Scandi Vibes at the Affordable Art Fair post Lockdown

Scandi vibes at the Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair has returned with fanfare after lockdown and the re-opening in Battersea this autumn was the best ever. Lots of colour, abstracts, celebrity portraits and photographs as well as ceramics and sculpture were on display. Pieces on sale went for between £50 – £6,000. Here in Scandi vibes at the Affordable Art Fair we pick out the works of art we’d hang. And this time we skip the overtly glam, the celebrity paintings and the glitter embossed canvases.

One theme at the fair caught our eye – it has been a trend for some time – naive art. The childlike paintings of flower pots and people are pure charm. And while they look as if you and I could easily paint them (and much cheaper!) they are often quite complex. The fair is a feast for the eyes and food for thought – and lots to hang on the walls.

Cerise Tulips Against Duck Egg Blue by Asison McWhirther
Sunkissed by Samantha McClubbin

Here we pick those pieces that would look particularly brilliant in a Scandi room – eye catching colours and standout shapes. And we seek out concepts to complement the minimal architecture. Above left is the beautiful Sunkissed by Samantha McCubbin at £795. And, right, Alison McWhirther’s Cerise Tulips Against Duck Egg Blue at £1,990. We love pink, such an upbeat and warm colour on a white wall – the tried and tested vase with flowers.

As below: We Laughed Until We Cried byIona Sanders (love the titles of some of the paintings) at £1,200 and (right) One For The Road by Jessica Cooper at £3,400. Never tire of the look – it’s just how its interpreted.

We Laughed Until We Cried by Iona Sanders
Scandi vibes at the Affordable Art Fair One For The Road by Jessica Cooper

‘Typical’ art which people may expect to see in a Scandi home

There was so much colour and glizt, celebrity art, graffiti and sculpture at the fair. It left not much room for what might be considered Scandi style art, ie minimalist. Those pieces, in our view, would make a room look severe. And at DU we’re all for mixing it up. But here below are some of the paintings which look like ‘home’… by Claire Thorogood and Kate Felton-Hall.

Lilya by Clarire Thorogood
Scandi vibes at the Affordable Art Fair Thamesscape Wapping to Canary Wharf by Kate Felton-Hall

Scandi vibes at the Affordable Art Fair: the Scandi Boho look

Scandi Boho is our all time favourite. Indeed, we’d like to think DU was one of the first on the scene with this look as far back as the early 1990s – read our post here on the Scandi Boho look. This is where white and colour clash, minimal vs busy and where the cool north meets the hot south. The room is calm painted in shades of white while the art on the walls are busy and colourful.

And most important of all – the art tells a story… While the room is neutral and brings a sense of peace, the painting on the wall tells a different story, most usually a personal profile or memory connected to the imagery or place of purchase. Below are two paintings from a Swedish gallery, Aurelia, which fit into the Sandi Boho look perfectly, both by Sigbrit Kvarning.

Art Fair Cockatoo by Sigbrit Kvarning
Yellow Car by Sigbrit Kvarning

Still, the painting below is arguably our favourite of the Affordable Art Fair 2021 titled Party Time, by Craig Mooney, £2,990. Who hasn’t felt like sitting down with a good book in the middle of a party or a field or somewhere surrounded by lots of green? The details are blurred, but the story the painting tells is very clear: solitude in the middle of chaos.

And it fits neatly into the Scandi Boho category as the woman, if she really is at a garden party, is someone with her own mind and happy and easy-going enough to step aside to look after her own interest.

Visitors work their own creative Juices

Garden Party by Craig Mooney

There are many glitzy art fairs in beautiful marquees such as Masterpiece in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. There are other popular fairs in Berkeley Square and the Duke of York’s by Sloane Square. But part of the charm of the Affordable Art Fair is the cosy environment, workshops on the premises to help visitors work their own creative juices, and of course the affordability of the pieces for sale.

Did you miss the fair? Then click here for a chance to browse the Affordable Art Fair’s resident galleries and buy pieces from both emerging and established artists.

Accessible art in a relaxed environment

The fair was launched in 1999 in Battersea. Since then it has spread to other parts of London and abroad to Milan, New York and Stockholm. Will Ramsay set up the event to be a place for everybody to enjoy and buy art. It’s specifically not for the big investors and others in the art bubble and network. The fair is to bring art to the masses, some of whom may find galleries intimidating. And the fair has stayed true to Ramsay’s vision.

The charity launch of both the spring and autumn events are busy but understated with the west London crowd out in force to catch up with each other and get a new piece for their wall or mantelpiece.

The fairs take place annually with the exception of Singapore, Battersea and New York, which hold spring and autumn editions and run across four days. Affordable Art Fairs showcase talks, programmes and artist-led workshops, and most also provide art-based activities for children. Founded by Will Ramsay, the Affordable Art Fair was organised as an alternative to the traditional gallery scene.[3] With its price ceiling of £5,000/€6,000/$10,000, the fair aims to appeal to and make art accessible for all.[4][5] The fair announced nearly 200,000 visitors each year.[6]

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