What a pleasure to wander through the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park after visiting the execrable displays competing for the Turner Prize, earlier in the week. Currently showing until 24th October, the AAF covers what most people define as ‘real art’ – painting, sculpting, print-making and photography.

More than 100 galleries are gathered together under one roof where you can stroll in a simple, well-lit and relaxed environment. Absent is the snobbishness often pervading West End galleries. Here you can chat to the artist about his or her work. There are also hands-on workshops covering everything from print-making, drawing and sculpture to abstract painting.

At previous fairs, I’ve felt that abstract painting was not well represented so it is good to see it catching up to the ‘farmyard art’ so popular with many British artists. There are still plenty of horses, cows and colourful gardens, but the ratio is now roughly 50-50 with many highly original displays to ponder over.

It is probably invidious to select anything from the level playing field, but I especially liked Trevor Price’s flesh-toned octopus-like couples, Susan Foord’s luminous abstracts and the innovative collages combining nature and antique curiosities called ‘Still Remains’ exhibited by the Columbia Road Gallery on Stand K8.

The Affordable Art Fair leaves you with that ‘feel good’ factor. And who knows you may even find that statement piece for your flat. Works are priced between £50 and £3000, the
exhibition is open from 11am-6pm. Ticket prices from £10-20, children under 16 are free.
AAFs are also held in Amsterdam, New York, Brussels, Sydney and Melbourne with a Singapore launch in November and Milan in February 2011.

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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  1. Jenny Woolf says:

    Another exhibition worth seeing is the Independent Photographers at Strand gallery in John Adam St. WC2. Such fresh and interesting stuff. But you will need to hurry as it ends on 30 Oct.

  2. C.O. says:

    Thanks for dropping in Jenny. I will definitely catch this.

  3. cobweb says:

    Thought this one was lost! Glad to see and read it found once more. At present in Sydney is the open air Sculpture by the Sea, always interesting and of course knock-out setting as one walks from Bondi to Bronte via the coastal pathway sans traffic just sea, gulls and air.

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