Battersea Spring Staff Picks

Stacey Forshaw, Management Team Stacey, our multi-talented Management Team member, is eyeing up artworks from the beautiful to the downright humorous – anything that makes her smile is guaranteed a place on her wish list!



Lonely Figure by Erik Bille Christiansen, Hicks GalleryLonely Figure by Erik Bille Christiansen, Hicks Gallery
I like artwork that pokes a bit of fun at things as it reminds me not to take life too seriously – and who takes life less seriously than Goofy! Even though the painting is a little sombre in tone, Goofy’s ‘tip of the hat’ just makes me smile.

Stand L10


Weather Prophet by Stephen Lindsay, Lime Tree GalleryWeather Prophet by Stephen Lindsay, Lime Tree Gallery
I’m not normally a fan of figurative artworks, but there is something about Steven’s work that always draws me in. I love the contrast between the 2D background and 3D figure, it’s a very contemporary piece and I like works that challenge the traditional. The empty background is so full of possibility, I can finish the picture in my own imagination, dreaming up so many different scenarios for the swimmer.

Stand I7

Panic and Give Up by Martin Grover, Will's Art WarehousePanic and Give Up by Martin Grover, Will’s Art Warehouse
Martin Grover is one my favourite printmakers. I really like the ‘distressed’ effect of the print and the irony in there, too. It’s just a little bit of fun!

Stands H8 and L5



Nandilal Mishra by John Kenny, Capital Culture GalleryNandilal Mishra by John Kenny, Capital Culture Gallery
I adore John Kenny’s work. His photographs are striking, powerful and just so beautiful. I would be happy to have any of his work on my walls!

Stand D10



To see more of what will be at the fair browse our preview albums, or explore our Facebook and Pinterest pages!

Battersea Spring Staff Picks

Sarah Barrett, Programmes and Partnerships ManagerNext to pick out a few pieces already catching her eye is Sarah, our Programmes and Partnerships Manager. A fan of bold colour, Sarah explains below why she is attracted to these three eclectic artworks, all of which will be on show at our upcoming fair.


Melon by Rodrigo Branco, Ben Oakley Gallery.Melon by Rodrigo Branco, Ben Oakley Gallery
I love the playful style of Brazilian artist Rodrigo Branco – in particular his use of block colours, hand scribbled marks, wild paint strokes and disarmingly realistic features. He is known for creating large scale works on the sides of buildings and walls, and I think his work still looks bold and fresh when scaled down. He’s pretty much on top of my want list right now – I need a little bit of Brazil on my walls!

Stand PS2

Intersection AZ by Nick Bodimeade, Sarah O'Kane Contemporary Fine Art.Intersection, AZ by Nick Bodimeade, Sarah O’Kane Contemporary Fine Art
The two types of painting I seem to be drawn to are abstracts and landscapes, and Nick’s work seems to sit somewhere in-between. He isn’t afraid to pare down a scene to a few choice elements with a limited, but striking, colour palette. I love the way he scratches into the piece or leaves a bit of canvas exposed.

Stand C4

Turquoise Beach Cabin by Kate Evans, Antlers Gallery.Turquoise Beach Cabin by Kate Evans, Antlers Gallery
I love Kate’s delicate watercolours! I like the use of white space, which really makes the colour washes pop. Her subject matter, wildernesses and barren places, remind me to appreciate the quiet moments when things in life are getting hectic. It’s also refreshing to see the medium of watercolour showcased in a contemporary style.

Stand E1

To see more of what will be at the fair browse our preview albums, or explore our Facebook and Pinterest pages!

Battersea Spring Staff Picks

Jess Hall, Marketing Manager at Affordable Art Fair UKFor the second instalment of our Staff Picks series our wonderful Marketing Manager, Jess, has selected three of her favourite artworks that will be on show at the upcoming spring fair. From the beautiful to the bizarre, we love Jess’s very personal reasons for wishing these pieces were on her walls.


Flora by Keaton Henson, Black Rat Projects

Flora by Keaton Henson, Black Rat Projects
The deadpan humour of this amuses me. I want to hang it above a glass jar containing a single fairy by Tessa Farmer, who is desperately trying to climb out of the jar. It’ll be a little macabre corner in my living room.

Stand J11

Missy by Nathan Ford, Beaux Arts Bath.Missy by Nathan Ford, Beaux Arts Bath
This beautiful painting makes me feel very sad. It feels like looking into the future, I think it’s me in 30 years, aging and becoming translucent. I love how so much has been captured by using so little – the most sparing of brushstrokes, and I’m intrigued by the unexplained calculations in pencil to one side, as if the subject of the painting has been doing some working out of numbers in the canvas. Perhaps trying to work out what happened to all the years of her youth that have slipped by.


Stand E7

Roxanne Deep Green by Karenina Fabrizzi, Villa del Arte.

Roxanne Deep Green by Karenina Fabrizzi, Villa del Arte
The shoes. It’s all about the shoes. I no longer wear heels, too much ultramarathon running. So having this lady in my home, adding a bit of lonely glamour, perhaps hanging next to the Nathan Ford, would be like looking into the past, and the future, at all the selves that might have been.

Stand I14


To see more of what will be at the fair browse our preview albums, or explore our Facebook and Pinterest pages!

Battersea Spring Staff Picks

As the fair fast approaches, we’re getting rather excited about welcoming you into Battersea Evolution to see all the wonderful works adorning the walls. If, like us, you’ve been browsing our preview galleries you may have already spotted a few pieces you like the look of – we certainly have! So we thought it’d be nice to share a few sneaky peeks of what’s been catching the eyes of our team.

Emma Mansell, Affordable Art Fair UK Marketing AssistantTo start us off, Emma, our lovely Marketing Assistant, has picked out a few beautifully minimal pieces that she has already fallen for.



Ship Building. Lauri Hopkins. FOUR-WALLS Contemporary.

Ship Bui
lding by Lauri Hopkins, FOUR-WALLS Contemporary
I first saw Lauri’s work at a fair last year, and have loved them ever since. They’re made from vintage book jackets, and I love the way her precise, bold compositions give them a completely new, very contemporary feel. I’ve got a bookcase at home filled with a collection of antique books – I think this piece would look amazing on the wall next to them!

Stand K9


Chris Wilson. Shorelines III. The Doorway Gallery.

Shorelines III by Chris Wilson, The Doorway Gallery
I’ve always been drawn to quite minimal, monochrome pieces, and it was love at first sight with ‘Shorelines III’. I find the way Chris Wilson makes marks on the canvas fascinating – using layers of acrylic and graphite to allude to particular places and landscapes, whilst at the same time making the viewer very aware that they’re looking at an artwork constructed on a canvas.

Stand D1

Geoff Diego Litherland. Space Ship Earth - Accept What You Destroy. Antlers Gallery.Space Ship Earth – Accept What You Destroy by Geoff Diego Litherland, Antlers Gallery
I’m really interested in the relationship between art and science, and I spent a lot of time studying it for my Masters. I love the combination of surreal and scientific references in Geoff Diego Litherland’s paintings – to me they feel like a cross between a fairy-tale dream world, and a diagram from scientific text book. I don’t think I’d ever get bored of looking at this piece!

Stand E1

To see more of what will be at the fair browse our preview albums, or explore our Facebook and Pinterest pages!

Affordable Art Fair since the early days: Linda Blackstone

We can’t quite believe that the end of our second season of fairs is almost upon us! London based gallery Linda Blackstone is taking part in our last fair of the year in Singapore this week, and here she tells us all about how the gallery started and how she first became involved with the Affordable Art Fair.

Linda Blackstone Gallery at the Affordable Art Fair Singapore, Nov 2013. Image credit:  Sebastien Levigne

Tell us how you first started?
I always wanted to promote art, so in 1985, once my children were standing on their own feet, I found an almost derelict 18th Century Abattoir in North West London and set about turning it into a Fine Art Gallery. A friend who was an odd job man helped me and we found ourselves finalists in the Harrow Heritage Awards for transforming old buildings into places of beauty.

How did you first come across the Affordable Art Fair?
For some years I had been involved with the Watercolours & Works on Paper Fair and Rebecca Hossack, a fellow exhibitor, told me about Will Ramsay and his plans to start a new art fair. Always a supporter of innovation, I was determined to be one of the first to exhibit at an art fair that had the same ideals as my gallery. 15 years later and I am still taking part in the fairs!

What was your first Affordable Art Fair like?
Our first Affordable Art Fair was the most amazing experience. The organisation right from the beginning was excellent, the staff made us feel as if the fair had been running for years. It was so exciting. We sold more work in four days there than we did in the gallery in a month!

Which Affordable Art Fairs do you now do?
As well as the London fairs, we take part in New York, Singapore, recently Hong Kong, and have also exhibited at the Amsterdam and Brussels fairs.

Best thing about doing the fairs?
The fairs have introduced me to an audience I would never have reached from my gallery in North West London – they are a wonderful way to meet new people who love collecting art.

Funniest fair memory?
Owen Maguire of the Strathearn Gallery always dressed up in his kilt for the Battersea, Autumn Private Views and I would dress in a red chinese silk jacket. Our stands were opposite each other for 13 years until Owen’s retirement, so every year we would have a jig in the aisle between our two stands – a fun tradition.

What’s next for the gallery?
I will be exhibiting in Toronto next April for the first time at the Affordable Art Fair’s sister fair, Love Art. And the gallery will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary next September, so we are planning to hold a very special exhibition to celebrate 30 exciting years promoting our talented and eclectic mix of contemporary artists!

Art and interiors: where to hang art in the home?

Here at the Affordable Art Fair, we tend to compare buying art to falling in love. You see something you like, you can’t stop thinking it, suddenly you can’t imagine life without it and next thing you know wedding bells are a-ringing.

Which is fantastic, and something we couldn’t encourage more! But what happens after you’ve set up home together? It can be difficult to find the perfect spot for your beloved new artwork, so we thought we’d seek some expert advice from one of our galleries. Here, Art Angler’s Jason Dick explains how to place artwork within your home to maximum effect.

Art Angler gallery

How can art transform and enhance a room?
Art can transform a room in a variety of ways, but it all starts with what style you connect with. At Art Angler our first step is to discover the artists our clients like. Once we’ve narrowed it down, the next step is to determine the scale and orientation of the work the client is looking for. Often times, if we don’t have an exact size and shape available, we can present multiple pieces in a variety of layouts (for example diptychs, triptychs or stacked) to fit a particular space as needed.

A really vibrant and colourful palette, in a fun fresh style, such as the work of Xavi Carbonell, can bring a new level of energy to a space. Whilst a piece by Gloria Saez relays a strong sense of serenity and offers that feeling of “escaping” back to the quietness of nature, which a lot of people look for in art. They want a peaceful space to come home to after a long day of work.

Happy art buyer at the Affordable Art Fair NYC Spring 2014 edition

Can you use art to bring together the style of your home?
Art is a fantastic way to bring together themes and styles of interiors. People who are searching for specific colours to work with the palette of their home often come to the gallery. Perhaps it’s a tone, or a specific shade that will play off or complement other pieces within the space. Or maybe it’s a specific burst of colour or contrast they are searching for. Thought out properly, the right piece of art can transform and complete the design of any space. Although it’s important to also note that art can of course stand alone to great effect.

How do you decide where to hang a specific artwork?
This depends on whether you have any specific goals in mind for your interior space, but it always helps to consider the function of the room. What seems appropriate in terms of style and subject matter according to how you use the room?

Or maybe you have specific goals for the artwork itself – a strong statement piece, a pop of colour, freshness and power, or would you prefer the tranquility and calming effects of a more traditional landscape scene? And do you have a preference for palette – cool? warm? Are there particular colours you feel strongly about and want to highlight in your home?

And finally you have the basics, like how high or low to hang in a space based on visual perspectives. Typically works are hung with the centre of the work at eye level, but those rules can be bent to create a more harmonious overall environment.

Art being hung at the Affordable Art Fair NYC Spring 2014 edition

Why do you think we should hang art in our homes?
There are lots of reasons to hang art in your home as mentioned above, but the most important reason for me is that art speaks to us without words. When we connect with a piece it brightens our lives. It’s an endless story to explore and discover at our own pace, and in our own space. It can energize us, relax us, change our mood, and all that’s required of the viewer is a simple glance.

October Arts

Autumn has well and truly arrived, and although the evenings may be drawing in there are plenty of inspiring exhibitions on at the moment to draw you out. Here’s our pick of the arts this month:

Gareth Kemp, Tropic of Capricorn, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40, £750

Threadneedle Prize: Figurative Art Today
Mall Galleries, London
Awarded for contemporary figurative and representational art, the Threadneedle Prize is one of the most prestigious annual art prizes in the UK. With over 60 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures, it gives an exhilarating overview of new directions in contemporary practice. Not to be missed is installation artist James Tailor’s striking acrylic awning installation, whose work will also be featured at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea in October as part of the Recent Graduates’ Exhibition. Make sure you remember to vote for your favourite piece to win the Visitor’s Choice Prize too!

Free entry
25 September – 11 October 2014, 10am – 5pm

Turner Prize 2014

Turner Prize
Tate Britain, London
This week sees the opening of the 2014 shortlist exhibition of the coveted and controversial Turner Prize. The four shortlisted artists include Duncan Campbell and James Richards, both of whom present challenging works in film, Ciara Phillips, who showcases her distinctive printmaking practices and Tris Vonna-Michell who develops intriguing stories through audio recordings and live performance. Always an exciting exhibition date for the diary!

£11 adults, booking advised
30 September 2014 – 4 January 2015

Deep Space Winner

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014
The Royal Observatory Greenwich
For the stargazers amongst you, the Royal Observatory is holding its annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition – showcasing incredible images taken by photographers from around the world. The exhibition really will leave you star-struck as you gaze upon images of eclipses, star trails, the solar system and planets as you’ve never seen them before.

Until 24 February 2015, 10am – 5pm

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War
Imperial War Museum
On a blustery Sunday, what better way to spend an afternoon than wandering around the recently renovated Imperial War Museum? Newly opened after a lengthy sabbatical, the museum is now fresh and light, and its current exhibition marks the Centenary of the First World War. A thought-provoking combination of art and history, ‘Truth and Memory’ explores the dual perspectives of war art. Split across two galleries, the first tackles art produced during the war, the second art produced in retrospect. With work from well known artists such as Paul Nash, as well as from others you may not have come across, this exhibition takes an insightful look at the impact of war on the artists who experienced it.

Open daily, 10am – 6pm

Dynamic Suprematism 1915 or 1916 by Kazimir Malevich 1879-1935

Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art
Tate Modern, London
If you haven’t been yet, don’t miss your last chance to see ‘Malevich’ – the widely acclaimed blockbuster show at Tate Britain closing this month. In the first ever retrospective of the Russian artist in the UK, Malevich’s work is used as a visual map to trace the turbulent period of Russian and world history in the early-twentieth century. If you only associate Malevich with his infamous ‘Black Square’ – then think again – you’ll be amazed at the power, colour, and complexity of his artistic output. Definitely worth a visit!

£14.50 adults, booking advised
Until 26 October 2014

 Quentin Blake, Inside Stories

Quentin Blake, Inside Stories
House of Illustration, Kings Cross
Whether it’s the BFG, Matilda, or Esiotrot, everyone has a favourite Roald Dahl character bought to the life by the drawings of the wondrous Quentin Blake. An inspiration to writers and illustrators alike, Blake’s work is the centrepiece of this charming show where we see his early sketches take their recognisable forms. The exhibition also features his lesser-known, more recent collaborations with writers such as David Walliams and Michael Rosen, giving us an illuminating insight into the relationship between artist and illustrator, and the processes that link the first drawings to the final form. A brilliant show about a much-loved illustrator – highly recommended!

£7 adults, £4 child
Until 2 November 2014

Artistic Inspiration: Ann Kelson and Rosa Nussbaum – Recent Graduates Exhibition, Battersea Autumn Collection 2014

Ever wondered where artists get inspiration for their work?  For many, both the subject and form of their artworks can stem from something highly personal and identifiable – be it a life event, experience or sensory reaction to the world around them.

Two emerging artists, whose work has been selected for the Affordable Art Fair’s Recent Graduates’ Exhibition in Battersea Park 2014, have shared fascinating, moving stories with us about the inspiration behind their works.  Their reflections illuminate the contrasting ways in which internal and external experiences respectively afforded them their particular, personal perspectives, which are manifested in their unique creations.

Recent Graduates Exhibition. Ann Kelson. Be Careful What You Wish For.

University of the West of England graduate Ann Kelson crafts her intricate sculptural works from wishbones – fractured and painstakingly repaired.  Heavily autobiographical, Ann’s inspiration stems back to a single life-changing event of sixteen years ago, when her husband took a fall at work and was left paraplegic.

Ann described the inspiration behind her wishbone sculpture ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’:

‘Living busy, able-bodied lives, it was easy for me to wish that my husband and I could spend more time together.  Then, one day, my husband went to work and, having suffered a spinal injury, came home four months later as a disabled man.  Suddenly we spent all day every day together.  My wish had come true.  My husband’s spine, thanks to amazing surgery, has been stabilised but will never be fixed or whole again.  With these bones I am attempting to convey how I feel about the fallible, imperfect repairs.  My wishbone restorations will never reverse the devastating destruction, and some will only ever see damage.  The delicacy of the bones combines with the fragility of the repair to convey the insubstantiality of every certainty on which we build our lives.  I would like to recognise the way our lives have been reassessed and, although different, I can now see a new beauty and preciousness in the reconstruction.’

Where Ann’s artworks present a highly internal exploration of shifting priorities, values and viewpoints, Wimbledon College of Art graduate Rosa Nussbaum’s sculptural installations are inspired by a physical interaction with her external surroundings.

Recent Graduates Exhibition. Rosa Nussbaum. Living the Dream.

Rosa told us about the moment of inspiration for her lightbox ‘Living The Dream’:

‘When I was in Brisbane in December I was walking down the street.  It was a warm summer evening, the dusk a deep translucent blue.  I was thinking about Dave Hickey’s description of Las Vegas.  So pink and shiny and kitsch – so desirable.  The images of my inner and my outer eye overlapped just when I looked up and saw a cinema marquee, illuminated, hanging a few meters over the street.  And I felt that longing, that undirected desire for an unattainable and unspecified life.  The words came later, when I was about to walk through a door.  Someone had used the phrase earlier that week and it had struck me as funny – this tacit agreement on what the dream is – so universal, so established.’

Both Ann and Rosa’s work will be showcased in the Recent Graduates’ Exhibition, alongside a hand-picked selection of other exciting emerging artists from this year’s UK degree shows.

Affordable Art Fair since the early days: Colourbox

For the next instalment of our long-standing exhibitor series, we’ve been chatting to Christine and Tom of Yorkshire-based gallery Colourbox. As well as running the gallery, they are both themselves artists and they have been participating in the fair since 2002.

Tom and Christine of Colourbox gallery

Tell us how you first started?
We started out painting together in 1996 and did a lot of artists’ fairs, like the one in Battersea Town Hall and Teddington. We quickly realised that art fairs were a brilliant way to meet lots of new customers and a great way for them to discover new art.

How did you first come across the Affordable Art Fair?
We heard about the Battersea fair in the autumn of 2001 while we were at an artist fair. Everyone said Battersea was fantastic and we thought it could be exactly what we’d been looking for. The artist fairs were good, but we wanted something set at a higher standard with a more professional edge. We called Nicky Wheeler and luckily they were just about to launch a new spring fair in 2002 and had a few stands left, so we took one.

Colourbox studio

What was your first Affordable Art Fair like?
We had no idea what to expect as we hadn’t actually visited an AAF before we arrived for the March 2002 spring fair. We were totally blown away by the scale, the quality of the work and the level of organisation. We were extremely nervous as we had taken a leap of faith to take part, but it was brilliant. We sold about seven of our paintings on the first morning!

Which Affordable Art Fairs do you now do?
We do all the UK fairs and have done Singapore three times.

Christine from Colourbox gallery hard at work!

Best thing about doing the fairs?
It’s fantastic to meet new art buyers, and of course seeing our regular customers and getting the chance to talk to them about what we do.

Funniest fair memory?
Michael McIntyre asking for a discount on a small painting at the last AAF Hampstead!

What’s next for the gallery?
More of the same we hope. We’ve decided not to do the international fairs because, as we are also artists, other galleries are happy to show our work at those, so we will continue to do Battersea Spring, Hampstead and Bristol for as long as we can. It will be our 15th Battersea next March!

Affordable Art Fair since the early days: Woodbine Contemporary Arts

As part of a new series of interviews for the Blog we’re interviewing some of our exhibitors who’ve been with the Affordable Art Fair since the early days. Here, Rowan and Liz from Woodbine Contemporary Arts tell us about how their gallery began, and the last fifteen years with the Affordable Art Fair!

Tell us how you first started?
We met at Cardiff College of Art in the late 60s, whilst studying for Fine Art degrees. I was two years ahead and took up a teaching post in Peterborough after my PGCE – Liz joined me later having graduated and also undertaken a PGCE. Neither of us stopped producing art and for a number of years we were members of the 678 artist group, which exhibited throughout East Anglia. When the group folded we both continued to paint, and on moving to our present home in south Lincolnshire, we restored the small derelict cottage at the end of the garden as a gallery space- initially to show our own work, and also that of one or two artists we knew.

Where did the name Woodbine come from?
The name of the cottage was ‘Woodbine cottage’, due to the large honeysuckle bush at the side of it – woodbine being the country name for honeysuckle. When the galley opened in 1997, it was called Woodbine Cottage Gallery, although the name was later changed to Woodbine Contemporary Arts.

How did you first come across the Affordable Art Fair?
We didn’t find the Affordable Art Fair, the fair found us! In the early days we used to advertise in Art Review and we think Will, the fair founder, found us there. The first thing we knew about the fair was when a letter from Will arrived, explaining what he was planning to do, and would we be interested in applying. Although I’d not long left teaching and money was tight, we both knew it was something we should be involved in.

What was your first AAF like?
Our first AAF was exhilarating, stimulating and exhausting. Exhilarating, because suddenly we were part of a big London event, with a large footfall and a higher level of sales than we could achieve in our small and very rural gallery. Stimulating, because like the visitors, we could see in one event what 90 other galleries were doing and achieving. Exhausting, because fairs are tiring anyway, but as our two sons were still at school, we would drive down from Lincolnshire on a daily basis to ensure that they could see us, and we could see them, every day.

Which Affordable Art Fairs do you now do?
We now take part in Battersea, Hampstead and Bristol fairs, although we have also taken part in the Amsterdam fair.

Best thing about doing the fairs?
For us the best thing about the fairs is that not only do they give us the chance to be part of well organised and well publicised events, from which we have built up a large client base, but to be part of something which, at the same time as being groundbreaking, influential and now global, allows us to still feel part of the family.

Funniest fair memory?
There have been many funny moments, but one which stands out is when, a certain lady from a certain Bristol gallery, on a quiet Friday afternoon, decided to prove that she could to the splits, and did so in the middle of the aisle!

What’s next for the gallery?
What’s next? Immediately, it is the Bristol fair, but after that, to keep pushing up the quality of what we show, and how we show it, and also to look at the possibility of taking on another Affordable Art Fair.