The word inaugural is such a lovely one, not only marking the beginning of a journey, but a commitment to longevity, the creation of an institution – and in our case a very arty one! This is exactly what we are aiming for when we open the doors to the new Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, 5 – 8 September.
As Fair Director for the Melbourne fair, I have been working closely with our roster of expert galleries and, in turn, their hugely talented artists, to make sure 100s of high-quality artworks from Australia and beyond adorn the walls of the Royal Exhibition Building for your perusal. After all, we’re well aware that you only get one chance to make a first impression!
If you’ve been paying close attention to our inspirational blog, you’ll have seen that we’ve already introduced some of our homegrown Aussie Galleries, exciting international galleries, our Young Talent exhibition artists and not-to-be-missed fair attractions. So, now all that is left to be shared is some of my favourite artworks – the ones that have stood out from the crowd and I can’t wait to see in person!
AFFORDABLE ART FAIR MELBOURNE, FAIR DIRECTOR’S PICKS
1) Kerry Bruce, Blooms of Beauty
The energy and passion in this abstract still life grabbed my attention immediately. With her spontaneous and free-flowing style, Kerry Bruce flips the traditionally stoic subject matter, a floral arrangement, on its head and taking the viewer entirely by surprise with such a passionate still life. Just look at the expressive textures, energetic tones and emotive colours – what a great piece! Swing by the Fern Street Gallery stand (D02) to see this work and more from the regional NSW gallery.
2) Bart Sanciolo, Lust
I was introduced Bart Sanciolo’s calm, elegant sculptures by Collingwood based Fox Galleries (stand B06). Bart is a Sicilian born artist who emigrated to Australia in ’68 and you can see the strong cultural references to Italian art in his practice. Primarily a sculptor and painter, his large-scale bronze sculptures would be impressive in a public foyer whilst his smaller works like Lust (at 39 cm high) would be the perfect accompaniment to a contemporary home.
3) Gina Fishman, Drifting (main image)
I love the sense of peace and serenity of this artwork as it reminds me of hot summer days spent lazing in the pool. Inspired by every day scenes, Gina Fishman’s work demonstrates her mastery of acrylic paint which captures the glistening water and reflection of the sun. Born and bred in Melbourne, stop by JAG Contemporary to see Gina’s work in person (stand B09).
4) Kate Hopkinson-Pointer, Park Series 3
With three children at home, when I look at one of Kate Hopkinson’s landscapes, I can’t help but think about the magical forests from one of our fairy-tale storybooks. Hopkinson explores and perfectly captures the shafts of light pushing through the trees, creating dramatic shadows using a rich strong palette of layered acrylic and oil paint. Stop by stand C13 to see Kate's work with Project Gallery 90.
5) Kitti Narod, A Photograph of Queenie (above)
Discovering fresh artists from around the world is a passion of mine and also many of our galleries. Tusk Gallery (stand C08) found Kitti Narod’s artwork online fourteen years ago and immediately booked a flight to Thailand in order to meet the artist. This began a long collaboration between the Tusk Gallery team and a series of talented Thai artists. I love the whimsical happiness in this every day scene and can just imagine it brightening up my kitchen walls.
6) David Hinchliffe, Rainy Night in Melbourne
I’ve been lucky enough to see the very talented David Hinchliffe paint live during the Hong Kong and Singapore Affordable Art Fairs, where he transformed a blank canvas into an incredible city vista. So, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this gorgeous, saturated Melbourne scene – one of a series which I’m looking forward to seeing at the fair on the Manyung Gallery stand (C10). This artwork shows Flinders Street with St Pauls in the background. While it is a rainy night with umbrellas up, there is a glowing warmth to the city that captures the spirit of Melbourne perfectly.
7) Jorg Karg, Slow Rain (below)
Just three simple colours are used to create this hugely impactful artwork. German photographer, Jorg Karg, builds his atmospheric digital photo collages with an unflinching sense of subjective perception. They are literally designed to make you react emotionally, then stop in your tracks for further contemplation – and this piece entitled Slow Rain does exactly that for me! Don’t miss his work on the Byron Bay based Retrospect Galleries stand (C11).
8) Dónal Molloy-Drum, Offering
Irish-Australian sculptor, Dónal Molloy-Drum, lives and works in the Wimmera region. He is inspired by the vast spaces of the Australian landscape which have been pivotal in creating his minimalist sculptures. Dónal masters the use of steel, brass, copper, resin, wood and plaster to create structures with silhouettes that manipulate light and capture the still and empty spaces of the Aussie landscape. See his work in person on the West End Art Space stand (C05).
9) Charlotte Elizabeth, Tenderness
Originally trained as a theatre designer and working in London’s West End, Charlotte Elizabeth created enormous backdrops and murals for many famous stages. Following a move to Asia, Charlotte was inspired to change direction and focus solely on her tranquil painting, which she now creates from her studio in Singapore. If you’re looking for a piece to calm your mind after a frenetic day at the office, Charlotte’s work would be the perfect antidote to install in your home. Visit the AAD Gallery stand (D05) for a closer look.
10) Gareth Edwards, A Floating World
Gareth Edward’s abstract landscapes and seascapes remind me of William Turner’s expressive colourisations and dramatic sense of scale. The beautiful oil paintings provide just enough hint of a scene to capture your attention, while leaving you with enough space for your own emotive interpretation of each piece. This work, titled A Floating World makes me imagine a million different possible locations, environments and emotional states. It’s certainly an artwork that would evolve to match your mood. See Gareth's work on The Gallery Eumundi stand, A08.
I hope the pick of my favourite works has inspired you to join us for the very first Affordable Art Fair Melbourne. Follow the link below to snap up a ticket, or visit our fair page for more information.
Gina Fishman, Drifting, 2016, $4,500, acrylic, Jag Contemporary.
Featured art from first to last:
Kerry Bruce, Blooms of Beauty, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas, 90 x 90 cm, $2,990, Fern Street Gallery.
Bart Sanciolo, Lust, 2019, $4,900, bronze, edition of 8, 39 x 11 x 12.5 cm, Fox Galleries.
Gina Fishman, Drifting, 2016, $4,500, acrylic, Jag Contemporary.
Kate Hopkinson-Pointer, Park Series 3, 2019, $4,500, oil on marine ply, 120 x 100 cm, Project Gallery 90.
Kitti Narod, A Photograph of Queenie, 2019, acrylic on canvas, framed, $2,990, Tusk Gallery.
David Hinchliffe, Rainy Night in Melbourne, 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas, 91 x 182 cm, Manyung Gallery.
Jorg Karg, Slow Rain, digital photographic collage under Diasec, edition of 12, 80 x 58 cm, Retrospect Galleries.
Dónal Molloy-Drum, Offering, 2018, stainless steel, West End Art Space.
Charlotte Elizabeth, Tenderness, 2019, oil on linen, 183 x 122 cm, AAD Gallery.
Gareth Edwards, A Floating World, oil on canvas, 55 x 57 cm, The Gallery Eumundi.