Walking around statues, getting closer to paintings, interacting with some of the dynamic artistic installations. This is The Other Art Fair, where, with green badges reading “Artist”, and the name right below, the creators sit or stand beside their works.
The atmosphere is friendly, fostering more direct interaction amongst art lovers, buyers, the curious and the artists themselves. At its eleventh edition in London, the biannual fair last year started a process of internationalization, with a further two editions in Bristol and Sydney, where it is coming back again for 2016.
130 artists, selected by an expert committee, got the chance to display the products of their creativity at Victoria House, from 7th to 10th April.
As said above, the fair is a place not just for buyers, but also for all those who want to be inspired by new trends, the latest talent on show, and the creative minds of young people and adults who never stop experimenting with concepts, materials, and shapes.
Rich colours, drawings, abstract or realistic subjects: we selected just a few of the artists at the Fair. We talked to some of them, asking a bit more about their inspirations and the message behind their artworks.
Carmen M. Castañeda, Anónima (http://www.anonimabycm.com)
Carmen tries to represent the process and fragility of memory. Each element embroidered into the canvas is a memory: the sparkling textile stands for the most precious events we remember. As the past in our minds, so the artwork comes in different layers, which overlay one after the other.
Andrew Wenrick (http://www.andrewwenrick.com/)
Art is a process: an idea becomes an actual project and, in the creative phase, it increases in details and can nurture further works.
While sharpening pencils to get the graphite out for a project, Andrew Wenrick noticed that the pencil shaving coming out from the sharpener had a perfectly rounded shape.
Soon after, he went with his daughter to the Natural History Museum, where butterflies and other animals are all organized and displayed in glasses. So, why not try the same with the beautiful shavings? The coloured wheels are not just glued to the board, but pinned to the canvas: the space in between enables the light to give a depth through the shadow behind each shaving.
Elena García de la Fuente(http://elenagf.com)
The paintings explore the relation between the visitors and the artworks exposed. The series, inspired by exhibitions, events, and fairs the artist has attended, looks at how the people interact (or not) with the works in front of them. In particular, InstaArt (in the photo, the one with the grey background, at the bottom right) takes a closer look at how people see but do not see what is in front of them: so focused on taking pictures, visitors are unable to be part of the real event.
Hampstead Heath – Electric Tree, by Helen Brough
Helen Brough (http://www.helenbrough.com/)
London landscapes – we can read among the titles ‘Battersea’, ‘Regent’s Park’, ‘Waterloo Park’ – but with another “coloured lens”: through very bright shades, the artist gives the known views another deeper, introspective meaning.
Fran Giffard (http://www.frangiffard.com/)
Practice makes perfect. So Fran did.
While studying Fine Art Drawing at Camberwell College of Art, in 2010, she continuously sketched – and actually finished, with all the details and the colouring – birds on the pages of her diary. Since then, she has never stopped. The “exercises” became artworks.
The quality of the paper, indeed, does not subtract anything from the vividness of the colours, the precision of the lines, and the harmony among the birds and the notes – actually, it looks like they are swimming or flying among words, numbers, lists, like the creativity in our daily tasks.
Sarah Kudirka (http://www.sarahdavenport.co.uk/)
“When did you last look up at the sky?”
Shot on a Polaroid, and then painted in oils, the works by Sarah make the viewer look just at that piece of sky shaped by the buildings and surroundings of the city. During an exhibition, the artist could not avoid noticing how the visitors were so fixed to their smartphones’ screen, that she could hardly see them actually looking at the exhibits.
…So hence comes her question: “When did you last look up at the sky?”
Jo Beattie (http://www.jobeattie.com/)
Wired, plastic, textile, glue: the many and different materials used by this artist. The main characteristic of Jo’s works is their transparency. With light, not only were their shadows projected on the white background, but they gleam with a glassy consistency.
When “artists at work” are in the middle of the Coffee space and some of the installations stretch over the walls, how can one not get inspired by an other fair?