On an autumn day in October 1999, ten thousand art lovers descended upon Battersea Park to browse thousands of paintings, sculptures and prints in a friendly environment. It was the first ever Affordable Art Fair – which has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon, hosting events in 10 cities around the world including London, New York, Hong Kong and Amsterdam. Each year over 185,000 people gather to explore a mixture of local, national and international art from both established artists and rising stars – plus take part in workshops, listen to talks and enjoy live music.
The fair returns to its original home this spring, from 10 – 13 March. Visitors will have the chance to browse work from over 110 galleries, with pieces available from just £50 (hence the name). Below we share some of the highlights.
Affordable Art Fair 2022: What To See & Do
The Very Peri Collection
A focus for 2022 will be Pantone’s Colour of the Year, an entirely new shade called Very Peri which combines periwinkle blue and violet red. A collection of works on show will capture the dynamic spirit of the shade, which is described by its creators as having a courageous presence.
The Affordable Art Fair is a great way to discover new artists and galleries, with 15 new exhibitors on show at the 2022 event. This includes Heriot Gallery of Edinburgh, who will be presenting figurative works from Angela Reilly and Peter Hallam. On the emerging artists front, there’s Marcus Aitken, a recent graduate with a unique colour palette and a focus on large scale abstracts, and Jamaican-born Mekia Machine, who presents a collection of block-colour portraits.
If you’re looking for high-end photography for your home, check out fair favourites Bleach Box, Capital Culture and Drugstore, who are showcasing works from artists like Richard Heeps and Benjamin Rice. Other names to look out for include Lidia Moroz (Lysenko Gallery), Lexi Laine (La Belle Epoch) and Derrick Boateng (Will’s Art Warehouse).
Live Art Displays
As well as browsing the finished works, you can watch artists in action. The 2022 programme includes Jess Quinn, who will be live painting her signature fairy-tale gouaches on paper, plus Gabriel Chaim, who will be demonstrating the process of hand-mixing his own paints by grinding semi-precious stones.
Art After Dark
Fancy making a night of it? On the Thursday and Friday evenings, the atmosphere is kicked up a notch with music from resident DJs and complimentary drinks. This year’s official drinks partner is Campari.
Tickets from £10, affordableartfair.com
Main image: Paul Wadsworth, Picking the Fruits, 1950, Iona House Gallery