Part 3: Faring Well

By Tamlyn Martin

– Visiting London’s, Affordable art fair, 

– tips on launching an international art career through fairs 

– Bold galleries cracking the Paris Art Fair Scene 

It’s a lovely Moody Autumn Friday in London and I’m catching big red busses with my artist friend  Simmi  ( sitting upstairs at the back of the bus ) toff to the Beautiful Battersea Park in London’s south bank visiting the Affordable Art Fair as a VIP guest of my old Rhodes Art  School buddy Tammy Mackay, ,artist and printmaker, who regularly exhibits on these smaller art fairs . I am so excited to see Tammy as she was last connected at Xmas 2021 – I bought my now huge 2022 dairy with her and explained my extravagant freedom plans that have finally brought me back to her hood!  She’d promised to show me what being an artist in London looks like and I’m so happy to Have Simmi by my side.

As we enter the fair there’s food trucks, people with pets, a fantastic DJ, lovely complimentary wines and really such a cool inviting Friday afternoon vibe in the space. I am struck by most of the artists being happy to chat with, even the gallery owners and curators are so friendly. Simmi and I really love the quality of the work, there are fantastic paintings, drawings, and prints. We agreed that if we had money, we would buy stuff! Then it clicks!!! We could be making and selling work here, how hard is that to do?

Then suddenly I spot one of Tammy’s signature prints, the exquisite Dodo bird long extinct, full of Tammy’s trademark sense of character. I was always speechless at Tammy’s draftsmanship in university, her tremendous empathy radiating within her work, imbuing her subjects with such warmth and character.

It is just fantastic to wrap my arms around her and to be adhered out the way by hungry appreciative art Byers! 

So, guys there are a number of these types of art fairs here in London and if you get a group of people together you can share costs. Tammy explains 

“There are other artist lead fairs as opposed to gallery art fairs – the best is The Other Art Fair. The financial outlay in significant work is chosen through digital images and your CV, but it is worth it. 

The Other Art Fair is a good one to promote yourself. I made good contacts from doing that fair and a few of the galleries I work with now are from doing it a few years ago. If you are a printmaker the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair has open submissions and a good way to showcase your work and sell but a great place to make connections with other printmakers. A lot of boroughs in the UK run open studio events so if you move to the UK, it is also worth looking at what is offered locally in terms of markets, art festivals and open studio events.”

 On the topic of Artists and Galleries stepping out onto the global Art Fair stage, we are completely blown away by the mind-blowing work being done by the Deepest Darkest Gallery in Cape Town’s Waterkant. Just 4 years ago Artroute celebrated the launch of this amazing art space and now long-term art and design collaborator and gallery director, Deon Redman is showing some of the hippest African photography at major Art Fairs in Paris and the Netherlands. Their recent showing on the AKAA in Paris which I sadly missed featured works by incredible funky design meets art fashion photography by incredible fine art photographers Hannalie Taute, Kevin Mackintosh and Rian Jooste

I’m super excited send our Artroute friends in Paris to their incredible my poignant showing of Barry Salzman’s work “The Day I Became Another Genocide Victim 2018, which won him the 2018 photographer of the year award.

Check out the wonderful work been done by the Deepest Darkest Gallery here