You may have noticed that I’ve not updated my blog much recently; not at all, in fact, for six months. If you had been waiting to hear from me, I can only say sorry — but I’ve been very busy with lots of exciting projects and plans that I’ll update you on over the next few weeks (and one involves my new website that I’m so excited about I just have to give it this brief little mention).
But down to the business of blogging, and a really wonderful event, that holds a place close to my heart (it’s where my partner took me for one of our early dates), is The Affordable Art Fair. It takes place in London twice a-year, in Hampstead (the setting for said romantic date) and also Battersea, which opened today and closes on Sunday.
I’ll be heading over tomorrow — so keep an eye on my Twitter feed for anything I spot and post — but ahead of that, here are some pieces that will be there that I’m really looking forward to seeing in person (and hopefully, maybe even the artists behind them).
First (top left) is Nathan Ford’s pensive portrait, Joachim. It's oil on canvas, and is 70cm x 70cm (Beaux Arts Bath £4500).
There is a real moody energy to this picture and I simply love the colours — dusty blues and moody greys. And it's these very colours that make this piece so easy to place. It would fit beautifully in most schemes because of the soft, muted tones.
Then is Ian Chamberlain's piece (centre), Transmission 1V (51cm x 62cm, edition of 30, Antlers Gallery £495). Ian builds his etchings in layers of exquisite details and this is a beautiful example of that. I've always had a soft spot for etchings anyway, but Ian’s are spectacular. This piece has an almost sci-fi feel to it (indeed my partner has just commented that it reminds him of an 'AT-AT Walker' from Star Wars, and I can sort of see what he means) — it feels like it’s going to come to life and walk into the room.
Etchings look great in groups and a sharp, black, modern frame and crisp white mount really sets this look off.
On the right is Kate Williamson’s quirky Storykeepers, in porcelain, paint, cotton and other materials (Drugstore Gallery £395 each).
These little ladies are so quirky I can barely take my eyes of them. I don’t understand them, but I love them and want to keep looking and watching, hoping to figure them out. I’m left wondering what is happening next? And again I love the colours — subdued and quiet. As a group, the tone-on-tone really works and adds interest too.
Placing these, like Joachim, would be easy. They would be great as background pieces, but they would also work taking centre stage, standing lone on a plinth with a sharp spotlight to draw the eye.
Another artist whose work I'm looking forward to seeing in person is Steven Lindsay.
Just look at how brave the composition of his work is and how he is not afraid to use negative space around the subject matter. His use of colour is spectacular — it's always perfectly balanced.
Every one of his pieces provides a great main focus piece for a room. His strong, bold colours can set a base theme and tone for a scheme. All his images above would look beautiful on powdery grey walls, using any accent colour (the red in the top left image, for example) as the accent colour for the room.
There's no question that he can be challenging though, and he does some more eery/disturbing 'Marmite' pieces — you will love them or hate them. Have a look at his piece below and see what you think, but personally, I'm very much a fan.