Among the several events happening in the art world at this time of the year, the 15th edition of the Affordable Art Fair taking place in Battersea from the 13th to the 16th of March, is certainly a unique occasion to approach the art market as first buyers. At the same time it offers a great panorama of art pieces and shows that can attract a wide range of public from amateurs to connoisseurs. This year the fair will include 111 galleries and will work with the charity partner “Fight for Sight”, the largest organization in the UK dedicated to funding eye research.
Two interesting new projects will engage the public offsite and within the fair: the Commute Creative Project and Project Space Collective. The first one is an initiative launched by the Fair to engage people with art in their everyday life; a giant Venus de Milo realised in pink plasticine has been placed outside Liverpool Street station, while blocks of pink plasticine will be distributed to the people outside the station to produce their own works of art. The commuters-artists inspired by the Venus will be also guided by expert sculptors in their creative drive and will be encouraged to share their mini-masterpieces on social media.
The project, which took off following a study conducted by the NOS about levels of stress in commuters, encourages people who travel to work to start off the day with a creative act. Amanda Wright, art therapist claims: “The act of creativity is incredibly healing. You’re often standing or sitting in silence for an hour or more during the commute so what if you start the day by focusing on getting in touch with your own inner creativity? By doing so, you could feel a sense of fulfilment by the time you arrive at work.” The project fits the concept of the fair highlighting the team’s engagement to make art more accessible at different levels and to raise awareness about the importance of the arts for our society, especially in the context of everyday life.
The other important aspect of the Affordable Art Fair programme this year is the launch of Project Space Collective, a dedicated space within the fair that will showcase multimedia installation, curated exhibitions and solo presentations presented by six galleries: BEARSPACE, Jotta Contemporary, Kinetica Museum, Knight Webb Gallery, PAPER and Slate Projects. The projects presented will be in contrast with the traditional context of art fairs; the most striking of these events is probably the solo presentation signed by Dean Brierley’s ChromaFlair, hosted by BEARSPACE gallery; an exhibition that plays on the combination of the display of watercolours and paintings within the recreated atmosphere of a nightclub or of a rave party. In Project Space Collective we also find the Slate Projects gallery presenting the revival of the handmade in photography with works of Gareth Berwyn, Tamsin Relly and Rankle & Reynolds and the Knight Webb Gallery with its series of offsite projects, the Brixton Experiment.
Alongside these key initiatives there will be other interesting ideas to inspire the visitors such as a private view evening featuring a sketch competition, taking place inside the burlesque stand of Frui, a creative learning holiday company which will invite the participants to draw sketches with the chance to win a one-to-one drawing class. In addition to the art exhibited inside there will also be an outdoor installation commissioned to Scottish artist Rob Mulholland. The installation, created to welcome people as they make their way into the fair, encourages visitors to discover a host of mirrored figures and cubes hidden among the trees.
What does the show offer in comparison to other popular art shows?