The Other Art Fair . I am counting myself lucky that on Saturday a friend asked me if I was going to “The other art fair” – Huh? It was on for three days from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August and I am so glad I made it on Sunday. What a treat. This fair is run by Saatchi in locations around the world – Melbourne, London, Bristol, Chicago, Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Its purpose is to celebrate emerging artists in the country / region and to put artists and art-lovers in one space. This is a fair where you can find reasonably priced art from emerging artists. The fair was held in an old factory (now being repurposed) in Kensington. The artists were present to display their works in their own space, side by side 99 others. It was a space full of innovation, creativity, variety and talent. The artists were very generous in sharing what inspires them, how their practice has evolved over time, what techniques they have used. I had to check myself to not monopolise any given artists and to move on so I could visit as many spaces as possible.
I can’t possibly go through 100 artists but I will touch on a few that I had a good chat with. Put this event in your diary to attend next year, well worth the visit.
(If you are interested there is an app that can be downloaded to show you the full list of artists and their works. Go to your app store and search for The Other Art Fair and then select Melbourne.)
Garth Henderson: “current works sculpted within a 3D modelling environment and presented as contemporary print form, in limited editions.” Garth is an artist and a landscape designer. He is inspired by the organic geometry of Australian plants. He first started using computers 10 years ago. Today he creates, from scratch, an image of an Australian plant that actually looks as if it has been sculpted in metal, then photographed. In his 3D environment he also applies ‘virtual lighting” until he achieves the desired light and shadow. I can’t believe it is done on computer, and talking with him it is not a quick process (particularly the lighting effects). His work is exquisite.
Garth Henderson: “constructive_botanics_banksia_prionotes_01” Virtual 3D model, presented as a limited Edition of Giclée Prints on Museum Rag Paper. (Included with artist consent)
Sarah Boulton: Creates images from the heart, she doesn’t know what the work will be until it is finished. There are no polished straight lines here, the lines are organic and accompanied by curves and circles. She uses mixed media (e.g. ink, acrylic etc) and successfully meshes strong vibrant hues with softer pastel shades. I love her colour selection and the organic nature of her art.
Pilar Basa: creates beautiful botanical illustrations of Australian native flowers. Her images capture the vibrant colours of our flowers and the subtle, silvery greens and greys of the leaves. The works are created on quality white archival paper. Preparation is everything – being sure of your design / layout of the subject and its position on the paper. It needs a very steady hand and mastery of the medium, a white paper background is very unforgiving. No chance to paint over a boo boo. An unplanned drip of ink means painting another leaf or flower.
Pilar Basa: “The flowers I found in my room” giclee fine art print, 2018. (Included with artists consent)
Rachel Rovay: these works are an explosion of colour and while they may appear chaotic, take a minute to step back and soften your view, don’t focus on particular shapes – you might (not always) find a figure within. My favourite looked like a wonderful work in thick, glossy enamel – it wasn’t. Rachel uses a special resin (does not fade / yellow) on board.
Grant Stewart: grant creates work using robotic devices to draw his art. Grant has created a program that gives some limited instruction as to what can be done, what is not to be done and then leaves the rest to the computer to determine. The computer program manoeuvres a robotic device holding a pencil to generate the abstract images. The images displayed were crafted from very fine lines in close proximity creating contours and a sense of movement. Think of a fine fabric floating in a breeze. Grant captured interest because he had a set up with the robotic device in action creating a new image. This image was the antithesis of fabric in a breeze. This was all straight lines over a large space and it was amazing how random the work appeared to be.