Today was ‘Free Friday’ in Battersea at the Affordable Art Fair. If you’re on their database they kindly tell you when the AAF is on and also, with a print out of their email, allow you free access on a Friday for you and a friend.
I love this show and have mentioned it before. The concept of the AAF is that there is art affordable to everyone. The most expensive item is £4,000 but there are plenty of pieces, sculptures, prints or pictures for much much less – I saw some today for £40.
The ‘arena’ in Battersea Park is set up with about 6 corridors with approximately 10 galleries on each side of the row. Each gallery has an ever changing wallscape as items are purchased and taken away by admirers of art and art lovers looking for the new and upcoming artists. Over the years I have seen some artists continue to exhibit there, the prices of their works increasing with every year as they obviously are becoming better known and appreciated. I’ve also kicked myself on several occasions when I’ve seen something I’ve loved and not bought it, only to find that I’ve lusted after it all year and returned to discover the artist is twice as expensive the following year.
This year, as always, we wandered up and down the corridors. We stopped and admired many items of work. We also grimaced and commented to each other on a few that weren’t to our taste. We longed to be as gifted as the artists displaying and, occasionally, we commented that we could do that (if only we put our minds and creative spirits into it!).
We listened to other attendees talking about the art work. We agreed with some and not with others.
There are three main things I love about the AAF.
1/ It’s not pompous. You can attend without knowing the first thing about a brushstroke or about the method of creating an acrylic effect. You can stand in front of a piece of art and say “I love it” without having to justify why or needing a new language to appreciate art.
2/ You see people leaving with packages held closely. Pictures and sculptures wrapped neatly up and and carried home. Often you see people who don’t look like art collectors going home with something that’s affordable and that they simply love. A joy to see artwork appreciated by everyone.
3/ By the time you reach the final corridor and final gallery you realise that you’ve seen a hugely diverse collection of artwork. BUT you can go back to corridor A and start again… each gallery has now changed as artwork has been purchased and replaced – each gallery once again looks new.
The Affordable Art Fair is on in Battersea until Sunday 28th October.
The next one is in Hampstead, North London starting on 1 November. Oh and if you can register and get an email, you may also be able to attend their ‘Free Friday’.
There are others now too… Bristol, Hong Kong, Stockholm etc etc… Join their mailing list
See in Hampstead on Friday. I’m hoping that there are some works by David Mitchell for sale at a price I can afford… See you there.