We spent just under two days building our new installation for the front exterior. With this year’s art fair theme ‘Art and Nature’ buzzing in our heads we came up with our own highly creative interpretation ‘Wigwam Ponds’: using a variety of tree branches, of different lengths, and stems of boxwood we made a series of wigwam structures; these contained miniature ponds with the blooms of amaranthus cascading over the sides and ivy leaves trailing above the water line; all were lit up to stunning effect. We extended this raw theme further for the internal areas, ‘Autumn Whirls’, i.e. spiral autumn leaf garlands, poised on the rim of clay jars, that contained Aconitum stems. Finally for the wine bar, sponsored by www.laithwaites.co.uk we placed orchid stems on a bed of ivy leaves, the black vases with white stems and white vases with pink blooms.
Our tour of the galleries on preview night took us two hours and with so much quality work on display it really has been difficult to select a few choice pieces for this review: West Two Gallery, www.westtwogallery.com displayed the artistic talent of Brazilian Artist Claudio Castelo, one piece that really stood out was ‘Myself I shall adore’. The title really speaks for itself, a truly adorable piece of work; two favourites from Will’s Art Warehouse, www.wills-art.com are Virginia Dowe’s dog sculputures, sympathetic and very cute, and the floral drawings of Anouk Mercier reminded us of the work of 18th century illustrator Mary Delany.
We fell in love with the work of Scottish Artist, Robert Springham whose portfolio was hosted by the Axolotl Contemporary Gallery, www.axolotl.co.uk ‘Riding the bull’ really stood out for us; Emma Cowlam’s thread sketches provide something very different to what one would normally see in a gallery, www.northcotegallery.com; Liam O’Farrell’s work reminded us of the artistic humour of Stanley Spencer, www.Liamofarrel.com; the fairy-like fantasy images of Stephen Mackey really enchanted us, www.ingofincke.com ; the rather disturbing nightmarish work of David Shanahan provoked a lot of interest, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alexander Slatter’s Silver Birch panel with a gold leaf background is really rich in texture and volume, he was exhibited by Kendalls Fine Art, www.kendallsfineart.com ; the wire work of Helaina Sharpley literally stood out from the crowd, the 3D effect is brilliant, Byard Art, www.byardart.co.uk.
Other artists that caught our eye were: Garry Harper’s ‘Summer Acrylic’; Craig Mitchell’s sculptures have a Scandinavian quality which suit our Scandi taste, www.strathearn-gallery.com ; the very freakish puppet like creatures made by Scott Radke are so deliciously sinister that you can’t help looking at them, www.richardgoodallgallery.com; finally the paintings of artist Esther Nienhuis look so real they could have been caught on camera, her raindrops on a car windscreen are brilliant, www.r-h-g.co.uk
In a week’s time we will be at the very first Affordable Art Fair at Hampstead. This is an exciting prospect as we will have more space to decorate and our own exhibition stand.