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Philipp Rudolf Humm: Being and Time at Riflemaker 24th November – 1st December 2016


Indoctrinated, 2016, oil on canvas, 123 x 91cm ©Philipp Rudolf Humm


by Guy Sangster-Adams

In a similar vein to Gauguin who had a very successful career as a stockbroker before the 1882 stock market crash prompted him to revaluate and pursue painting full-time, Philipp Rudolf Humm who equally has enjoyed a very succesful business career was inspired to begin painting a few years ago during a period of profound self-reflection. His work is already gaining plaudits; the celebrated British art critic, curator, writer and poet, Edward Lucie-Smith has described him as “a highly sophisticated artist”, continuing “in an acutely original fashion he merges classical painting techniques with Pop elements, to create a new kind of Expressionism”.

Drawing heavily on art history, not least the influence of both his German and Belgian heritage – the Blaue Reiter, Delvaux and the Surrealist movement, in his paintings Humm creates playful mise-en-scènes that allow him to comment on the world around him. His work is often satirical but never censorious, allowing the viewer to engage freely with each work unfettered by conventional orthodoxies.


Liberated, 2016, oil on canvas, 91 x 123cm ©Philipp Rudolf Humm

One of his new works which will be exhibited in the exhibition, Being and Time, that showcases both Humm’s thematic approach and the quality of its execution is Liberated. Painted in oil but in a vivid Pop Art palette the work is thematically multi-layered. Inspired by The Kiss of Peace and Justice by 17th century French artist, Laurent de la Hyre, Humm reimagines the classical setting as a kiss between two contemporarily dressed/undressed women and as a projection upon a wall in front of which stand four conservatively dressed women.

De la Hyre’s painting was an allegory of tolerance titularly inspired by Psalm 85:10, “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other”. Humm’s setting also carries an evocation of the infamous ‘kiss’ the leader of the GDR, Erich Honecker, and his Soviet counterpart, Leonid Brezhnev, that was painted onto the Berlin Wall by graffiti artist, Dmitri Vrubel, in celebration of its fall. With Liberated, Humm evocatively contrasts the liberal and permissive aspects of Renaissance society with the increasing conservatism and extremism of contemporary politics – both the very real threat of another Wall, and the closed, intolerant culture that it symbolises.

Being and Time promises to be a fascinating and multi-faceted exhibition, that will both please the eye and engender many talking points.


Philipp Rudolf Humm: Being and Time
runs from 24th November – 1st December, 2016
Riflemaker, 79 Beak St, London W1F 9SU
Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm; Saturday: 11am – 6pm

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Oh America – Gee Vaucher: Introspective exhibition, Firstsite, Colchester, Essex


Oh America, 1989, gouache, 230x230mm ©Gee Vaucher, courtesy Firstsite

by Guy Sangster-Adams

It’s the image that took over social media from the moment that Donald Trump was announced as the new US President elect, The Statue of Liberty in tears with her head in her hands. But for most of yesterday the image was shared without reference to the artist who created it. This morning the image was the entire front page of the British mass market newspaper, Daily Mirror, and was also on the front page of the German newspaper, Handelsblatt. Since when the image has trended again throughout the day, but this time predominantly with the artist and the title of the image credited.

The iconic picture, Oh America, was created 27 years ago by British artist, Gee Vaucher.

Born in 1945 in East London, Vaucher attended the South East Essex School of Art & Design from 1961 to 1966, and then in 1967 inspired by the film, Inn of the Sixth Happiness, she and her lifelong creative partner, Penny Rimbaud, Dial House, a 17th century cottage in Essex which they turned into an open house for living and artistic experimentation. Just under 50 years later she still lives and works in Dial House.

In 1977, Dial House also gave rise to the collective/anarcho-punk band, Crass, of which Vaucher and Rimbaud were founder members. Vaucher created a series of iconic cover artworks for the band, and she continues to design covers to this day. Indeed Oh America was originally used as the cover artwork for the album, Friendly Hand Grenade, by the band Tackhead.

This Saturday, 12th November, the first ever survey of Vaucher’s artwork, Gee Vaucher: Introspective, opens at Firstsite gallery, Colchester, Essex, UK. In addition to Oh America, the exhibition brings together more than 200 works, many of which have never been shown in public before, and offers a complete overview of her fifty-year career, revealing the multifarious forces that have inspired and shaped her artistic practice.

Gee Vaucher: Introspective
Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex. CO1 1JH
12th November 2016 – 19th February 2017
Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm

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Art on the Beach. Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair Hastings Edition, The Stade, beside Jerwood Gallery, Rock-A-Nore Road, Hastings TN34 3DW 12pm – 4pm Saturday 16th July 2016

Sir Peter Blake, Hastings Memories, 2016  © Sir Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake, Hastings Memories, 2016, print 29.7 x 21cm. Edition of 150, £100 ©Sir Peter Blake

by Guy Sangster-Adams

Following their highly successful seaside forays to Folkestone and Margate over the previous two summers, this Saturday Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair visits Hastings for the first time. The event will take place on The Stade, next to the Jerwood Gallery, at the juxtaposition of the extraordinary tall tarred net shops and beach launching fishing fleet and the beach set amusement arcades, pirate mini golf, and pedal swan boating lake.

Hastings fishing boats from the Jerwood Gallery photograph by Guy Sangster-Adams ©Guy Sangster-Adams

Hastings fishing boats from the Jerwood Gallery, 2016, photograph by Guy Sangster-Adams ©Guy Sangster-Adams

The dual heritage of fishing town and seaside resort are celebrated in limited edition works created specially for the event by Sir Peter Blake and Marcus Harvey. The former has created a new print based on an existing collage, Hastings Memories, which he created from found objects collected on the shingle beside the fishing boats, whislt Harvey has created ceramic stoneware sandcastles. Inselaffe, the largest public gallery exhibition of Marcus Harvey’s work to date, also opens on Saturday at the Jerwood Gallery.

Marcus Harvey, Sandcastle, 2016 © Marcus Harvey

Marcus Harvey, Large Sandcastle, 2016, ceramic stoneware, fort-style sandcastle bucket size. Edition of 100 Special fair price £201.60 (usually £400) © Marcus Harvey

Since the first ACBF in 2004, co-curators Karen Ashton and Helen Hayward’s ethos has been that the event should enable everyone to engage with art and artists in a totally informal way and with all the artists taking part creating special limited editions and selling them in person on the day at affordable prices, “to pick up some real art bargains to boot”. A mix of boot sale and art fair many of the artists’ pitches are supplied by Vauxhall Motors who have sponsored ACBF since it began and on Saturday will be bringing both vintage Victors from their heritage collection and new Adams.

John Cooper Clarke, Chicken Town, 2016  © John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke, Chicken Town, 2016, 2-colour screen-print on 250gsm Somerset White Velvet paper with MP3 player and headphones, 30 x 40cm. Edition of 25 (unframed), £150. Commissioned and produced by Alteria Art with special thanks to Earl Broad & Johnny Green© John Cooper Clarke

Punk poet, John Cooper Clarke, is also taking part and in collaboration with in collaboration with Alteria Art has created a limited edition silkscreen print of the words to his most famous poem, Chicken Town, handwritten over the outline of his hand (‘the hand’ is the theme of this year’s ACBFs and is reflected in both the artworks and entertaiments). The print also comes with a recording of the track on a MP3 in the form of a pin badge.

Quentin Blake, Thoughtful Bird, Walking, 2016 © Quentin Blake

Sir Quentin Blake, Thoughtful Bird, Walking, 2016. Pen and ink on handmade Indian paper, 30 x 30cm. All the Blake works, of which this is one example, are framed originals and will sell for between £500-­£1000. © Quentin Blake

Other artists taking part include, Sir Quentin Blake, Fiona Banner, Keith Coventry, Gavin Turk, Wilma Johnson, Jennifer Binnie, and Christine Binnie, Helen A Pritchard, and Rachel Howard. Alongside live music, including Sarah Jane Morris, Band of Holy Joy, and Martin Creed and his band, there will also be hand themed entertainments including sleights of hand, glove puppetry,handbag slinging, and hand-printing. In addition to locally produced food, beer and wines.

Jennifer Binnie ACBF Margate Edition 2015 photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams

Jennifer Binnie at Art Car Boot Fair’s Margate Edition, 2015. Photograph by Guy Sangster-Adams ©Guy Sangster-Adams

However you get there, be it vintage Vauxhall, by train, on foot, or riding a white pedal swan, do so because ACBF are certain to rock Rock-A-Nore this Saturday!


Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair Hastings Edition, The Stade, beside Jerwood Gallery, Rock-A-Nore Road, Hastings TN34 3DW 12pm – 4pm Saturday 16th July 2016. Admission £3
For more information:
or follow: #VACBF

Full line-up
Marcus Harvey . Sir Peter Blake . Emin International (Tracey Emin is unable to attend in person but limited editions of her work will be available from Emin International). Worton Hall Studios .  Gavin Turk . Quentin Blake . Martin Creed . Fiona Banner . Rachel Howard . Keith Coventry . John Cooper Clarke with Alteria Art . Pure Evil . Hayden Kays . Alessandro Raho . Ian Dawson . Charming Baker . Camille Phoenix . Holly Allen . James Birch . Lincoln Taber . David David . Keeler Tornero . Jess Albarn . Rutie Bothwick . Mr Bingo . Colin Booth .  Helen A Pritchard . Matthew Burrows . Maria Teresa Gavazzi with Julia Maddison & India Roper Evans . Art on a Postcard . Herrick Gallery & Jeffrey Disaster . Cultivate with Sean Worrall, Emma Harvey, Quiet British Accent & Skeleton Cardboard . Jennifer Binnie . Christine Binnie . Wilma Johnson . True Rocks. Kristjana S Williams . Hastings Rocks . Mario Rossi . Phil Allen . X Ray Fog . Paul Stolper . Kate Knight . Dan Chilcott & Knitted Swimsuit Troupe . David J Batchelor . Jake Clark . Joe Packer . Bumble & Earwig . Amanda Jobson & Stuart Griffiths . Cate Halpin with The Outside World  Allstars . Wildcat Will . Olivier Richon . Jealous Gallery . Moniker Projects & David Shillinglaw . Marty Thornton . Cliff Pearcey . Paul Sakoilsky . Stine Goetrik . Tony Beaver . Turps Painters . Jessica Wilson . Swifty and Scrawl Collective . Wendy Newell with Oska Lappin, Jasmine Bell, Rufus Newell & Nick Snelling . Richard Clegg . Sadie Hennessy . Resort . Leigh Clark . Paul Hodgson . Deborah Bowness . Cullinan and Richards . Carrie Reichardt & Nick Reynolds . The Darren Coffield & Hedley Roberts Roadshow . Rennaissance Selfies . Matt Rowe  . Nina Saunders .  Smithson Gallery . Dion Kitson. Galerie Simpson . Band of Holy Joy . Sarah Jane Morris . Martin Creed & his Band . Special Guests . Magic .Borough Wines . eat@the Stade . Three Legs . William the Conequeror .

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Hands Up! Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair London Brick Lane Yard, London E1 12pm – 6pm Sunday 12th June 2016

Sir Peter Blake, 2016 ©Sir Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake, 2016, archival inkjet print, 29.7cm x 22cm, edition 150 ©Sir Peter Blake

By Guy Sangster-Adams

In a weekend of birthday celebrations for the Queen in which the regal hand wave will be much in demand and street parties will abound, it is entirely fitting that for this year’s art fair, come boot sale, come street party that is the right royal Art Car Boot Fair the theme is ‘the hand’. Eclectic and celebratory, eccentric, frivolous and often riotous, the success and fun of ACBF stem from the founding principle of co-curators, Karen Ashton and Helen Hayward, that it should enable everyone to engage with art and artists in a totally informal way and, with all the artists taking part creating special limited editions and selling them in person on the day at affordable prices, “to pick up some real art bargains to boot”.

Peter Blake ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Sir Peter Blake at Art Car Boot Fair Margate 2015 photo: ©Guy Sangster-Adams

Queues form early for ACBF regular, Sir Peter Blake, and his print for this Sunday’s event, which is in a limited edition of 150, celebrates the royal birthday with a portrait of the Queen, based on a photograph taken by Lord Lichfield, which was painted for a reception at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2002 to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Also marking this year’s ACBF theme the print features a hand-drawn hand with a pencil ‘signing’ the print.

Tracey Emin,You Loved Me Like A Distant Star, 2016  ©Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin,You Loved Me Like A Distant Star, 2016, poster, 70cm x 50cm, edition of 500, ©Tracey Emin

The line-up features both established and up-and-coming artists, including Keith Coventry, Tracey Emin & Emin International, Gavin Turk, Pam Hogg, Ben Eine, Pure Evil, Jessica Albarn, Vic Reeves, Kelly-Anne Davitt, Sean Worrall, and Lily Rose Thomas. Many of the artist’s pitches are supplied by Vauxhall Motors who have sponsored ACBF since it began in 2004 and on Sunday will be bringing both vintage Victors and new Adams.

Pure Evil, Bowie 1 in the USA © Pure Evil

Pure Evil, Bowie 1 in the USA, 50cm x 35cm, edition of 100, © Pure Evil

In one, renowned psychoanalyst, Darian Leader, will be turning the backseat into a psychiatrist’s couch, whilst also celebrating the publication of his latest book, Hands – What we do with them and why, whilst all around the theme of ‘the hand’ will be further celebrated with plenty of “hands-on entertainment” including palm reading with Bob & Roberta Smith, fine art on nails, sleights of hand and other magic, glove puppetry, handbag slinging, hand printing, exotic finger food, and hand-pulled pints and hand-shaken Martinis from Kitty Finer’s Artists Behind Bars’ hand-pushed trolley bars… and The Handbag Disco with Dan Chillcott’s Knitted Swimsuit Dance Troupe.

Helen Hayward and Karen Ashton ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-CP

ACBF’s co-curators, Helen Hayward and Karen Ashton, at Art Car Boot Fair Margate 2015 photo: ©Guy Sangster-Adams


All in all really no excuse to sit on one’s hands this Sunday!

 Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, Brick Lane Yard, corner of Brick Lane and Buxton Street, London E1
12pm – 6pm Sunday 12th June

Full line-up:
Sir Peter Blake . Tracey Emin & Emin International . Gavin Turk . Polly Morgan . Ben Eine . Pam Hogg . Rachel Howard . Marcus Harvey & Turps Banana . Keith Coventry . Pure Evil . Charming Baker . Vic Reeves . True Rocks . Darian Leader . Olivier Richon . Camille Phoenix . Bob & Roberta Smith . Art on a Postcard with Topolski, Tabby Costo & MoYou . Christian Furr . Colin Self . Moniker Projects . Jessica Albarn . Herrick Gallery with Jeffrey Disastronaut & Michal Cole . Sadie Hennessey . Jealous Gallery . Nina Fowler . Cob Gallery . House of Fairytales . Tom Crawford . Jimp . LM-6a Projects . Steven Whitehead . Schoony . Maria Teresa Gavazzi & Julia Maddison & India Roper-Evans . Jessica Voorsanger . Tracey Neuls . Artlyst PUNK 40 with Keith Levene (PIL),Mark Woods, Rebecca Scott, Michael Petry, Martin Sexton and Vanya Balogh . Cate Halpin & Julia Riddiough . Kristjana Williams . Stine Goetrik . Richard Strange & the Daylight Cabaret . The Idler Academy . Elli Popp . Holly Allen . Ian Dawson . Kate Knight . Wildcat Will . Bert Gilbert . Lily Rose Thomas . Paul Hodgson . Simon Bill . L-13 & James Cauty ADP Riot Tour . Cultivate with Sean Worrall, Emma Harvey, Quiet British Accent and Skeleton Cardboard . Boo Saville. The Darren Coffield-Hedley Roberts Roadshow . Galerie Simpson . Carrie Reichardt . Keeler Tornero . Ben Oakley Gallery with Ray Richardson, David Bray, Guy Denning . Trolley Books . James Birch . Bumble & Earwig . Helen A Pritchard . Paul Stolper Gallery with Sarah Hardacre, Kevin Cummins & Susie Hamilton . Nick Reynolds . Vanera Obscura . X-Ray Fog . Cliff Pearcey . Ric Blackshaw & Scrawl Collective . Swifty. The Fabulous Binnie Sisters . Marty Thornton . Coriander Studio . Jeff Towns and Dylans Mobile Bookstore . Matt Rowe . Smithson Gallery . Cullinan & Richards . Paul Sakoilsky . Joseph Gibson . Misha Milovanich. Nina Saunders & Red . Outline Editions . Ivan Black . David J Batchelor . Jake Clark .Kim Zoe Wagner . David David . Paul Kindersley . James Unsworth . Silvia Ziranek . Jessica Wilson and friends. Nicole Mollet & The Kent Cultural Baton feat. Bridgette Ashton, Nicole Mollet, Frog Morris, Sarah Sparkes, Hazel Stone, Duncan Ward and Jeanine Woollard . Kelly Davitt . Dan Chilcott & Knitted Swimsuit Troupe & Resort . Dion Kitson & the PBA’s . Richard Clegg . Tony Beaver . Artlyst . Art Club of Soho . Leigh Clarke and Crate . Rennaisance Selfies . David Stearn . Limbo with Krztian Borst, Paul Hazelton, David Price, Gavin Toye, and Sara Trillo . Lucy Sparrow . Nick Walker. Mr Bingo . Simon Lawson and Worton Hall Studios . Sarah Staton and Demelza Watts’s PeaProposals.
Plus! Drinks on Trolley Bars from Kitty Finer’s Artists Behind Bars . Longflint Cocktails . St John Bread (actually Custard Doughnuts) & Wine . Bean About Town . Beamish McGlue . Nude Espresso.
And WELCOMING BACK! Richard Strange’s stranger than ever Cabaret Futura including the return of BAND OF HOLY JOY! Oh! Standfast! and introducing Geraldine Swayne & friends, Kunsty the Clown (custard pie-ing).


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K-tee: Bitter Sweet – CNB Gallery 23rd March – 20th May 2016

K-tee, Fondant Egg, 2016 © K-tee. Courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery web

K-tee, Fondant Egg, 2016, resin, stainless steel, 15.2 x 7.6cm © K-tee. Courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery

By Guy Sangster-Adams

Pineapple was the nickname given to the MKII hand grenade designed by American firearms designer, John Browning, stemming from the grooves in its cast iron which acted both as a hand grip and also increased fragmentation. For artist, K-tee, the segmentation has always reminded her of a chocolate bar, and this idea has inspired her two series of sculptures at her first solo exhibition, Bitter Sweet, which runs at the CNB Gallery, London, from 23rd March to 20th May. The first series features MKII grenades, reimagined as though made of chocolate, and with a bite taken out of them to reveal centres of honeycomb, fondant egg, Turkish delight, and mint bubbles. The second series, which hangs along the wall of the gallery, are larger scale sculptures of the grenades bisected.

K-tee, Honeycomb, 2016 © K-tee. Courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery web

K-tee, Honeycomb, 2016, resin, stainless steel,15.2 x 7.6cm © K-tee. Courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery

Although looking like chocolate the sculptures are made of resin, fibreglass and stainless steel but K-tee has also teamed up with chefs Tom Kerridge and Claire Clark to create a limited edition range of the sculptures in chocolate – which, with the exhibition opening just before Easter, look like rather malevolent Easter Eggs.


K-tee: Bitter Sweet
runs from 23rd March – 20th May 2016
CNB Gallery, 32 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3LX


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David Ben White: Inside Outside – l’étrangère 30th October – 5th December 2015

2. Inside Outside 14 2015 for P-TCP

Inside Outside 14, 2015 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

By Guy Sangster Adams
“What a wonderful material to perfectly express part of the spirit of the Modern Age!” Le Corbusier proclaimed of plate glass in his 1935 article, Glass: The Fundamental Material of Modern Architecture. In the same article the Swiss-French designer, painter, writer, and pioneering modernist architect explained how buildings could be built with “glass walls” within a structure “formed of a rigid lattice” which is then “fitted with its mesh of translucent or transparent materials: glass”.

3. Inside Outside 17 2015 for P-TCP

Inside Outside 17, 2015 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

From within a building plate glass both frames the exterior view and brings the outside inside, with the flipside that from without plate glass frames the interior and brings the inside outside. In Inside Outside, David Ben White’s new multi-layered exhibition of paintings and sculptures at London’s l’étrangère gallery, White explores and subverts the styles, themes, and legacy of modernist architecture, design and art, the concepts of public and private spaces, and indeed also the notions of both an art exhibition and gallery space themselves.

5. Inside Outside 12, 2015 for P-TCP

Inside Outside 12, 2015 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

The exhibition begins with the series of paintings, Inside Outside, which feature imagined interior spaces characterised by their plate glass windows, but the clean easily assimilable modernist lines that one would expect are distorted, partially obscured and overpowered by the overlay of a rectilinear modernist grid; a grid upon a grid. The transparency and framing that a plate glass window would be expected to provide is subverted. Similarly the canvases are only partially framed and so the definition and separation between artwork and gallery wall is blurred, and the grid system that frames on a wall create is broken. This is taken further by the vinyl lines on the walls in the colours of the paintings that play with perspective and disrupt the viewer’s sense of space; are the paintings on the wall within the gallery, or is the gallery not a space but in fact within the paintings?

20. Fabrication of Pleasure 36, 2014 for P-TCP

Fabrication of Pleasure 36, 2014 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

In allowing passers-by a far clearer and larger view of the interior plate glass windows on domestic buildings diminish the privacy of a private space and make it far more public – turning the interior spaces into adhoc exhibitions/gallery spaces. Within Inside Outside White plays with this notion of public and private spaces by domesticating his modernist style concrete sculptures, a series called Fabrication of Pleasure, with high Victorian style standard lamp lampshades – which playfully subverts the modernist legacy.

19. The Personification of an Ideal (Sonia) for P-TCP

The Personification of an Ideal (Sonia), 2014 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

Also within the exhibition is White’s series of portraits Personification of an Ideal. The paintings feature modernist female artists, designers and architects, including Sonia Delauney, Eileen Grey, Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky, Ise Gropius, Lilly Reich and Gunta Stolzland. Continuing the theme from the Inside Outside series, in each portrait the women’s faces are obscured by the overlay of a rectilinear modernist grid.

10. The Personification of an Ideal (Anni), 2014 for P-TCP

The Personification of an Ideal (Anni), 2014 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

In these paintings White is using the grid to examine one of Modernism’s great contradictions – that while it stood for everything progressive, it was, paradoxically, extremely chauvinistic. Compounded by the fact that at the Bauhaus art school, to which when it opened in 1919 female applicants outnumbered male, Walter Gropius proclaimed that the school would not differentiate between “the beautiful and the strong sex” – in reality as T’ai Smith explained in her InVisible Culture article, Pictures Made of Wool: The Gender of Labor at the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop (1919-23), he sought to segregate the female students from the rest of the school and that weaving – which was seen as a feminised medium – was one of the few areas of study open to them.

11. Personification of an ideal (Clara), 2015 for P-TCP

Personification of an ideal (Clara), 2015 ©David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

The female artists, designers and architects in White’s paintings were all at the heart of modernism and all created extraordinary and influential bodies of work but were often overlooked at the time by galleries and the art establishment in favour of their husbands and male contemporaries, and to a certain extent their significance has continued to be overlooked until recently.



David Ben White: Inside Outside
runs from 30th October – 5th December 2015
at l’étrangère, 44a Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PD
Gallery open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm or by appointment

David Ben White

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Daniel Chadwick: Come Together – Dadiani Fine Art 9th October – 12th November 2015

5. We Go Together © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

We Go Together, 2013, solid polished bronze 48 mm x 54mm x 145mm (high) © Daniel Chadwick. Photo: Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

By Guy Sangster Adams
As a child I was discovered ever so carefully cutting up an atlas, fascinated by the idea that the British Isles had once been part of the landmass of continental Europe, and hoping that I might be able to achieve a jigsaw puzzle perfect fit along the coastline. Sadly a paper engineered European union alluded me, but that cartographical fascination has been reignited and taken to a new level by the sublime sculptures in Daniel Chadwick’s Come Together at Dadiani Fine Art in London.

4 We Go Together © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

We Go Together, 2013, solid polished bronze 48 mm x 54mm x 145mm (high), © Daniel Chadwick. Photo: Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

As though the fossil or mineral hunter’s rock hammer has become a map-maker’s tool, or perhaps the prerequisite for a new denomination, topography hunter, the sculptural pieces in Chadwick’s first solo exhibition in 10 years, feature perfectly smooth, featureless, flat sided ingots, bricks, blocks, of gold, silver, bronze, glass, acrylic, and wood, split in two via a perfect central fissure to reveal an interlocking, undulating, topographical core.

7. Marry Me © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Marry Me, 2008, fabricated sterling silver 36mm x 30mm x 163mm (high), © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

The undulations are inspired by the rolling Cotswold Hills close to Lypiatt Park (the Gloucestershire manor house he inherited from his father the sculptor, Lynn Chadwick, and the restoration of which he has continued over the past decade since his father’s death) and in the exhibition’s titular centre-piece, they follow the contour lines of the Ordnance Survey map for the area. The highly polished 18 carat gold from which Come Together is made making myriad the hills and valleys in the mirror reflection of each half. Similarly this strikingly beautiful effect is echoed in the other metal fabricated pieces, such as Marry Me, which is solid silver.

10. Come Inside © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Chadwick Studio, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Come Inside, 2015, solid polished bronze 36mm x 60mm x 190mm (high), © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Chadwick Studio, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Whilst continuing the evocation of nature for which Chadwick is renowned, the sculptural pieces, both in form and title – including Come Together, Marry Me, We Go Together, Come Again – have an overt and wonderful sensuality. A celebration of the embrace of nature and the passionate connection one can feel to a landscape, and also a celebration of the passionate and multifaceted connection with a soulmate.

12. Come Closer © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Come Closer, 2015, carved solid wood, flattened white cellulose paint 286mm x 140mm x 664mm (high), © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Paulina Korobkiewicz, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Chadwick’s multifaceted practice – artist, kinetic sculptor, engineer, architect, inventor and product designer – has informed all of the pieces in the exhibition which also includes two topographical reliefs created from wood and coated in plaster and three ‘flock paintings’ displayed on glass. To create the latter he invented an electro-static process to replicate patterns that were hitherto confined to his computer. “The lines,” as he explains, “are reproductions of the sorts of things I see on my computer screen when I’m generating paths to create these pieces. I see them, and I want to capture them, and I have captured them, and that is the job of an artist to try to possess visual (or other) experiences”.

Montage © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Chadwick Studio, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Montage of works from Daniel Chadwick’s studio, 2015, © Daniel Chadwick. Photo Chadwick Studio, courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

Come Together is fantastic and inspiring tactile map to the landscape Chadwick loves and to the topography of love, and as gallery director, Eleesa Dadiani, says “a compelling survey of Daniel Chadwick’s current practice – each work is beautiful and full of surprises, both in the mediums he has engaged with, and the processes that have brought them into being”.

Daniel Chadwick: Come Together
Dadiani Fine Art, 30 Cork Street London W1S 3NG
9th October – 12th November 2015

Daniel Chadwick

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Belgravia – Karen Knorr

Belgravia - Karen Knorr cover for P-TCP

Published by Stanley/Barker
Ltd edition of 1000 £45
Special edition of 35 (Clamshell Box set with a signed print) £400

By Guy Sangster Adams

The high white cover of Karen Knorr’s beautifully produced new monograph, Belgravia, echoes the resplendent stucco of the grand terraces of this exclusive area of London. Much of Belgravia was built by Thomas Cubitt, commissioned by the then Viscount Belgrave in the 1820s and predominantly still owned by his descendent the 6th Duke of Westminster. Belgravia lies a diamond’s throw from Buckingham Palace of which Cubitt also built the east façade which faces The Mall; the palace’s ‘public face’.

Karen Knorr Belgravia A House in Town for P-TCP

©Karen Knorr

Stepping behind the stucco and playfully subverting the idea of a public face, Knorr describes her photographs of Belgravia residents, taken between 1979 and 1981 and collected for the first time in this book, as “non-portraits”. Vanity and verity is the inherent struggle in traditional portraiture, but as Knorr explains her photographs are ‘non portraits’ because “they do not aim to flatter or to show the ‘truth’ of these people”. Equally her sitters are not named and remain anonymous, because, as she says, “the photographs are not about individuals but about a group of people and their ideas during a particular time in history”.

Karen Knorr Belgravia Security is for P-TCP

©Karen Knorr

Their ideas are conveyed epigrammatically beneath each image. Reflecting after each shoot on the conversations she had had with her subjects, Knorr constructed the texts – capitalising key words to emphasise the constructed and ironic nature. But the texts are not designed to illustrate the photographs they sit beneath, nor vice versa; Knorr’s intention is that in the space between the two they create a ‘third meaning’ “to be completed by the spectator”. Intriguingly that meaning will differ depending on the spectator’s own background and views. Knorr showed the photographs and accompanying text to all her sitters; some saw her intended humour, whereas, she says, “a lot of them said, ‘yes, that’s pretty much how things are’”.

Karen Knorr Belgravia Debs' Delights for P-TCP

©Karen Knorr

Beneath the image of the cover star, hair, stance, and clothes so archetypally early 1980s that he looks as though he would be equally at home at a Sloane Ranger Handbook informed débutante ball—which had a resurgence in the 1980s— or a Duran Duran concert, the text reads: “Debs’ Delights are on the list/They wear Gucci shoes/pinstripe suits/and take girls out/to places like/Regines.” Reading which I was reminded of lines from The Jam song, Saturday’s Kids: “Saturday’s girls work in Tesco’s and Woolworths/ Wear cheap perfume ’cause it’s all they can afford/Go to discos they drink Babycham talk to Jan – in bingo accents.”

Saturday’s Kids was on the album Setting Sons, which was released the same year that Knorr started taking her Belgravia photographs. It also contained the hit single, Eton Rifles, which Prime Minister David Cameron, who in 1979 had just started at Eton, has said was one his favourite songs at the time. In response to Paul Weller’s reported incredulity at this, wondering if Cameron did not understand that the song was satirising Etonians, Cameron told Alexis Petridis in The Guardian in 2011: “of course I understood what it was about. It was taking the mick out of people running around in the cadet force. And he was poking a stick at us. But it was a great song with brilliant lyrics. I’ve always thought that if you can only like music if you agree with the political views of the person who wrote it, well, it’d be rather limiting”.

Karen Knorr Belgravia Drones for P-TCP

©Karen Knorr

Similarly with Knorr’s photographs the spectator must decide whether the assumed privileged background of the proto-Goth band, the Dulcet Drones, given that they are photographed around a dining table in Belgravia, makes them risible or intriguing/possibly worth a listen… and whether it negates or makes laughable the text beneath the image: “I am part of a group/called the Dulcit Drones/We are basically into Rebellion/into changing Youth today.”

Privilege is, understandably, a key theme of the book. The text, “There is nothing/ wrong with Privilege/as long as you are ready/ to pay for it”, appears beneath a photograph, and is then repeated on the penultimate page, and broken down on the last page to “There is nothing wrong with Privilege …”; the ‘third meaning’ lying in the space between the ellipsis. In her exploration of privilege there is an element, Knorr has said, “of self-critique” in that she “was the product of a very well-to-do family; I had a lot of privilege and I was able to study in Britain thanks to them”.

Karen Knorr Belgavia Privilege for P-TCP

©Karen Knorr

Knorr’s upbringing was peripatetic – born in Germany, she spent her childhood in Puerto Rico, and completed her education in Paris and then in England. Her parents had moved to Belgravia in the mid-1970s, and when she in turn moved to London she lived with them for a few months, but only a few months because, as she says, “I felt uncomfortable actually being in Belgravia, I couldn’t relate to it”. This provides another layer to her series of photographs, which feature her family and their friends/neighbours, the simultaneous sense of being both an insider and an outsider.

Belgravia is a fantastic series of photographs, intriguing and thought provoking. It is equally fascinating 37 years on from when Knorr began the series to see what seems most outmoded and from another time, in both image and words. The deluxe/futuristic 1960s/1970s moulded plastic chairs, mirrored and chrome expanding coffee tables, now look far more of the past and retro, than the classical interiors. Lamentations about the lack of ‘pink’ – ie the British Empire – on the map is not something one hears whereas, “Every morning I wake up/and do 50 push-ups/I eat muesli and wheatgerm/for breakfast/You are what you eat”, sounds far more now than then. Whilst what sounded reactionary then, “I live in the nineteenth century/the early nineteenth century/I am fascinated by/Napoleon and Metternich/two antagonists”, now doesn’t sound like too bad a place to live…!

Karen Knorr Belgravia Theatre of the World for P-TCP

©Karen Knorr


It’s also interesting how Belgravia itself has changed in the intervening years. Although post-war many of the townhouses were no longer residential, but were embassies, charity headquarters, and offices, at the time that Knorr was photographing there were still residents of Belgravia to be photographed. With the exponential rise in London property prices and the attendant trend for properties in exclusive areas like Belgravia to be bought by international buyers purely as investments less and less people live there – as Sarah Lyall noted in her 2013 article in the New York Times, A Slice of London So Exclusive Even the Owners Are Visitors, “It seems that practically the only people who can afford to live there don’t actually want to”.

Which makes the rather poetical first text in Belgravia, which in 1979 would have sounded outdated, sound positively 19th century not 20th: “A House in Town brings much/Splendour and Comfort to a Gentleman/who must spend there the time/required for the administration/of State Affairs as well as/Patrimony and Property”.

Karen Knorr


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Elena Khudiakova: In Memoriam – Dadiani Fine Art 9th – 18th September 2015

Elena Khudiakova 1 ©James Birch courtesy Dadiani Fine Art P-TCP

Elena Khudiakova ©James Birch. Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

By Guy Sangster Adams

Elena Khudiakova and her good friend, the curator and art dealer, James Birch, had been planning to exhibit her second series of Soviet Pop Consumerism paintings at Dadiani Fine Art later this year. Sadly the London-based Russian artist and fashion designer died two months ago on 3rd June 2015, during a brief trip back to Moscow, at the age of just 57. In commemoration and celebration of her life and work Birch, who commissioned the paintings, and gallery owner, Eleesa Dadiani, decided to bring the exhibition forward.
Khudiakova studied for 7 years at Moscow’s renowned Architectural Institute, specialising in interior architecture, before later continuing her studies, from 1991-93, at the City and Guilds of London Art School. During which time, she began to develop her Soviet Pop Consumerism painting style and at Birch’s suggestion painted a series in this style. One of which was included in the group exhibition, The Curator’s Egg, at London’s Anthony Reynolds Gallery in 1994. It captured the attention of Charles Saatchi who asked to see the whole series which he bought almost in its entirety.

Perfume © Elena Khudiakova. Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art P-TCP

Perfume, Oil on canvas. 75 x51 cm, 2012 – 2014 © Elena Khudiakova. Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

There is a duality to Khudiakova’s ten canvas-strong new series, painted between 2011 and 2014, being shown under the title In Memoriam, because they also feature her material culture memories of her childhood in Soviet Russia including cheese, caviar, sweets, watercolour paints and inks, perfume, and leather-bound books. The typography of the brand names is as much a feature of the works as the objects themselves, which follows in the Pop Art tradition, which Khudiakova also uses to make a wry commentary on the Soviet Union – utilising a style renowned for celebrating consumer affluence and free market economy to celebrate items produced by communist state-run industries.
In addition to which, when one looks more closely at the paintings one notices that the imprint of the books is ‘EK’, the labels on the cheese also feature an ‘EK’… by inserting her own initials Khudiakova was also playfully exploring how artists themselves become brands and consumer items over and above their works – something that has perhaps always been prevalent, but is ever more so now. For a while Khudiakova lived and painted on a houseboat on the River Thames, her obituary in the Daily Telegraph, 1st July 2015, quotes her as saying that this “floating, liminal situation enabled her to appreciate the nature of the modern consumerist world, being a part of it but also apart from it”.

Sweets © Elena Khudiakova. Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art P-TCP

Sweets, Oil on canvas. 75 x51 cm, 2012 – 2014 © Elena Khudiakova. Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

As an expatriate for the second half of her life, liminality was also very much a facet of those years. When she first moved to London in 1989, with the written invitation to work for Birch she was one of the first Russians to have been able to emigrate without the condition of marriage. By dint of which there were very few Russians in London at that time which as Birch says, added to her out-of-the-ordinariness that her “unusual, exquisite, model looks, and her height – she was 5ft 11 inches” compounded.
Khudiakova and Birch had first met at UNESCO in Paris in September 1985 when she was part of the Russian cultural delegation. It was good timing because Gorbachev had become the Soviet president in March 1985 and the reforming era of Glasnost and Perestroika was under way, which made it far easier both for Khudiakova to assist Birch on his plans for a Francis Bacon retrospective exhibition in Moscow, but also for that exhibition to take place in 1988. Once she had moved to London she and Birch would often have dinner with Bacon, who described her as “exquisitely beautiful” and “enchanting company”.

Elena Khudiakova red skirt ©Grayson Perry   P-TCP

Elena Khudiakova photographed by Grayson Perry ©Grayson Perry. Courtesy James Birch

In 1989, Birch gave Khudiakova her first exhibition, Costume and Fashion Designs from the USSR, at his then gallery, Birch and Conran, in London’s Soho. Fashion and jewellery design had been her primary focus since she had graduated from the Architectural Institute in 1982, by which stage she had decided that clothing was “architecture in another form”. Inspired by the clothing designs of Constructivist artist, Varvara Stepanova, Nadezhda Lamanova, the celebrated pre-revolutionary couturière whose designs had to become very different in the Soviet era, and film-maker, Eisenstein, the exhibition featured 20 exhibits of ‘high fashion using imagery from behind the Iron Curtain’, which from time to time throughout its run Khudiakova would model.
The outfits included a red silk skirt hemmed with illustrations of workers’ heads that ‘march’ with the sway of the skirt, a red evening dress with pictures of Stepanova and the poet Mayakovsky stitched to the bust, and pictures of the Moscow skyline and metro along the hem, and metal belts made from Kremlin souvenirs.

Elena Khudiakova evening dress ©Grayson Perry  P-TCP

Elena Khudiakova photographed by Grayson Perry ©Grayson Perry. Courtesy James Birch

For the promotional material for the exhibition Birch asked Grayson Perry to photograph Khudiakova wearing the designs. Birch had given Perry his first exhibitions in the early-mid 1980s, and told me, “I wanted to help him out with some publicity so I commissioned him to take the photos…” he laughed after saying this, since Perry, who won the Turner Prize in 2003, is now internationally renowned. Birch had forgotten about the shoot until, in the days after her death, he was going through a portfolio of her work in her flat and came across the photographs; only one or two of which were published at the time.
A few months prior to the exhibition Khudiakova’s designs had also featured in the Russian section of Jean-Paul Goude’s famous parade in Paris marking the bicentennial of the French Revolution. Fashion and jewellery design remained the mainstay of her career: she worked for Vivienne Westwood from 1994-2010, she also designed for Pierre Cardin, and designed jewellery for Eric Van Peterson, Harrods, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In Russia her designs were included in Sotheby’s Moscow Avant-Garde sale in 1998, at which some were bought by Elton John for his collection, and in 2011 her designs were included in Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s Alternative Fashion for Glossies 1985-95.

Elena Khudiakova 4 ©James Birch courtesy Dadiani Fine Art P-TCP

Elena Khudiakova ©James Birch. Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art

There is poignancy to Elena Khudiakova: In Memoriam, not least that these last ten canvases must now remain the culmination of her Soviet Pop Consumerism, but as sadly such they must be, they are an exquisite apogée.

Elena Khudiakova: In Memoriam
Dadiani Fine Art, 30 Cork Street London W1S 3NG
9th – 18th September 2015

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HIX Award 2015 won by Allyson McIntyre

HIX Award 2015 Allyson McIntyre, Tracey Emin, Mark Hix P-TCP

HIX Award 2015 winner Allyson McIntyre, receiving her award from Tracey Emin and Mark Hix

By Guy Sangster Adams
At last night’s ceremony the winner of the HIX Award 2015 was announced as Allyson McIntyre for her artwork, Moon Cries for Ferdinand. Inaugurated in 2013 by renowned restaurateur, avid art collector and enthusiast, Mark Hix, and CNB Gallery director, Rebecca Lidert, the HIX Award is open to current students and recent graduates and provides a fantastic opportunity in the transition between studies and professional practice by showcasing their work.

This year’s award attracted hundreds of entrants from across the UK and also internationally, from which the 19 shortlisted artists were chosen. Their works were then hung in the CNB gallery, which is in the basement of Tramshed, Mark Hix’s chicken and streak restaurant in London’s Shoreditch, to be judged by the 22-strong award panel, including Tracey Emin, Dylan Jones, Liz Murdoch, and Ivan Massow. Of the shortlist, Massow says, “incredible quality work, it gets better every year”.

Allyson McIntyre - Moon Cries for Ferdinand P-TCP

Moon Cries for Ferdinand – Allyson McIntyre’s HIX Award 2015 winning artwork

After deliberation each judge awarded each artwork a score out of five. Almost all the judges award Allyson McIntyre top marks and she was the clear winner. “This work was a massive surprise,” says Emin, “I was really impressed with the confidence”.

Moon Cries for Ferdinand is a large work, taking up almost the entirety of the gallery’s end wall, and features a glittered but bloodied and tethered bull surrounded by a group of male spectators. “Allyson portrays the bull as martyr, importance to a subject which historically was only allowed to be painted by women,” explains Lidert, “through her work, Allyson reconfigures the climate of representation through the feminisation of deities, where the marginalized becomes the main focus.”

Allyson McIntyre P-TCP

Allyson McIntyre


Born in Canada, but now based in London, McIntyre graduated from University of Alberta in 2013 with a BFA majoring in painting and sculpture, before moving to the UK to continue her studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, from where she graduated this summer. In winning the HIX Award 2015 she receives £500 of HIX restaurant vouchers, a stay at the HIX Town House in Lyme Regis, on England’s south coast, £500 of Cass Art supplies, and also a solo exhibition at the CNB gallery next year – which presents a great opportunity as the winner of the HIX Award 2014, Felix Treadwell, sold out his solo show at CNB this summer.

Of the most recent recipient of the award bearing his name, Mark Hix says, “an absolute deserved winner, can’t wait to see what she does next”.

HIX Award
Allyson McIntyre
CNB Gallery

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This was The Art Car Boot Fair Margate Edition 2015…

Turner Contemporary, Margate, Sunday 30th August 2015

Dogs Running Loose ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams

Words and images by Guy Sangster Adams

“I normally have to queue,” said the woman paying for her purchases last Sunday morning at the artisan bread stall in Margate Bazaar, the open-air Sunday market in Margate’s Old Town. “They’re all off buying art,” the stallholder replied.

New to the town and following my nose – which was what had already drawn me to the bread – through the maze of streets of its historic quarter, now creative quarter with its plethora of galleries, eclectic independent shops and businesses, cafés and bars, I turned past the strikingly named and presented Georgian façade of Lady Tesla’s Loose Leaves & Mud. The owner, Roxanne Tesler, describing the how the area used to be 10 years ago, has said that it was, “a bit of a black hole – there was no street lighting, only boarded-up shops and pubs”, and that “you didn’t walk through Old Town unless you had to – or you didn’t care”. Now, with the impetus of regeneration, with the opening of Turner Contemporary in 2011, and the rebirth of Dreamland earlier this year, it’s a very different story.

ACBF Margate entrance photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams


Suddenly I emerged from the narrow street into the bright sunlit, Turner-widescreen sea- and limitless sky-scape of the promenade and looking to my left, to Turner Contemporary, on the site of the Romanticist painter’s beloved Mrs Booth’s guest house, I saw that the artisan baker was absolutely right. It was still half an hour before the Art Car Boot Fair was set to open in the gallery’s car park but there was already a queue stretching around the building and all the way up Fort Hill beside it. Everyone was indeed ‘off buying art’.

Peter Blake ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Sir Peter Blake sitting outside Dylans Mobile Bookstore (photograph ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

Although surreally from my vantage point it looked as though the queue actually lead, Noah’s ark style, to the RNLI lifeboat on its caterpillar tracked tractor and trailer. It had been moved to make way for the artists’ stalls, but also looked like a piece of public art in its own right set against the glass and steel backdrop of Turner Contemporary.

Helen Hayward and Karen Ashton ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-CP

Helen Hayward and Karen Ashton ACBF’s co-curators (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

The flood of people didn’t diminish throughout the four hours the fair was open. Reflecting on the turn-out a few days later, Art Car Boot Fair’s founders and co-curators Karen Ashton and Helen Hayward say, “we were bowled over, it was phenomenal, we’d expected 1000 people – and that in itself would have been a very successful day – but 3000 people came”. Their aim for ACBF, which is now in its 11th year, is that it should enable everyone to engage with art and artists in a totally informal way and “to pick up some real art bargains to boot”; all the artists taking part create special limited editions and sell them in-person at affordable prices.
Ashton and Hayward were not only bowled over by the numbers of people attending but also by how many of them bought artworks and, as Ashton says, “it was such a thrill watching people’s faces; so many people engaged and engaging with the art and artists, whether that was Sir Peter Blake, Tracy Emin or an art school ingénue.”

Peter Blake 2 ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Sir Peter Blake drawing and signing post-it note stick men (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

In the first 40 minutes after the gates opened at midday, Sir Peter Blake had sold 120 of the 150 limited edition prints he had created especially for the fair – a print of him visiting Margate’s mysterious and ornate Shell Grotto as a child. Once the print had sold out, Blake continued to chat with those queueing at his stall, outside Jeff Towns’ Dylans Mobile Bookstore, charmingly drawing and signing stick men illustrations on post-it notes for anyone that asked, posing for selfies, and generally pervading a wonderfully benign atmosphere – as interested in those who were chatting to him as they were in him.

Vic Reeves ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Vic Reeves (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

Meanwhile such was the queue to buy Tracy Emin’s neon heart, ‘Love is what you want’, limited edition prints from her stall that Hayward had to remove a part of the crowd control fencing at the perimeter of the site and ‘sculpt’ the queue back out along the promenade. Whilst she was doing that, as she told me later, she thought she spotted what would have been the event’s only incident of trouble… a chap in a denim jacket getting in by climbing over another section of fencing. She rushed over to apprehend the rogue only to discover as he turned around that it was comedian, artist, and actor, Vic Reeves. He was trying to circumvent the crowds to get back to his own stall!

Michael Hogben ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Michael Hogben (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

Also manning Reeves’ stall was his good friend and agent for his artworks, the always dapper, valuer, auctioneer, and antiques expert, Michael Hogben. Looking back on the event the day after and picking up on ABCF’s themes of engagement and the availability of great art bargains, he told me, “it was a really good day meeting art collectors and admirers of unique collectable 21st century art, many probably antiques for the future at affordable prices; Art Car Boot Fair do a great job”.

Kate Knight ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Kate Knight (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

One of the ‘secrets’ to the success of ACBF is that it is clear that the artists and stallholders enjoy the day as much as those attending – Ashton and Hayward aim for it to be “a day when the artists let their hair down” – and this creates a great atmosphere of fun and personableness that is infectious and inspiring. “It’s a knockout event that I’m honoured to be a part of,” painter, drafter, sculptor, Kate Knight, told me, “daring, colourful, and packed with bountiful booty”.

Pin the tiara on Edvard Munch's Scream P-TCP

Pin the tiara on Edvard Munch’s Scream (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

The fun and informality of ACBF belies, or perhaps more correctly attests to just how skilled and insightful Ashton and Hayward are in their production of the event, how much work and preparation goes into it, which then enables them within the fair’s carefully curated frame – be that ornate gilt Rococo or smooth brushed aluminium or both – as Ashton says, “to allow a percentage room of anarchy”. Which at Margate, as at all ABCFs, was a necessary percentage given such a breadth of artists, dancers in knitted swimsuits (from Margate’s month-long Tribes Festival) taking any opportunity and taking over any feasible or entirely unfeasible surface to dance upon or Conga line around, a superabundance of well-dressed and at times supercilious dogs waiting for the promenade dog show (as part of ACBF’s 2015 theme ‘dogs in art’), tiaras to pin on Edvard Much’s Scream, and the call-to-arms for children to ‘custard pie the artist’ with paper plates of foam… amongst many other sights and sounds. ACBF’s Margate edition had a tangible air of ‘edge of madness and eccentricity’ to it, which, of course, made it all the more compelling and fun.

Jessica Albarn P-TCP

Jessica Albarn (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

Jessica Albarn bee hexagons

Jessica Albarn’s Bee Hexagons

There is also a wonderful sense of familial warmth to ACBF, and this was very true in Margate. In some cases this is literal, in that Ashton and Hayward are sisters, Vic Reeves had his children with him, Kate Knight’s mum was helping her on her stall. Likewise for Jessica Albarn, who told me:
“ACBF in Margate worked out to be a great day! The weather held, we had lovely crowd, but also I had my mum and dad with me who were celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary. My dad was part of Dreamland in the 1960s so they thought it was a good time to revisit!”

Art on a Postcard ABCF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Art on a Postcard’s Gemma Peppé and Flo Lees (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

But equally the familial atmosphere exists in a broader sense of informality, approachability/ non-exclusivity, friendships and connections to be made and resumed. This has been wonderfully borne out by relative newcomers to the ACBF family, Art on a Postcard, who raise money for The Hepatitis C Trust (one of ACBF’s two chosen charities, the other being Just for Kids Law), with specially commissioned, signed, limited edition artists’ postcards, are relative newcomers to the ACBF family. As the charity’s Gemma Peppé, explained to me:
“We’ve loved our first year at Art Car Boot Fair; it’s been fantastic for us. We’ve made lots of new friends and artists to collaborate with, like Peter Blake, Rachel Howard, Jessica Albarn, and Vic Reeves who will take part in our forthcoming events and we’ve raised a tonne of money for The Hepatitis C Trust”.

Dog and bicycle ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams

All the proceeds from Art on Postcard sales go to the charity. The designs on the postcards available at ACBF have been informed by the ‘dogs in art’ theme, and at Margate featured designs by artists including: Rankin, Ray Richardson, Dougie Wallace, Hayden Kays, Cosmo Sarson, Robert James Clarke, Margot Bowman and Benjamin Murphy. “We’ve enjoyed the dog theme” Gemma Peppé tells me, “we even had our own resident English Bull Terrier, Brian, who came along with his pet, Ray Richardson, and joined us at both the London and Margate fairs.”
After leaving ACBF’s Margate Edition, with my head full of so many wonderful and hugely enjoyable sights, sounds, and inspirations, I sat for a while in the sunshine on the new revetment steps a little way along the promenade from Turner Contemporary. Descending elegantly into the high tide, the white stone steps are not only a fabulous place to sit, think, people watch, and enjoy the view that Turner loved, but are also part of the town’s new flood protection scheme. Prior to which the low-lying Old Town was liable to flooding.

Jennifer Binnie and Wilma Johnson Vauxhall P-TCP

Jennifer Binnie and Wilma Johnson’s shared vintage Vauxhall car boot.. and bonnet (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

Retracing my steps from the morning back through the Old Town I found it was now awash with people whose carefully clutched cardboard tubes and reinforced envelopes clearly demarcated them as having been to the Art Car Boot Fair. Not only did ACBF get three times more people at the fair than expected, but as Ashton and Hayward tell me, “there was a knock on effect for Turner Contemporary, who had one of their best ever Sundays with 4500 people through their doors, and also for the Old Town – the traders there were really pleased by how busy they were, and Margate as a whole”.

Jennifer Binnie ACBF Margate photo Guy Sangster Adams P-TCP

Jennifer Binnie (photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams)

Whilst considering how to conclude this article, I received a wonderful reply from artist and long-standing Art Car Boot Fairer, Jennifer Binnie to my request for her experiences of the day. At the Margate Edition Binnie shared the ‘boot’ of a vintage Vauxhall (from the heritage collection of ACBF long term sponsor, Vauxhall Motors) with her good friend artist and surfer, Wilma Johnson, with whom and her sister Christine Binnie, she founded the renowned Neo-Naturist performance based live art practice in the early 1980s. The reply she sent me evocatively encapsulates the day:
“The Margate experience was altogether enjoyable from the Airbnb on Saturday night, to driving around Broadstairs looking for Wilma’s lodgings on our way back to London on Sunday evening. Highlights were: discovering the Harbour Lights where you could get amazing cider and beer for £3 a pint! Hanging out with Wilma all day, meeting friends old and new, swapping art for hot dogs when we got peckish, an invigorating swim at the end of the day. And, I even made a small profit! Lots of fun!”
All-in-all ACBF’s Margate Edition was a wonderful slice of seaside bank holiday bonkers-ness. Long may Art Car Boot Fair continue!

Turner Contemporary No Parking P-CP

photo ©Guy Sangster-Adams


Art Car Boot Fair:
Turner Contemporary:
Art on Postcard:
Michael Hogben:
Kate Knight:
Jessica Albarn:
Jennifer Binnie:
Dylans Bookstore

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