Connecting art lovers with 120 emerging artists who can engage with and explain their art to visitors, the Other Art Fair is now in its 5th year. Over 700 applicants were whittled down to the final selection by a group of art experts resulting in wide fields of styles and media with a good international representation.
The works include sculpture, drawings, paintings, collages, prints and sculptures, often seeking to transform existing materials into something new. Mark Beattie bends industrial pipes into curving dynamic fluid orbs, Andrew Wenrick, with his background as an architect, creates a tension between precision and imprecision using materials such as pencil shavings and Lene Blandbjerg creates dandelions and butterfly wings from scalpel and razor blades.
There are magical mysterious worlds in Olivier Marc Thomas Leger’s finely detailed ink drawings which he describes as “ecological imaginations of fantastic animals, physiology and interconnections” and in Dan Hillier’s prints with the style of late 18th century illustrations, while cities are represented in many ways which celebrate the architecture and the people in them such as with Jakoye’s fascination with urban geometric shapes and new topographical maps from Kristjana S Williams who combines graphics and intricate 19th century engravings in her work, Damilola Odusote’s three dimensional topographical drawings which celebrate the meaning and identity of places alongside the transport routes that connect them and Vaughn Horsman’s detailed work created using computer code blending his interests in topography, typography, art and computing – and where his works include fonts alongside their related computer codes.
Artists would not be artists without some work edging into the world of politics. Benjamin Buckley’s adopts the style of Sino-Japanese woodblock prints, but with a modern twist on the changing influence of western brands in China in “Heinz Tower” exploring the recent acquisition of the Chinese food company Foodstar by Heinz, and D13EGO, with a 15-year career on the trading floor of a leading investment bank, exploring the relationships between people, politics and money with images of the heads of communist leaders printed onto the iconic $10 dollar bill, reflecting the growing influence of China, Russia and, potentially, Cuba on western economies.
Lastly, Steve McPherson crosses many boundaries. The source material for his works is the plastic debris that he finds washed up on the Kent coast and he views himself as an treasure-hunter, archaeologist, collector, environmentalist, artist and story-teller as his work engages the viewer in trying to imagine where the materials might have come from and what their history might be before they washed up on the coast, awaiting discovery by Steve. and transformed into art.
The Other Art Show improves each year and is fast snapping at the heels of the “Affordable Art Fair” while having the focus on the artist, many of whom have already achieved success in their careers, here to enthusiastically explain their work to potential collectors. It also provides ongoing support through its website for potential purchasers of works they might have looked at and not quite decided on at the time.