Review: The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park


Can art really be affordable for the average Joe on the street?


By Khaleda Rahman

Can art really be affordable for the average Joe on the street?

At this year’s Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park, it seems so.

A breathtaking display of contemporary art awaits you a stone’s throw from the iconic Power Station, and while prices do go up to £4,000, this year’s fair has a huge emphasis on art under £500.

Founder Will Ramsay said: “To make art accessible and affordable to everyone, the Affordable Art Fair provides a relaxed, unstuffy environment so people feel confident to explore.”

And there’s so much to explore – hundreds of artists, established and unknown, exhibited in 111 galleries.

The biggest space is dedicated to the Recent Graduates’ Exhibition.

Here, 24 recent art graduates from schools all over the UK get a massive early boost in their career.

Saba Askary, the exhibition curator’s assistant, said: “This is their one chance to get exposed to the outside world after just graduating.

“For some of these artists, this is a fantastic opportunity.”

She added this year’s standout star is Sanghyun Kim, a graduate of the Chelsea College of Art and Design, whose work sold out on the opening night.

Rosie Emerson, one of Britain’s most aspiring young artists and a Kingston University Fine Art graduate, was kind enough to show me her work personally.

Her ‘long thin ladies’ evoke female archetypes from classical goddesses to the supermodels of today.

However, the use of a naughty word led to one of her pieces being banned from the family-friendly fair.

 She had *** written on her arm as a tattoo. It wasn’t the nudity, it was the language.”

 It seems Rosie’s work is all about turning heads.

Last Monday, she became London’s first ever art busker, hitting the concourse at St. Pancras station to capture still life for public entertainment.

The performance raised £205.40 for the Fair’s chosen charities – Caring for Courage and Keats Community Library.

“I loved seeing all the surprised looks from people rushing to work when confronted with an artist and a life model busking,” said Rosie.

“Why should busking be limited to musicians? I think my artistic interpretation turned heads and got people talking!”

Nicky Wheeler, MD of the Affordable Art Fair UK, said: “We decided to bring the excitement of the Affordable Art Fair to the streets of London and remind us the capital that creativity is all around us every day.”

A hugely popular piece at the fair is Charlotte Posner’s quirky Frog Prince.

She said: “Everyone’s been taking pictures of it. It’s just fun. I think art should be fun.”

Inspired by the fairy tale, Charlotte made a plaster mould, spray painted it pink and covered it with Swarovski crystals.

Mr Ramsay said: “You don’t have to be a squillionaire to have original art on your walls.”

And he’s right!

If you missed the Battersea fair, there is another opportunity right around the corner – the Affordable Art Fair will hit Hampstead Heath on November 1-4.

 For tickets and information, visit or call 020 8246 4848.

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