#58: An Art Special – 07/07/2019

The Other Art Fair is headlined as an art fair for a new generation of art buyers and it is presented by Saachti Art, BUT ‘This isn’t an end of the line!’ I hear you say so why is this included?

Well I was visiting by invitation from Saroj Patel who I’d met during the street art festival in Croydon last September, and I welcomed the opportunity to attend as during my travels I’ve encountered art in many shapes, forms and sizes. Most recently whilst visiting Battersea Park, where the prominence of large scale art designed around/within new building development is growing, and I for one welcome and enjoy it. 

Not that I’m an out and out art enthusiast, but I know what I like and I’m intrigued by things I don’t understand. This is a relatively short blog, and is more of a means of bringing ART to you as well as providing a platform for those artists I met and whose work I enjoyed and discussed with them.

The Other Art Fair consisted of 100 established local and international artists, and additionally included eight 2019 graduates from Central Saint Martins who had been given the opportunity to show their final graduation exhibition earlier this year.

But what is art? – here are some sayings captured from over the centuries:

  • A picture is a poem without words – Horace
  • Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful – Duane Hanson
  • Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time – Thomas Merton
  • Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature – Cicero
  • Art is literacy of the heart – Elliot Eisner
  • Art is not what you see, but what you make others see – Edgar Degas
  • Life imitates art far more than art imitates life – Oscar Wilde
  • Painting is just another way of keeping a diary – Pablo Picasso
  • You don’t take a photograph, you make it – Ansel Adams

Saroj Patel – graduated with a BA Hons in graphic design in Leeds and now with an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2019. As part of her final work, entitled Taraxa, Saroj was excited to have been selected to exhibit at The Other Art Fair. Saroj is enthusiastic and passionate about her work and creations and has a vision of creating large scale 3D installations incorporating textile and paints. Have a look at her website and Instagram page for more examples of her work, but here are a few from my collection. 

Chris Close – Chris’ work stands out as the quality of his printed photographs are of the highest standard. Large scale landscape prints, deep in tone give the photographs a moody feel. Such is the quality of the photographs that you could be forgiven for thinking they are very fine art, and this is attributed in part to the materials he uses to complement the quality of the pictures taken.

We chatted for a while about the advent of digital photography and how there’s a resurgence in purists returning to Black & White photography using film – aha, that’s where I grew up. Chris also owns an independent Gallery in Edinburgh where other elite photographers are represented. 

Amber Roper : The Blühen Studio – another graduate from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Textile Designs, Amber’s enthusiasm for her woven work shone through when we spoke. Her works on display were of coloured wool woven over hand prepared frames and she explained her creativity in designing the colour combinations flow from her naturally. A delightful lady who was happy to chat and share her passion for her work, which is now internationally recognised. 

Francesca Borgo: Frabor Art – I stopped by to admire Francesca’s paintings as they had a simplicity about them, and yet a depth in what they represented. To me, they provided a reminder of home in Aberystwyth with a horizon splitting the sea and sky. There was nothing discernable in the paintings but the colour combination, softness and tone made them inviting. Talking with Fransecsca she explained she now lives in Trieste with the Adriatic as her palette overlooking Venice in the distance and the mountains of Slovenia and Croatia behind her. No doubt landscapes that clearly inspire her colour palette. I didn’t take any pictures but please visit her website and Instagram page

Merab Surviadze – born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Merab has on display two particular artworks that caught my eye. Both are representative of his style and consists of 3D acrylic paint works from his latest collection entitled Shadows. One in particular has tiny figures placed on canvass as if they are crossing a zebra crossing, and looking closely at the second, the yellow splashes of paint could symbolise people with black lines emanating from them suggesting a shadow.

Jonathan Speed – Jonathan’s work had a contemporary feel similar to Franseca’s (see above) although his style was quite different. The impression is one of moody peace and tranquility inspired from cloud formation and sea/sky horizons. Blues and reds are the main colour palettes of Jonathan’s work on display, which has a style not dissimilar to JMW Turner.  You can view Jonathan’s work here.

Talia Golchin – a multi-disciplinary, self-taught artist who explores themes revolving around ‘human behaviour’, her art reflects a novel, intelligent and sometimes humorous perception of the world.

The work on display, entitled Those we love and Loathe ‘…is a series of artwork depicting a sardonic view of the most reviled and admired personalities of the past century. The art is designed to stimulate both visual and intellectual senses as well as question the perception of the world around us when examined in detail…’. 

In essence there are two layers of images. The backdrop comprises of postcards for escort services similar to the type you may find littering phone boxes, and the frontispiece are other cards in a similar style, but of famous/infamous historical figures. The artwork extends boundaries too as you’re invited to ring the advertised number getting you through to a prerecorded voice message in a style you may expect to hear as if you were ringing the numbers from the cards in the background. A provocative piece indeed… Here’s Talia’s Instagram page

Ravji Dedhia Unadkat – this artists’ husband was looking after the exhibition and he explained that the work I was admiring was influenced by the artists enjoyment of playing the piano and the vertical keys were actually bits of canvas cut from other work of hers. The keys are also laced with gold so that in the right light, the piece glistens.

Picture of the Day

I caught this gent studying the narrative about the Graduate Art Prize and he was oblivious to his surroundings so I quickly caught the moment. I’ve cropped the original shot to remove any unnecessary distraction and applied a Google Photos Vista Black & White filter to add a measure of graininess to emphasise the monotone outcome.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5; Shutter Speed – 1/125; Focal Length – 25mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Vista (B&W)

Social Media

YouTube, Instagram, Google PhotosTriptipedia – here I share some tips I use when travelling around London. A different twist on my ‘end of the line’ story

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