And those pictures tell you pretty much all you need to know about the Affordable Art Fair. You will see quirky art, colourful art, graphicy art, occasionally good art, and you will see a dog who is better and more expensively dressed than you are (a real dog that is not one of the fine people above). Joyously one of the dogs pooed on the floor. This was apparently not art, it was just a poo. If you have been before (to the show that is, not for a poo) then you will also see people you have seen before. I will try and avoid those in this blog, a rule I shall now immediately break.
Charlie Macpherson (above left) is an oft lusted after favourite whom I'm sure I've blogged about in previous years. I like the concentric nature of his glass, those smaller pieces with the gem like glass set within the smoked glass. What I really covert though is the curved triangular turquoise number in the bottom right. He is represented by the Marine House at Beer (above right) which is always one of the best most attractive stand in the show.
I do like my misty autumnal landscape, and Anna Boss' triumvirate of pictures (above left) with their bleak sincerity really appealed to me. A road leading you in is always a good shout. I think the one in the bottom left is my favourite with it sort of tunnel effect, with the spindly trees reaching to each other.
Antoine Gaussin's "Escape" is a large rectangular piece. What is it? Is it a landscape, some wooden posts rising out of a misty lake? Or is it a series of pots, stacked on an invisible surface. I am not even sure what the medium is, the title did not say but a brief google indicates photography. Any way you have to drop over £5,000 for this evocative, peaceful piece.
Stefan Mas Persson (above left) is another perennial favourite with his raised slightly 3d pieces. The one on the right is a slight departure from what his previous work with its series of different squares. It is interesting and allows your imagination to run riot. Particularly the little white figure walking along the wooden bar.
Completely different is Bui Trong Du's stylised portrait (above right). They are lacquer on wood, these sumptuously clad women on the patterned background. Always with these flowers in different stages of opening. I like the bottom one best with her slightly louche pose on that rich green background.
Glass, sculpture and pottery will occupy the next few entries. I have a weakness for glass and they are often of a high standard in the Affordable Art show. Toni Fairhead (above left) makes the pieces out of recycled glass and copper. It has a sort of crazed glass, almost fan like, shell like organic effect. The triangular wedge is the best of them.
Eryka Issak's glass and metal sculptures (above right) have attracted me before and have caused me to break my now shattered role again. They have a sort of toenail like structure but have good tone, structure and sympathetic colouring. The tear drop void in the blue/turqouise (I like turquoise) works very well.
There are two artists' work on display in the photo above left but it is only one of them, Lindsey Walsh, who drew my attention. If you double click on the picture so as to enlarge it you can see in better detail but basically what you have here is ceramics decorated with slightly abstracted, slightly mythical landscapes or scenes. The shape often echos the scene like the sail shape one on the right depicts a sailing scene. The curved one behind the bowl, which has a seaside townscape particularly appeals. I didn't buy anything this year by Walsh made my shortlist but now, as I write this, I regret not having done so.
Dancing Penguins (above right). Who doesn't like dancing penguins? Well if you don't then the work of Noor Brandt who does a line in cute animals in bronze is not for you. His groups of animals are the best, and the penguins are the stand out stars. Joyous and happy.
Another purchase I regret not making is some of Phil Atrill's glass (Above left). I saw him years ago at the Origin Arts fair in Somerset house. I couldn't quite afford him then but I could now. They are big pieces. Swirling glass coming to a point, stained with strong colour. They are substantial pieces and so it is difficult to see where they would live without the prospect of their inevitable destruction hanging over them.
Paul Jackson (above right) presents us with what I suppose might be considered fairly classic ceramics. Vase shapes decorated in abstract colour. However they are very attractive, very well done and conceived. The soft pastel colours all work well with each other and somehow compliment the shape of the vase. The abstract designs or all interesting and again work well on the shape they inhabit. Restraint is an under-praised quality in an artist. This is an example of someone who knows where to stop.
There is no doubt though the presence of 15 pieces arranged in a grid really enhance each other. They make for a more powerful golden glow. Individual pieces are very attractive in themselves and I suspect they sell very well but the grouping is even more enticing.
A example of a similar thing at work is the column of Volker Kuhn's work (above left). Little 3d scenes set within a frame. Some of them are quite amusing when you exam them up close but again there is no doubt their collective appeal is greater.
Last up we have some scratch abstract work. I found the above left leafing through a folder of work. I recently brought something for such a foray so I do it more now. I like the two blocks of red colour and the barbed wire/tree like line that balances it. I took a photograph of the handwritten label on the back but unfortunately it is unreadable so the artist must remain a mystery to us all.
A similar style but much more figurative are Laura Boswell's linocut (above right). Again it is the scratchy nature of it that appeals to me, and those two balancing fields of colour, the gold and the black. It is a strong piece and again I can see these selling well.
That's it for this week. For the next couple of weeks it will all be about Tate Brtain. In the meantime I have slightly revamped my gallery page. Have a look. Tell me what you think. Buy things. TTFN
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.