Art Fair: Urban Art 2013
It’s sizzling hot this weekend and I am wondering if not staying inside sipping on a glass (insert your favourite cool drink here) would be more pleasant than going to an open air art fair. In the end I decide it might be worth it, and am very happy to find that Josephine Avenue is lined with big trees giving visitors (and exhibitors!) a welcoming shade.
A smart ice cream van driver has found his way here too.
Urban Art is an annual event. As Tim Sutton, the founder of Urban Art once walked home to his house in Josephine Avenue one evening some 12 years ago, he suddenly had a vision of art hanging on the reilings along the street. Urban Art was born. The fair is an opportunity for artists to showcase their work at a reasonable price.
This year around 200 artists are exhibiting including painters, printmakers, photographers, mixed media artists and street artists. There are many local artists but equally many seem to have travelled from outside of London. As expected, the quality of the arts on show varies enormously – mirrored maybe by the prices. Some pieces sell for £10 and other ones for £1000.
One of the maybe longest exhibitor is Jennifer M. Taylor, who is here for her 8th time. Although living in Hastings, she keeps coming back year after year. The fair gives her great exposure, she explains, so it is worthwhile for her to travel here. Jennifer clearly has a thing with stiletto shoes, as her artwork focuses around them. Working with images of stiletto shoes, she crates collages using vintage fabric, buttons, paper and whatever else she might find (see www.pinkshoelady.co.uk).
Another long serving exhibitor is Shahi Patel, a local Brixton documentary/street photographer and fan of Photofusion – he talks very fondly about the time when Photofusion still was a co-op in the early days. Year after year he tells himself that this is the last exhibiting at Urban Art but then he finds himself return after all. The reason is, he says, that he lives in a second floor flat and the prints are heavy to carry up and down the stairs during the weekend.
Zoë Burt (www.zoeburt.com) is also familiar with Photofusion and has taken one of our courses in the past. She started using cyanotype as a method of printing pretty motifs onto textiles, such as t-shirts, and has since then expanded her types of media to include photography. She creates dreamlike cyanotype camera-less photographs of trees, leaves, and other subjects including people. Zoë tells me about an exciting project she is currently working on: Seeds of Fashion (www.seedsoffashion.com). In this project she documents every step of a piece of clothing from seed to fashion, sown and grown. Zoë calls it ‘slow fashion’.
A photographer who also likes alternative printing processes is Estelle Vincent (see www.estellevincent.com). A few of her works – beautiful black and white portraits from the series ‘Elles’ – displayed at Urban Art are created using liquid emulsion. A lot of her work is film based and she likes experimenting with toy cameras.
A new feature this year is the designated area on one end of the street for street art. Here I find big white walls which are to be painted with spray during both days. Furthermore, a life size tube wagon stands there, waiting to be sprayed. The new area turns out to be a hit with many passers by stopping to have a look at the spectacle – and many travelling especially for this to this year’s Urban Art.
For more information about Urban Art and how to book your space for next year, see www.urbanart.co.uk
Written by Mari Boman, Photofusion intern