrait collages, much like the one below, which was expanded into the scene which included a model made up as a 3D creation based on Maria’s work.
Maria is best known for her collage portraits, using found images to create beautiful and eye catching patterns and creative scenes. Those on display at Liberty Gallery at the fair included figures with serpents and birds as part of their headdress, and one rather glamorous lady with a diamond necklace comprising hundreds of cut out diamonds layered to make a dazzling motif. This fair gave Maria’s newer work a chance to have the spotlight – with fantastical imagined cityscapes joining Maria’s portraits on the stand. These large scale cityscapes were hugely popular… with not one of them staying on the wall of the stand from one day to the next! Created using a similar technique to the portraits, the cityscapes combine found images of buildings and people layered and contrasted to great effect.
This autumn, the range of techniques and media of pieces on display was as varied as ever, with collage side by side with oil on canvas, lithographs with bronze sculpture and screen printing with monotypes. One new technique I had never come across, but whose impact was stunning, was used by Lucy Carty exhibiting with Artshouse. Having studied Biology and Environmental Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, Lucy’s technique is self taught and her work is inspired by her trips around the world, most recently to Iceland. Inspired by aerial photographs of the landscape of Iceland, Lucy uses resins and wax, together with other mixed media to create pieces that cross the boundary between two dimensions and three and entice the viewer to touch the surfaces that are created.
Lucy’s work varies from pieces that could be mistaken for worn marble to pieces that look as if they are still flowing from a volcano in Iceland, all of which are unique and refreshingly different. Lucy’s work is the perfect compliment to the other artists work on the Artshouse stand, including artist and gallerist, Natasha Kumar, whose recent volume of work inspired by the architecture of India and in particular the narrative depicted on the inside of a dome showing Krishna is truly beautiful.
Also at the fair, for the first time, were the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing a specially commissioned performance of “A Complete History of Art (Abridged)” compacting the entire cannon of (Western) art into just 10 minutes. Provoking laughter and rounds of applause for their candid representation of some of the best known artists and their iconic creations, the Reduced Shakespeare Company were certainly a very welcome addition to the Affordable Art Fair.
Affordable Art Fair, staying true to its name, continues to be a source of art for the less established collector – or indeed the established collector looking to find new emerging talent – but goes much further. By exposing graduate artists, together with gallery’s promoting work of artists producing “affordable” art to a collector market is promoting growth, development and experimentation among these artists. This year, more than ever, artists were on hand to provide information and help regarding their work, but I also suspect that the feedback they receive over the five days of the fair is invaluable.
I envy the team at Battersea Evolution, the exhibition space in Battersea park, because so many of the great events in the London arts calendar are held there! Among my favourites are Affordable Art Fair and The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair. I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon at the autumn edition of the Decorative Fair yesterday and enjoyed the many delights that the well over 100 exhibitors had to offer.
Although each exhibitor has their own way of displaying their (often vast) array of items, the main theme for exhibitors seemed to be putting together stand displays that displayed antiques, art and textiles in a way that might reflect a collector’s house, or at least a room! From gilt mirrors and French sofas to English military travelling chests, each stand had experts on hand to tell us about their own particular areas of expertise. The joy of wandering around the Decorative Fair is that there is a huge variety in the background to the dealers, ranging from the hugely experienced to very enthusiastic young dealers eager to share their enthusiasm – and knowledge – with visitors. The information given about some of the pieces, together with the atmosphere at the fair, means it often feels like you are being treated to personal tours of small and intimate museums… rather than sales pitches!
A number of the exhibitors at the Decorative Fair are members of LAPADA, and a small and dedicated number had just been exhibiting at the LAPADA Art &Antiques Fair in Berkeley Square just last week! The exhibitors were collected from far and wide, with all the corners of the UK represented, from York to Hertfordshire, Fife to Norfolk side by side with some international dealers from Europe.
The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair is at Battersea three times a year, winter, summer and autumn and 2015 marks their 30th anniversary year, an achievement to really cherish as the result of their years of hosting these dealers at Battersea have made a thoroughly enjoyable and successful event.
The next event at Battersea Evolution I am excited to get to is Affordable Art Fair which takes place 23rd – 26th October which promises to be another very successful event for Battersea!
Having never been to Bristol I was quite excited when I was invited to go to the Affordable Art Fair there last week. Located in Brunel’s Old Station, Temple Mead, AAF Bristol drew a wide variety of people, with families alongside couples and young people all in the search for something they liked. The stream of people with art wrapped up in the distinctive branded packaging leaving the fair when we arrived was encouraging and gave us confidence we were not going to be disappointed by the selection of work on display.
With some familiar galleries alongside a few new faces, we were offered sculpture, landscapes and the more unusual. Antler’s Gallery – based in Bristol – had a great selection of works by Charles Emerson and Geoff Diego Litherland. We had a chance to see some of Tim Lane‘s drawings we were even treated to a viewing of Tim’s ‘Anima Mundi’ which was the focus of a Kickstarter campaign we wrote about earlier this year in May – the work printed up and bound certainly didn’t disappoint.
Also at AAF Bristol was DegreeArt.com who had a selection on display including work by Sophie Derrick and Rogan Brown. Chantelle had enjoyed being in Bristol – and DegreeArt.com are off to Manchester next week for Buy Art Fair and then up to Edinburgh for Edinburgh Art Fair! Another familiar face at AAF Bristol was One Church Street who had a selection of works by Barry Stedman who is a recent addition to the gallery and whose three dimensional pieces perfectly compliments the abstract work of Chris Sims.
The fair was accompanied by live music, which helped create an atmosphere in which to spend a perfect Sunday afternoon. With a variety of 2D and 3D works on display, there was a variety of work to see, and buy. In a city famous for Banksy and street art, we had hoped to find some work inspired by Bristol and we were not disappointed. We had the pleasure of meeting artist Tom White whose paintings are inspired by the graffiti art around the city. On display on the Clifton Fine Art stand was his painting, Keep on the Grass , which is a painting of the Star and Garter pub which is covered in graffiti art.
The feeling of AAF Bristol was very different to any of the Affordable Art Fairs in London, having its own unique atmosphere and set of galleries which was great to see ahead of the AAF Battersea in October. Thanks for all the galleries at AAF Bristol for being so welcoming and telling us about their artists and their home city!
Bristol was a success, maybe Affordable Art Fair New York next year?
Header Image Comprises Highlights from Affordable Art Fair; Barry Stedman, Sophie Derrick and Georgie Woolridge (of The Paragon Gallery)
The Affordable Art Fair returns to Battersea in October and Brownhill Insurance Group have partnered with Decorazon Gallery to invite our VIP Art Club members to a drinks reception at Decorazon’s stand (J10) on the evening of the Charity Preview, Wednesday 23rd October.
Tickets to the Charity Preview Evening and our drinks reception are very limited and will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis, with clients of Brownhill Insurance Group getting priority.
If you are unable to make our drinks reception on the 23rd, we also have a limited number of general admission tickets for the fair, which is open to the public from 24-27 October.
VIP Art Club members should have already received an invitation in their inboxes. For anyone wishing to join the Brownhill VIP Art Club, please sign up here. A member of our team will be in touch to offer you a ticket to the Affordable Art Fair (subject to availability).
The Affordable Art Fair offers collectors the chance to purchase contemporary art ranging from £40 – £4,000.
For more information on Decorazon Gallery, please visit their website – http://www.decorazongallery.com.